Well it took me a while, but I recently made a startling discovery. The Nintendo Switch has more than one game worth playing! I’ll let you pick yourself up from that revelation. I know I had to. It’s my fault I suppose. I was so excited for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that I had blinkers on for everything else. While it will probably never be anyone’s sole reason for buying a Switch, if you already have one or find yourself in a position to try it, Snipperclips is a quick, silly, oddly addictive and charming little nugget of fun. SFB Games did a great job taking such a simple concept, sticking way more life into it than I thought possible, and Nintendo was very smart to pick it up for their new console.
Simplicity is the most charming part of this game, and it’s what I noticed right out the gate. Everything is designed just right, with no unnecessary flair or embellishments. While that might sound boring in writing, the artistic style works quite well, and the whole presentation grew on me very quickly. Everything comes across looking like someone waved a magic wand over the desk of an artsy school kid doodling in math class. Straight graph lines bordered by rulers, brushes and a variety of other objects make up your play area, while little scribbles of fish, stars and many other things wiggle about and bring the whole place to life. Levels will sometimes change into a different style, incorporating various objects to serve their puzzle, and while I’m not gonna describe each of them, they’re all quickly understandable from a single glance.
In the main single or co-op part of the game, players assume control of the two mascots named Snip and Clip, working both of them through a series of shape or skill-based puzzles. The controls are just about as simple as they can get, and the Nintendo Switch’s joy-cons are ideally suited to the task, whether you play with them attached to the screen, in the controller cradle, or with one each between you and a friend. Snip and Clip themselves teach you the game even before the first puzzle begins, from rotating their bodies to stretching tall or ducking low, and, of course, snipping and clipping bits out of each other. Each action or movement comes with a cute sound or silly face from the two little guys, and it’s fun to see the range of expression available from such simple avatars.
As you would expect from their names and the title of the game, you’re almost always required to snip or clip one or both of your characters to solve the current puzzle. Sometimes you need to take a chunk out of one dude so they can carry a ball, while the other dude is cut into a cog to rotate a lever and open the way to the net where the ball gets dunked. Other puzzles will have you cutting a path through a big chunk of paper to ensure a little doodle girl collects a few gems and reaches the end without getting hurt by scribble monsters. There are a lot more than just these two puzzles, and it’s a delight to encounter some new mechanic or work out a new way to use your characters.
All in all, each puzzle can usually be solved by your first idea, which is a major bonus to this type of game. Nothing is ever impossible, there’s no single solution to anything, and the game rewards you for creative thinking. Besides that, it’s also very fun to see someone solve a puzzle a different way than you did, or see if both of your ideas mesh together to achieve the desired result.
My favourite part of the game builds on that, too. Working with someone is fun, but messing with them is a lot more entertaining. One of you will usually try to be the one giving orders, but whether your partner chooses to listen is another matter entirely and therein lies the fun. I’ve played this game with six different people so far, and each one of them has presented a different experience. From instant cooperation to drawn out sessions of chasing each other across the screen snipping away until either of us respawn, there’s fun in store no matter how you choose to play this game.
The last thing worth mentioning is the Blitz and Party modes, which can support up to four players. A variety of game types are included here, with puzzles being kicked up a notch to include four players cooperating to win or the much more entertaining deathmatch, where it’s last man standing with the most amount of themselves remaining. Running about dodging three other lunatics snipping and clipping at you gets very tense after a while, and it’s here where I’m sure this game will entertain the most at parties.
I really didn’t expect Snipperclips to be as entertaining as it was when I first looked at it. The game has that ‘mobile’ feel to it; short and sweet, and like it would be something I’d download to my phone and play on the train for a few minutes – which, now that I’m more comfortable taking my Switch around with me, is what I’ve been doing. While I can’t see anyone playing this on their big screen for fifteen hours non-stop like some other games (*COUGH* Zelda *COUGH*), this is definitely a game you should load up during a party or when you’re on the go. It’s fast, fun and a perfect time sink. Best of all, it’s even better if you’re playing with some people who like to try and mess with you. Just do what I do and mess with them first!