A couple of years ago, I had a “third of a life” crisis. I went to Ebay and found a ton of old books, comics, posters and games I had as a kid. Some Romita and Mcfarlane Spider-Man comics, an old tome of a book on the world series, and a few hand held LCD games. All in all, I gasp to think that I spent hundreds of dollars on those echoes of my youth. If only “Snip and Chu” had been around then, I could have at least saved the bucks I spent on these dust covered pieces of ancient technology.
Enter the Tale of a lost toenail clipping and his bubblegum buddy
The Game Snip and Chu is an LCD “demake” based on the novel of the same name by Shaun Britton. The game aims to recreate the feeling and atmosphere of a handheld LCD game, complete with the requisite electronic Bleeps and Bloops, annoying and constant Bing! sounds and excruciating difficulty. Your hero for the adventure is Chu, who makes his way in this demade world as a piece of gum. His mission is to free his pal Snip, who happens to be a clipped toe nail, from the clutches of my favorite game villain ever-the cleverly named “RecyKiller.”
Armed with only his wits and an abnormally powerful jump, Chu must make his way Donkey Kong style past the RecyKiller’s LC-Defenses (couldn’t help it) and traverse multiple levels of robotic mayhem. Fiendish enemies set traps and fire projectiles at you while you maneuver through the multi-tiered maze. Once you make your way up, around, and past the first few baddies, you arrive at the top level of the maze. The RecyKiller waits with his flailing appendages, looming ominously like only a boss robot can. Make your way through this level, and your friend Snip is free. Or, so you think. Once you rescue your friend, the level starts over with ramped up difficulty and a few twists like battery powered traps.
Perhaps the story behind Snip and Chu is about the futility of those raging against the machine. The under dogs-the outcasts fighting even though they know their number will never be called. Or it could be a novel idea that’s a little bit childish and a lot creative. I wish I could answer that, but my copy of the novel wouldn’t download with my review copy of the game.
This is the view of your demade LCD game
The game has a bit of a learning curve. Especially if you’ve been away from this type of game for a while. There was one for me anyway. The game does come with directions accessible via the menu button on the virtual console, but it doesn’t clearly illustrate some of the elements. It took a little bit of tinkering with the game play to get the feel down. This isn’t a knock really, just what I experienced.
What I’m loathing
The constant droning of the incessant beep reminded me why I played these games with the sound off when I was a kid. There is a mute button on the game’s console, but it takes away the needed sounds and the satisfying feeling you get when you execute a jump or reach that delicious power up. I really wanted some midi music that was epic too.
I wish Snip and Chu had a couple more levels too. I KNOW it’s a demake and these games didn’t have multiple boards, but I really wanted more of a payoff and to keep playing. I would’ve liked for there to be some kind of integration of the graphic novel in-between levels, or some kind of unveiling. These are really minor complaints, however.
Snip and Chu is well worth a buy. Its art is playful and easy to watch for hours on end, as I did trying to crack 200 points. It’s a game you can play on your lunch break, or spend an evening with. It may open up other avenues of retro-ness like it did with me. The developers who created Snip and Chu are the ones responsible for Game of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy. Look up these fellows and do some research; they’re brilliant.
Snip and Chu is available via the app store for iPad, and it’s a great buy for $.99. Check out some of the other games Surprise Attack Games has to offer as well. Keep your eye out here for them too, because I’ll be reviewing, previewing and DEVIEWING them. I just couldn’t help myself with that last one.
So, are LCD games, demakes and retro stuff fun? Is there something you’d like to see made into a demake? Leave a comment and discuss.