The Nokia 3310 is back, and so is Snake, the classic mobile game. Here’s a look back at Snake’s history.
Snake, the popular mobile game, is back. Nokia made a special note of the game, which will be included in its new 3310 handsets, at its press conference at MWC 2017 yesterday. Surprisingly, much of Nokia’s decline in the mobile industry correlates with what it did with the game Snake.
Snake’s quality declined in tandem with Nokia’s Symbian and other systems, from the black and white versions to the psychedelic version on its Symbian OS. Of course, its partnership with Microsoft was the icing on the cake.
At its roots, Snake borrows from a 1976 arcade game, called Blockade. Distinctly similar to Snake, the game was designed for two players and couldn’t be played alone. In it, both the players would navigate their snakes, leaving a solid line behind them.
The line itself becomes a blockade for you, and the player who lasts longer on the board wins. Trying to play this game alone would be impossible, since the second player’s snake would simply ram into a wall, ending the session.
The Snake is born
Fast forward a few decades, and Nokia released Snake on the Nokia 6110 phone in 1997. Yes, the phone that your father used for work and that you used for Snake. Snake in Your Pocket was born, and the game nearly went global, ushering in a new age in mobile phone gaming.
With the release of the Nokia 3310 in the year 2000, what began in 1997 became viral. Nokia sold 126 million units in that year, making it one of the best-selling mobile phones of all time. Snake, the game that swiftly gained a household name in India and around the world, was housed within the device. But this wasn’t the Snake we were familiar with at the time
. Snake 2, the game that came preloaded on the original Nokia 3310, gave the Snake a snake-like appearance and added extras that could be collected while playing. The playing field, or board, became cyclical as well, allowing you to enter from one side and exit from the other. Finally, mazes were added to make the game more difficult.
Growing and Evolving Snake
Snake became a significant element of mobile gaming history after that. The game was fun to play and suitable for folks of all ages. It was similar to the Game of Life, but for cellphone users. Nokia went on to develop Snake, which some say ruined it. Snake Xenzia, which was identical to Snake 2 but designed for monochrome displays, was available for Nokia 1600 owners.
Snake EX, a game that preserved all of the key features of Snake 2 but with better graphics, was the first real step forward in graphics. While navigating the item, you get a top-down perspective of a green snake eating bugs.
When feeding, the snake could now even open its jaws. Everything was great until Nokia introduced the N-Gage platform, which was a flop. With it, the firm chose to keep Snake as a part of its game lineup. Many would claim, however, that Snakes, a game designed for the N-Gage platform, was Snake’s downfall.
You now have a third-person view of the Snake as it ate psychedelic looking bugs in a psychedelic landscape, thanks to the 3D animation. While Snakes was still addictive, it fell short of what fans had come to expect from the classic game.
Later, Nokia released a new version dubbed Snake Subsonic, but it didn’t make much of a difference. The Nokia N70, N73, and N80 cellphones came with Snakes pre-installed.
Around this time, Nokia’s other phones were also improving, with the company going all-in on its Symbian platform. So, in between Snakes and Snake Subsonic, Nokia released Snake III, a 3D version of the game.
This was, in many ways, a more advanced version of Snake EX. The Snake was placed in a lovely green area encircled by barriers. You still had a top-down view, but you were considerably closer to the Snake, who had taken on the appearance of Kaa from The Jungle Book.
The end of Snake
Snake Subsonic was released in 2008, the same year that the HTC Dream was released. The world’s first Android smartphone and the burgeoning Android ecosystem finally pushed Nokia out of the game, leading to the creation of Windows phones in collaboration with Microsoft. As they say, the rest is history.
The Lumia 800, Nokia’s first Windows-powered smartphone, was released in 2011, and the company continued to pursue this goal until 2013 when its mobile division was sold to Microsoft. Nokia was forbidden from entering the mobile market for a year after the acquisition was completed in 2014, and it was only yesterday, at MWC 2017, that the company announced its full return, with three new handsets, a new Nokia 3310, and Snake.