When launching a new piece of hardware, the initial lineup for the device is often a deciding factor in whether or not gamers invest in an unproven piece of tech. In 2013 both Playstation and Xbox could boast a strong third party array of titles, while their first party offerings had time to incubate. With Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has launched its new hybrid console on the back of the behemoth The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While that is arguably the most impressive launch game since Super Mario 64, it's not only the Hylian hero that graces early adopters screens. Enter; Snipperclips: Cut it out, Together!
Snipperclips: Cut it out, Together! is £17.99 and is available on the Amazon for Nintendo Switch.
In Snipperclips: Cut it out, Together! the player takes control of two paper shapes, Snip and Clip as they work in tandem to solve various physics and shape-based puzzles. Throughout your journey, you and a friend will laugh, shout out in frustration and slice each other to shreds in this joyous puzzler from British-based developed SFB Games.
Snipperclips' main objective is to control the two paper shapes in order to solve puzzles. However, what makes the game special is the ability for each character to cut the other into various shapes, which is integral to solving the puzzles. Each player can jump, rotate, stand on their tip-toes or squat, all other ability is derived from what the players can fashion themselves into. For example, one puzzle charges the player to pop various balloons, which float at the top of the level. In order to solve said puzzle, the players must communicate in order to cut one player into a sharp shape to pop the balloons and the other into a claw shape in order to hold them down. The controls are incredibly simple and are one of the game's strong suits.
The game features three modes, World, Party, and Blitz. World mode features 45 levels of one or two players based challenge. Party features various mini-games in which teams of two or two players controlling both characters simultaneously compete in variations of levels found in World. Blitz features three competitive mini-games, including basketball, air hockey and weirdly enough, a death match. While World mode is where you'll encounter the majority of the game's concepts, it feels rather short for the asking price. The inclusion of the various multiplayer modes is nice, but including a mode which requires four joy-cons at the launch of the system seems presumptuous. It would be great if the Party mini games were available to be played with one player on each side without the need for switching between the two characters. Those on the fence may want to wait until the price has dropped slightly or they own four Joy-Cons in order to get a complete experience, though thankfully, no game modes require four of the controllers.
Snipperclips offers various modes of control depending on how many players are playing at once. Notably, this game takes advantage of the Nintendo Switches detachable controllers, the Joy-Cons. When played cooperatively, each player controls either Snip or Clip and works in tandem to solve puzzles. This usually works well, however, some of the later levels that require precision and finesse occasionally become frustrating as the small analogue sticks on the joy cons are very sensitive and this can sometimes result in the character not behaving in the required manner. Snipperclips does offer the ability to play the game as a single player, alternating between characters, but this is a clunky way to play and also makes some of the later puzzles challenge veer into the realm of annoying rather than engaging. Also, strangely, it is not possible to play the game using the Joy-Con grip. When the Joy-Cons are detached and inserted into the grip, the game still detects the controllers as being two separate entities, which seems like an oversight. Ideally, it would be possible to use the grip as a single player and control the game in the same manner that it is controller when the joy cons are attached to the Switch itself.
Snipperclips truly shines when played with a friend. Each using one joy-con, myself and a friend played through over half of the game, laughing hysterically throughout. There's a controlled chaos that comes alive when another human player is part of the game. Devising ridiculous and convoluted solutions to puzzles became unbelievably entertaining. Snipperclips is wise to never show the player an "ideal" way of completing any task. This only fuels the imagination of the player to try (and often fail) to complete the puzzles in the most natural way. It also serves as a great way to show a friend the console itself. It immediately demonstrates a use case for the detachable controllers. The idea of having a game like NidHogg on the system to play with a friend on a long train journey is an exciting one indeed. Snipperclips should be sufficient evidence to any developer looking to enter this section of the market that the couch co-op revival is at home on the Switch.
Snipperclips uses a bright, papercraft art style in order to convey its the world. The material looks distinct and realistic while maintaining its cute aesthetic. The player characters Snip and Clip feature expressive, often humorous faces that react and change depending on the context. This adds an element of charm and realism that evokes Little Big Planets ability to humanise stationary.
World mode features three distinct themes in which the levels are based. These mostly amount to background art and music, but occasionally this will have an influence on the objective of the level, such as saving a princess in the "Retro" area or saving aliens in space. The game's music is unremarkable but suits the atmosphere of the world. For a game in which audible communication with another human player is often key, you won't have much time to listen to it anyway.
Snipperclips: Cut it out Together! is a hidden gem, sitting in the shadow of Zelda. It's innovative mechanics and adorable characters make it right at home at the launch of a new piece of Nintendo hardware. It uses the systems unique features such as the detachable Joy-Cons perfectly from the first go. It's the fact that is it is so undeniably fun that makes its relatively short length rather disappointing and at £17.99, it currently sits at a price point that almost feels excessive. However, in a launch that features only a handful of original titles, Snipperclips certainly stands out. A focus on unique indie titles such a snipperclips may be the perfect accompaniment to Nintendo's tentpole franchises. However, if this is the road Nintendo intends to travel, it has to realise that in the age of digital gaming, this structure of pricing can prove fatal to the success of a genuinely great game.
|+ Innovative, engaging mechanics.||– Lacking in content.|
|+ Adorable art style.||– High price.|
|+ Demonstrates the potential of the Nintendo Switch||– Some awkward control issues.|
|+ Couch Co-op joy|