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Steam Tip: Snakebird turns Nokia classic Snake into a deadly puzzle of contortion and physics

Bird brain

Steam Tip: Snakebird turns Nokia classic Snake into a deadly puzzle of contortion and physics
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Snakebird takes the basic mechanic of Nokia's Snake - eat fruit to extend a flexible reptile - and spins it into a terrific physics puzzler that will bend your brain to breaking point.

You play as a colourful patchwork snake (or a snakebird, I suppose), and your job is to munch all the fruit on the level and enter a rainbow portal. Simple, right?

The trouble is that your slimy snake body is both a helper and a hindrance - as you creep about in chunky grid-square increments you'll contort into awkward shapes that can scupper your progress.

Snakebird

You might be able to sneak into a cave but inside you'll eat a banana, grow slightly longer, and now won't be able to get back out. You can't retract back in on yourself, after all.

And while your elongated body might help you reach up to a piece of fruit, if one wrong moves sees you leaving the ground you'll come crashing back down - probably onto some spikes or into the ocean.

This sets up a fearsomely tricky situation where every move might get you closer to the goal, or it might doom you to failure. Luckily, an omnipresent "undo" button lets you backtrack dumb moves.

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The game combines balancing on a rickety table with untangling headphone wires, forging a creative new puzzle idea that I've never seen before. And one that immediately gave me troubles on the second or third stage.

So when I watch the trailer above and see future conundrums that involve shunting boxes, whizzing through portals, and even manipulating multiple snakes at once, I just know this game is going to keep me scratching my head for weeks.

You can grab Snakebird on PC, Mac, and Linux for a special launch price of £4.49. Do it, if you don't mind tugging your hair out.