Games with Sam

Snakebird: Primer

A tough but fair puzzle game that involve snakes…that are also birds.

By: Chris Saylor | April 2, 2019 • 2 minute read

Remember that old “Snake” game you had on your blue Nokia phone brick from the turn of the century? “Snakebird: Primer” is that game with inventive puzzles mixed in. It is a “sequel” to “Snakebird” with a relaxed feel and simpler puzzles for the more casual player or younger kids.

The cute, animated birds were the main appeal to Sam. Their facial expressions can be humorous especially when the bottom bird is piled on by three other birds, or when they are squeezed into a small space.

Much effort is put into making it a frustration-free experience. Non-linear paths to solving puzzles are available so that if you get stuck on one, you can ruminate on that puzzle while attempting another.

Alternative paths avail themselves as you progress.

The level design is top-notch. New concepts are introduced in such a way that the player can fail at the concept early without major repercussions. Some puzzles can take some time to get the birds into position, and failing towards the end can be frustrating. However, simple mistakes are easily corrected as you can undo an unlimited number of moves made.

The backgrounds of the levels change based on your location on the level-selection map and often are themed to the “biome” they are depicting, including adding some props and hazards that you would expect in that environment.

Level backgrounds are varied and wonderful to look at.

All the puzzles are small enough to be completed in short sessions, so it is easy to limit the amount of time to play. Even the toughest puzzles that Sam and I played were at maximum 10 minute sessions.

Sometimes props are integrated into the solution.

Finally, the controls are simple. With movement, one button to toggle between multiple birds (if applicable), and a button to undo last move. All puzzles are solved through movement alone, so if your child struggles with hand-eye coordination, this game can still be accessible and easily enjoyed.

Sam and I are still working through some of the puzzles, but we’ve had fun along the way.

Overall 3/5

Problem solving skills are highly engaged, but can be a bit frustrating and repetitive. The price and bite-sized levels make this a decent buy.

  • Spacial Awareness: 3/5
  • Memory Skills: 3/5
  • Hand-eye Coordination: 1/5
  • Problem Solving: 5/5
  • Reading Skills: 0/5
  • Entertainment: 3/5
  • Appropriateness: 5/5

Reviewed on the PC version through Steam.

See my Steam Stats for Snakebird: Primer

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