Game Reviews

Snoopy Coaster

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| Snoopy Coaster
Snoopy Coaster
| Snoopy Coaster

It's funny to think that the endless-running genre barely existed a few years ago. But since Canabalt, Temple Run, Jetpack Joyride and their ilk appeared you can't take two steps inside the App Store without bumping into another one.

Madcoaster Snoopy Coaster is yet another take on the genre. The premise is as simple as ever: you're a five-carriage rollercoaster on a thrill ride to nowhere, and you can jump from rail to rail by tapping the screen or swipe downwards to pop down to the track below.

The whole thing's very reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country's much-loved mine cart levels, with a tidy balance between barely-manageable speed, pixel-perfect jumps, and brief moments of calm as you transfer from one manic segment to the next.

Nemesis inferno

Like all the best platformers, the best route through Madcoaster Snoopy Coaster is drawn out with coins, and there's a real satisfaction to be had in arcing a perfect jump over a precipice and snaffling up all the cash on the way.

But, not unlike all the best platformers, Madcoaster Snoopy Coaster has an insatiable lust for death and wanton destruction. You're actively encouraged to leap up and smash flying birds into smithereens or knock innocent gorillas butterflies into oblivion.

Quite why developer CGMatic infused such a simple game with such bloodthirstiness is a mystery, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy every rollerkill I racked up on my coaster-powered cruise.

If violence alone can't tempt you, Madcoaster Snoopy Coaster keeps you interested with themed worlds that rotate at random.

There's the Ice World, the Safari Fun Fair, the Haunted House, and the Desert Battlefield. Where you are doesn't affect what you're doing, but the slick parallax scrolling and sharply drawn sprites help to make the ride pleasurable.

How endless is endless?

Eventually, though, the fun has to stop. Where games like Jetpack Joyride tempt you back in with post-game lotteries and upgrades, Madcoaster Snoopy Coaster has little more than a confusing levelling-up system (tied into its score multiplier) to keep you engaged.

While the game itself is perfectly competent, it doesn't have the relentless draw of some of its competitors. When there's no goal, the initial rush of high score-chasing is soon replaced by apathy.

Madcoaster Snoopy Coaster keeps you hooked for longer than most, and its production values are almost faultless for a 69p app, but there's still the sense that you've seen and done it all before. And how.

Déjà vu

Okay, we'll come clean - in case you hadn't realised, this is just our review for 2012's Madcoaster, but with a few words changed. In other words, we've done the same thing that Chillingo has.

Snoopy Coaster is almost a re-release, but with new cartoon graphics, some annoyingly repetitive voice clips from the Peanuts heroes, and even more aggressive monetisation.

The game design is the same (though you can go around the loop-de-loops three times now), the interface design is the same (but the in-app purchase buttons are now bigger and actively throb), and the objectives are often repeated from Madcoaster.

If you didn't play Madcoaster, and you like Snoopy (and you're cool with obnoxious monetisation in a paid game, and the outrageous audacity of being sold the same game twice), be our guest. It's still a fun, if slightly gentle and toothless, little endless-runner.

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Snoopy Coaster

Snoopy Coaster has the same thrills as last year's Madcoaster, but also the same game design, objectives, menus, sound effects, in-app purchases, shop items, and power-ups
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.