Snail Break ($1.99) by The Box Fort is exactly like those marble mazes you used to play with as a kid, only cuter and with way more escargot.
The app is a delight to behold on the iPad’s large screen, and the tilting gameplay that’s offered here matches the device perfectly. If you’re a fan of accelerometer-based games, Snail Break is an absolute gem.
Snail Break’s premise is one that any PETA official can sympathize with: A group of snails have been plucked from their favorite garden and taken to a nearby kitchen. They aren’t content to be made into delicious appetizers, though, and it’s your job to roll them out of harm’s way.
To do so, you’ll need to both control the snails and navigate various kitchen-themed obstacle courses. Each level features various utensils and foods, some of which can harm, or even kill, your little, blue friends.
Using the iPad’s accelerometer, you’ll need to roll the snails around on their shells, avoiding the hazards while guiding them toward a safe zone further down the board. Once all of your charges have been secured, the game passes you on to the next course.
All in all, the app is a heap of gyrating fun. Courses are challenging, but not so much so as to be off-putting. I had no trouble navigating most levels, and on the few that I did find difficult, it was only a matter of minutes before I was steaming on to the next set of obstacles.
One of Snail Break’s biggest boons is its excellent graphics. The game is quite the looker on the iPad, providing cell-shaded animations that reminded me a lot of Dragon Quest titles for the PlayStation 2. The snails themselves are adorable, and the culinary objects you’ll be dodging are soft and inviting, no matter how harmful they are to your mollusk amigos.
But for all its creativity and cuteness, Snail Break is a bit brief. There are about 30 levels included in the latest update, which may sound like a lot, but with only an hour or so of gameplay, the brevity is disconcerting.
There’s also no Game Center integration, while a leader board might be a bit superfluous, adding achievements to the mix would be greatly appreciated. Considering the game tracks how many snails you are able to save on each level, being rewarded with Game Center points for your efforts would be an extra bonus.
The price is right, though, with Snail Break clocking in at a smooth $1.99 in the App Store. For that money you’ll get 30 creatively designed levels and some of the best accelerometer-based physics I’ve ever seen. No matter if you’re a foodie with a thing for gyrating, or a fan of snails with a thing for cell-shaded graphics, Snail Break is a solid title, and a fantastic addition to your games folder.