Snood (video game)
|Developer(s)||David M. Dobson
|Publisher(s)||Snood World  (PC, Mac, Palm)
Destination Software (GBA)
Monkey Gods (IPhone/Touch, Adobe Flash)
|Distributor(s)||Iron Galaxy Studios/EA Mobile (IPhone/Touch)
|Designer(s)||David M. Dobson|
Snood is a puzzle video game created in 1996 by David M. Dobson. Today, versions exist for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Palm OS, and other systems, including unofficially on the TI-83 and TI-84 calculators.
Similar to other puzzle games such as Puzzle Bobble, Snood has simple rules. 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.
Levels and play modes
The different levels of Snood and the difficult progressions are:
• Child - The easiest level, on which the player is allowed to use an aimer in the PC Version of the Game
• Easy – Increases the fill rate of the Danger Meter by 2x over Child Mode. Fewer Magic Snoods, and additional rows of Snood on screen.
• Medium – Increases the fill rate of the danger meter, introduces Sleeping Snoods, adds an additional row of Snoods.
• Hard – Adds Numbskulls to the board; increases the fill rate of the danger meter 2x over Medium, adds another additional row of Snoods.
• Evil - the hardest level of the lot, Numbskulls are rampant, and the danger meter fills up 2x faster than Hard, the Snoods almost touch the bottom of the screen on the first level.
Snood was modified in version 3.0 to include an "Armageddon" level which adds the element of time to the puzzle. This newest level has added a higher level of difficulty to the game. Newer versions of Snood offer a 'Time Attack' mode, playable on different difficulty levels.
Version 4.0 for Windows and Macintosh includes a tournament mode and worldwide daily scoring competition (the Game of the Day) hosted at SnoodWorld.com, in addition to other new features.
Snood 2: On Vacation, a sequel, was released on the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in late 2005. Other games that use the Snood characters include What's New, Snood Slide (Chuzzle clone), and Snoodoku.
In 2009, startup game developer Monkey Gods, founded by Naughty Dog co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin, licensed the rights to Snood and announced that they were releasing an all-new version of Snood for the iPhone and iPod Touch Platforms. Naughty Dog is the developer and creator of numerous popular video games including Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter and Uncharted.
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 entitled "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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