Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you'll have heard of Slither.io. It's all the rage, and everyone's playing it. In fact, your mum's probably playing it right now.
Why's everyone playing it? Well, because it's nestled snugly between caffeine and World of Warcraft on the life-swallowing addiction scale. It's a high score chaser, it's fiercely competitive, and when you die the first thing you'll want to do is enact vengeance on the cursed snake that ended you.
In case you've never even seen a smartphone before, here's how it works. You play as a snake and have to slither about gobbling up glowing orbs. These orbs increase both your size and your power. Meanwhile, other snakes in this tiny arena are doing exactly the same thing, and if you accidentally bump into one at any time you'll explode in a shower of - you guessed it - glowing orbs.
You can use this to your advantage though, and try to kill bigger snakes then steal all the orbs they've collected. It's not easy, but we've written a guide that has a few tips and tricks to help you.
Anyway, just because Slither.io is really addictive doesn't make it good. In fact, that's what I'm here to argue today. So read on for seven reasons why Slither.io sucks.
Play Agar.io (Slither.io's primary influencer) and you'll know exactly what we're getting at here. Slither.io just feels sluggish in comparison.
That's partially down to the slow movement speed generally - even when you're a fresh snake just starting out - but it's also down to the turning circle. You feel more like a tank than a snake, which are fast and lithe in real life. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
If you're the type of player that prefers to use their wits instead of their reflexes, you could argue that the slower pace is a positive. But you'd be wrong. We want faster, more nimble snakes, and we want them now.
Slither.io is not a looker. What's with the black honeycomb grid background? Why are the custom skins so dull? Why don't the snakes have mouths?
Stop to think of the opportunities that we're lacking. We could have been in a lovely forest environment. Our snakes could have had tongues that gobbled up various different creatures instead of random orbs.
Then your mind starts going wild. What about a desert? A jungle? An icy tundra? The list is endless, and we'd have been way more inclined to explore each area and stick around a while longer.
Instead we got an ugly honeycomb grid. Dull dull dull.
It lacks depth
There are some strategies you can employ to gain the upper hand over your opponent, and we've covered a few of them. However, most of it just boils down to speeding in front of your opponent to create a snakey roadblock or coiling hapless little snakes like the fork-tongued fellas do in real life.
Going back to our previous point about the boring honeycomb grid, think of the possibilities that more exciting environments could have held?
Imagine if there was grass you could hide in then leap out of to attack an unwitting snake? Or icy terrain that made your snake skid around wildly? The possibilities are endless. And far more interesting.
Then there's features lacking from similar games, like the ability to split yourself in Agar.io. This actually kind of makes sense here too, as worms can split themselves in half and survive. Snakes are basically worms, right?
The lack of music is fine as, chances are, you'd just switch it off anyway. But where are the slithery snakey sounds? Where's the creepy rattlesnake sound to scare you silly? Why not a full-scale explosion when you inevitably crash into a bigger snake?
It's not a deal breaker by any means, but some sound to make proceedings feel a little more interesting wouldn't have gone amiss.
The controls are horrible
This is kind of a personal preference but your finger (or thumb) tends to traverse the entirety of the screen while playing Slither.io and it can impair your chances of victory. That's an issue.
Many times I've found my thumb obscuring a snake who managed to get the jump on me, and I end up having to perform some thumb acrobatics to right myself.
No one wants that - particularly when the competition has finely-tuned control schemes in comparison.
This isn't a massively common occurrence but you have to admit that it totally sucks when you're about to beat your high score and you die because of that rotten lag.
It doesn't strike often but when it does it's usually damaging. Curse you, lag!
It doesn't contribute to valuable research that saves lives
Hey, quit laughing. Yes, you! Many mobile games these days contribute to research that cures diseases and save lives. The most recent example of this being Sea Hero Quest, which has helped scientists perform valuable dementia research.
If you don't think that's important and would rather play games in the name of fun, you should sort out your priorities. Want more Slither.io stuff? Then check out the following bits: