NS Review – Snipperclips (Switch)
In 2015, a small game development team of two brothers from London – known as SFB Games – showcased a prototype called FriendShapes at EGX. One year later, they found themselves working with Nintendo after holding discussions regarding publishing. Fast forward another year, and the brainchild of brothers Tom and Adam Vian – now called Snipperclips – is an adorable launch title for the Nintendo Switch. This game and its creators have come a long way.
Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! was warmly received upon its reveal, quietly gaining support while the behemoth Breath of the Wild stayed in the spotlight for a wider audience. The launch line-up received an understated boost in quality once Snipperclips had been confirmed for March 3rd, and with a respectable £17.99/€19.99 price tag, the game is well worth picking up.
Snipperclips is a level-based puzzle game where players control a couple of paper characters, creatively named Snip and Clip. These characters have the ability to cut each other into specific shapes by standing in front of them; any overlapping parts of the body are removed. Admittedly, it seems a little morbid.
Naturally, that morbidity is downplayed thanks to the delightful visuals. The characters are capable of some rather creative expressions as they go about their tasks while getting cut into shapes. The puzzles themselves hide several amusing sites too. The soundtrack doesn’t stand out, but it’s probably due credit for staying calmly twee as background music.
The players are required to complete various tasks in each level, almost all requiring a bit of body modification to accomplish. Players can rotate their shapes and duck or tip-toe to aid with intricate cutting. If a player loses too much of their body, they will re-spawn with a full one. It’s also possible to reform of your own accord, and this ability will prove useful for the more strenuous puzzles.
It’s worth noting that Snipperclips can be played solo. A lone player is able switch between Snip and Clip. It’s designed to be winnable in solo mode, although playing with two people is not only highly recommended, but easy to do thanks to having two packed-in controllers. You also get the bonus of vocally discussing your next move with phrases that would sound amusingly questionable without context, such as “Make a hole in me,” and “Get this pencil out of me I’m stuck”
Sadly there is no online functionality, so you can’t play with friends who happen to be on the other side of the world. As a local multiplayer though, it works perfectly.
It’s very satisfying to see a wide-range of objectives on display. The simplest levels require players to fill in an outline using their own body shapes. Throughout the game players will be required to sharpen pencils, shoot some hoops, transport eggs safely, catch fish, pop balloons, and carry water. This lists only a slice of what’s in store. A lot of puzzles require thinking outside the box, and players need to be sure to observe the entire area to see where they might be needed. Other levels are less tough on the brain and more demanding on the players’ cutting accuracy. The large variety in puzzles keeps the game fresh for the whole journey.
In fact, Snipperclips does feel a tad short. There’s a fine balance for a puzzle-based game to fully explore its concepts without becoming tedious before the credits roll, and while a long play time was never expected, the main 2-player mode only consists of three worlds. There’s plenty of challenge and charm in its brevity, but the puzzle ideas could have been pushed for perhaps another world or two.
Without an addition of timekeeping or scoring, there’s barely reason to replay completed levels. Thankfully the game holds three competitive attractions that increase the longevity. “Duel” is a simple battle to snip your opponents out of existence. The Basketball and Air Hockey games both put a delightful competitive spin on the game’s mechanics, as players can cut into the opponents to hinder them during play.
The pinnacle of puzzling lies in the 4-player co-op mode. Much like the two-player mode, these 4-way puzzles can be played with just two players switching between two characters each. However, it is again highly recommended to take advantage of the player limit if possible. The 4-player puzzles are even more taxing, and it’s highly amusing attempting to get everyone to co-operate even when the solution is made clear. Of course this will be a different experience for everyone, and it’s advised that you don’t act like a player that the other three want to throw their Joy-Con at.
With its endearing aesthetic, engaging puzzles, and amusing mechanics that can be applied to both co-op and competitive games, Snipperclips is a solid launch game for the Nintendo Switch. It takes full advantage of the console’s immediate 2-player capabilities, to the extent that this would be the most ideal game to bundle with the system after 1-2 Switch. Unlike 1-2 Switch though, Snipperclips comes at a more affordable price.
It’s a wonderful Nintendo debut for SFB Games, and this hopefully won’t be the last we see of their talent on the Switch.