Snake in SPAAAACCCEEEEE.
Whether you played it on your Nokia phone, graphing calculator, or even on the YouTube buffering screen, Snake has been a long-enduring video game thanks to its addictive gameplay and multiple iterations. Most recently, developer Fishmoose Interactive has made their own version on the classic game with Cosmic Kites, which succeeds through fast-paced gameplay and addictive local multiplayer.
In Cosmic Kites, you control an animal spirit whom the player must navigate around in an arena, trying to survive by avoiding foes and obstacles. The player can fight back by collecting power-ups such as a laser beam or shield, and consuming certain foes in order to grow longer, similar to classic Snake.
The player controls their spirit with a very simple yet intuitive two button control scheme (one to turn left, one to turn right), that allows for tight movement and dodging. This movement is indeed “easy to learn, hard to master,” but it’s fluid and smooth as to not warrant frustration. There is also a teleport button so the player can get out of danger with a tap, which creates an added layer of strategy and quick decision-making.
The game features a single player mode composed of surviving round after round of foes and leveling up to unlock custom modes or abilities, but the true fun in Cosmic Kites lies in its local multiplayer mode.
You and three buddies take control of different spirits and duke it out in very quick and intense matches. This is when Cosmic Kites becomes very fun and very competitive. Dodging a friend’s laser blast with a tactical teleport or ramming into them with a shield is an absolute blast, and the quick arcade-style matches keeps everything fresh and engaging, making you want jump in again and again.
Aesthetically, Cosmic Kites is simple and vibrant. The bright neon green and blue colors of the spirits’ tails contrast well with the space-black background of the arena, and the enemies and obstacles have this distinct look and feel to them; reminding me most of something out of flOw. Tying everything together is the game’s vibing music, with each round sporting a distinct bumping track that can each be fittingly described as ear worms.
The game unfortunately doesn’t offer online multiplayer, but the core local multiplayer is frantic and addicting enough to keep you and your friends engaged. Snake has been a long-enduring video game concept, and Cosmic Kites is a fun variation of this formula that feels fresh and unique through its great controls, visuals, and couch-multiplayer appeal.
Cosmic Kites is available on Steam for PC.