Snood (video game)
Game Boy Advance cover
|Platform(s)||Mac OS, Windows, MS-DOS, Game Boy Advance, iOS|
Snood is a re-themed version of Taito's Puzzle Bobble arcade game programmed by Dave Dobson. Snood was released for Mac OS in 1996 as shareware, then for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows in 1999. An adaptation for Game Boy Advance was developed by Rebellion Developments and released by Destination Software in 2001, and an iOS version was developed by Iron Galaxy and released by EA Mobile on May 8, 2009. Dobson founded Snood, LLC to sell the game.
As in Puzzle Bobble, connecting three or more identical Snoods makes them disappear from the board. When the board is cleared, the level advances. If the Snoods reach the bottom of the screen, a life is lost. Play is not time-limited in most game modes.
The pieces in the game are called Snoods. There are seven regular Snoods and four Special Snoods. The regular Snoods are Jake (Blue), Midoribe (Green), Mildred (Grey), Spike (Purple), Zod (Red), Geji (Light blue), and Sunny (Yellow).
Each turn, the player launches a Snood of randomly selected color into the play field. If the Snood lands adjacent to two or more Snoods of the same color, all connecting Snoods of that color vanish and any pieces left unattached beneath the vanished Snoods drop down. The player's score increases with the number of Snoods eliminated. With each Snood launched, a danger meter increases and when it reaches the top, all the Snoods in play lower a level. If the Snoods drop past the lowest level of the playing field, the game is over. Releasing Snoods reduces the "Danger Meter."
The first special Snood is called Numbskull. Numbskull is shaped like a human skull and is the one type of Snood that is never launched into play, which means it cannot be joined with other Snoods. If Numbskulls are found at the start of a level, they will have to be isolated and dropped by the player to remove them from the board. Second, if the player loses the game, all the Snoods will turn into Numbskulls, serving as a visual game over message.
The other three special Snood pieces may be launched, and appear at random (and infrequently). One is called Stone which is round and gray, and will always knock out the Snoods adjacent to where it lands. Another is called Wildcard which appears to cycle through all of the regular Snoods, and may be used in place of any of them. The last is called Rowbuilder, a diamond-shaped creature which will fill one row horizontally with like regular Snoods. In the registered game users may control how frequently these special Snoods appear.
The premise is simple. Unlike Bust a Move, there is no conventional time limit in Snood modes other than Time Attack; however, players must eliminate Snoods efficiently enough to prevent the gradually descending ceiling from crushing them. Many levels also require Snoods to be ricocheted off of walls in order to get them in the appropriate spot, which can be tricky. Snood requires considerable skill at approximating angles as well as strategy.
Awards and recognition
Jupiter Media Metrix found in 2001 that Snood was the ninth most-played game with 1.5 million unique users. This is most notable because most of the games on the list came with various versions of Windows (such as the top-ranked game, Solitaire, with 46.7 million users). The "addictive" qualities of the game have been described in an article titled "Snood: At Least It's Not Crack".
Snood received 2004 Shareware Industry Award for Best Game Action/Arcade on July 17, 2004.
Snood has been used regularly by the Ronald McDonald House staff at Stanford University as a tool to teach seriously ill children. It has also been used as palliative for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and dialysis.
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-  Archived April 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.