Most modern incarnations Snake involve only slight twists on the original formula, but you can’t accuse Stovetop of playing it safe. The indie developer has released Snakeybus, a title that has you winding through cities with a bus (what else?) that grows longer with every passenger. Do well enough and your own bus quickly becomes the biggest threat — but that’s where the game’s unique mechanics come into play.
Unlike classic Snake, you’re not limited to cardinal directions, or even linear movement. You can squeak through a narrow gap, drift or even jump if you find a well-placed ramp. The game is mostly set in semi-realistic environments like Paris and Miami, too, so you’ll have to contend with practical dangers like rivers and traffic. However, it’s not necessarily game over if there’s a collision. You only truly lose if you screech to a complete halt, so you’re free to bounce off yourself if it will keep you moving forward.
The game is available for Macs and Windows PCs for $10, but there’s a discount to $9 if you buy it no later than May 17th. It’s hard to say if the game will keep you coming back the same way Snake might, since there’s no mobile version — you can’t use it to kill time on your phone like you could with past versions. If nothing else, Snakeybus shows that it’s possible to pay tribute to a classic game without copying its exact mechanics.