SnipperClips is a great showcase of the co-op centric mentality of the new Nintendo Switch. At $10 it would have been a perfect example to show off to your friends what the mentality behind the new console is and where it excels. At $30 though it's a bit much to be asked for such a short experience.
+Adorable characters and animations
+Simple and fun gameplay/mechanics
+Great example of the co-op/multiplayer ideas of the Nintendo Switch
Many have complained about the barren launch line-up of the Switch all the way through from the initial announcement straight past the release of the console. For my money, I’ve always said it’s about quantity, not quality. So, for me personally the release of a new Zelda title was reason enough to go in day one. But sure enough, after 80 hours of Zelda I found myself wonder “what else is there.”
Enter SnipperClips, a co-op puzzle game focused around the idea of cutting each other into shapes to help complete a series of challenges to advance. It’s a straight forward approach to gaming: no story, no fluff, just puzzles and platforming solo or co-op to show of some of the capabilities of the new console (primarily the niche features like what you can do with a single JoyCon split into two).
Controls and play are easy enough to get your head around. Each of the characters can move left and right, jump and rotate themselves to fit into whatever manner of puzzle shape needed to advance the game. Where SnipperClips is unique in gameplay though is the ability for both player to overlap their characters, and snip off portions of each other to create characters of new shapes. This will let you not only fit into places you previously wouldn’t have, but turn your character into functional objects like say, a hook to pull down objects (i.e. balloons) hanging from the upper portion of the level. Alternatively, you can make yourself something of a damage dealer, by being trimmed into a sharp shape and popping said balloon shapes.
Where the game really sings though is the animations and characteristics of the animated paper-beings that you play with. They make a brief wincing animation when they are snipped, but return to their cheerful selves when they assume their new shape. It’s incredibly charming to see the way the character attitudes and aesthetics change as you snip them into different shapes, it becomes almost something of a meta-game to see how many alternative looks you can make with the characters by designing new shapes for them.
Alternatively, if you are drunk and being a dick (or just a dick in general) there’s plenty of opportunity to troll your co-op partner by snipping them against their will. Some of the most fun moments of the game for me were not in the co-operative solving of the puzzles, but in the combat of trying to destroy your partner before they snipped you in half.
SnipperClips is a game that feels like it was intended to show off features of the new console, the co-op play of a split JoyCon. It works well enough, though the ideal situation will still be having a proper controller available. The on-the-go feature of playing the game with the screen kick-stood up and split JoyCons again works, but isn’t ideal. I found playing this mobile with a friend was something of an eye-strain. Perhaps the younger generation will be able to deal better, but as someone that used to play Goldeneye four-player split-screen on a 19-inch CRT, this still seems a bit much for trying to deal with fine-movement to get your character into the exact shape and location that you need. If you can play on a big screen, you always should!
The game features the ability to be played either single-player or co-op. I did play a few of the puzzles solo, for the purposes of review, but it really feels like a shoe-horned feature just because you couldn’t get away with selling a co-op exclusive title for some reason. It works, but it’s annoying as hell to be constantly swapping between the two characters to get one or the other into the desired shape and position. Where possible, always play this game with a friend, the solo play is available if you’re lacking… but honestly it wouldn’t be worth a purchase at all if you’re planning to play this game alone. It is, and should be, played as a co-op game and nothing else in my opinion.
One of the biggest issues I’m seeing in the early days of the Switch is the pricing structure. 1-2-Switch would have been a free tie-in game with the console previously, it is the Wii Sports of the current generation, and yet Nintendo expects people to pay full-game price for the party game. Here again, I feel like SnipperClips is an overpriced title. If it had been a $10-15 game it would have been a cool little side-item to show off to your friends and play on the go, a perfect title to show off the co-op features of the console and it’s split JoyCon when you’re preaching the good word of Nintendo. At $30 Canadian though the value of the rather short, puzzle game is a little beyond what I would recommend.
SnipperClips is a prime example of a good demo of the mobile and co-op features that the Nintendo Switch is centered around, however the value just isn’t there. As with many of the launch titles offered for the Nintendo Switch, the pricing structure for the games doesn’t currently make sense. While paying $90 for Zelda might make sense, $30 for a short puzzle game, or $50 for Bomberman just doesn’t make sense. If you are going to try SnipperClips get the demo to show off and wait for a sale/discount option before diving into the full release.
Review is based on a retail version for Nintendo Switch, provided by the Publisher.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017