3-in-1 Snake Arcade

How many snakes does it take to change a light bulb? Three. One to hold the ladder, one to put in the new bulb and one to eat the old one.

Not an especially funny punchline that, and in truth the real answer is 'none'. Snakes have neither limbs nor opposable thumbs, making the question a nonsensical one in the first place.

Nevertheless, the folks over at Maturus prefer the first answer, choosing to glue three different forms of mobile classic Snake together in one single package. Sadly, there's not a digested light bulb in sight.

Instead, what's on offer is Retro Snake, which plays like the original hit did; Deluxe Snake, which, despite its dirty phone-line overtones, is actually a slightly ramped up version; and Battle Snake, which sees you take on an AI controlled snake in a tussle for food.

All three follow the set rules of Snake as we've come to know them, using either the number keys or D-pad to direct the snake around the screen, avoiding your own tail and any level furniture along the way.

All three variants essentially play in the same way, too, though the latter two do put their own unique spins on the formula. While the original sticks to the idea of darting around the map (either with walls or without them) on the hunt for plain ol' food, in Deluxe mode it's mushrooms that make your tail longer, and in Battle's galactic setting it's some kind of flashing space nugget.

In any case, your aim remains the same whether you're flying solo or up against a rival - everywhere you see food, you gobble it up, each morsel you eat making your own tail longer and painfully more difficult to avoid.

In Deluxe, however, proceedings are given a Pac-Man style spin, with red power pills dotted around the map turning the mushrooms (which normally have a habit of disappearing and reappearing all over the place) into static 'ghosts' for a short period of time. Not only does this make them easier to pin down, but you also win more points when you gobble them up in this phase.

Similarly, Battle comes with its own modification, where your main aim - besides eating as much as you can, of course - is luring your rival into a collision with your tail. This is easier said than done, as predicting just where your slippery foe will head next isn't always clear. Even so, it's a nice addition to what is admittedly still one of the most playable and clear cut games on earth.

It's for that same reason that 3-in-1 Snake Arcade, however many versions of the game it crams into one package, is never going to be an essential purchase. Like Pong, Tetris and Breakout before it, the original Snake has multiplied into several versions, official and not-so-official, making Maturus's effort feel a touch run-of-the-mill.

That said, it does manage to implement a few subtle changes in order to give it some semblance of freshness, making it worth the purchase if just the one Snake has never been enough to satisfy your appetite.

3-in-1 Snake Arcade

Bringing three slightly different versions of the same old Snake to the table, 3-in-1 Snake Arcade is perfect for those out for a slippery fix, but doesn't revolutionise this mobile staple enough to make it an essential purchase
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