It seems like during every console launch there’s that sleeper hit that really wasn’t on anyone’s radar. For the Nintendo Switch, that game is Snipperclips, a completely original puzzle solving game. It’s a perfect use-case for the Nintendo Switch’s detachable Joy-Con controllers as the game is best played with two or more people. It’s instantly accessible and can be enjoyed in some fashion by all ages, although the more complex puzzles will require some critical thinking. Since the game’s levels all take place on a single screen, it works well in any of the Switch’s configurations: Handheld, Tabletop or TV. Don’t let this game’s cartoony visuals fool you, there’s an addictive and surprising depth to the puzzles here that are sure to challenge and surprise you.
At first glance Snipperclips may look like a low budget iOS game. It uses a simple graph paper background and indeed all of the art looks like something you might see in a kid’s educational software package. It’s nothing to extravagant, but then again it doesn’t need to be. The game stars two characters named Snip and Clip. They sort of look like upside down popsicles without the stick, but they’re supposed to resemble the Joy-Con controllers, if they were doublewide. They can move left and right, crouch down and stand on the tips of their toes. They also are able to jump, but not very high. Moving them is easy with the analog stick on the Joy-Con (Pro Controller is not supported in this game), but you’ll definitely want to use the included Joy-Con Strap attachment. That’s because the game relies heavily on using the SR and SL buttons that reside along the top of the Joy-Con, which are difficult to reach without the attachments. These buttons allow you to rotate your character 360 degrees to the left and right, which is essential for puzzle solving.
Each of the game’s puzzle rooms will have different objectives. The basic ones will require you to fill a cutout shape with your characters. You will need to maneuver Snip and Clip into place, and to properly fill the void you’ll have to rotate each one to perfectly match the outline. This may require you to snip off pieces of each character. Since they’re both made of paper, you can do this by positioning one over the other and then hitting a button to clip the part off that’s overlapped. Luckily the game is smart enough to exactly show what parts will be lopped off before making the cut. Of course if you make a mistake there’s a button you can hold in to reshape your character back to normal. Some of these shape puzzles can become quite complex and it can really challenge you to think outside the box.
That’s where a second player makes the game infinitely more fun and accessible. Although you can play through the puzzles with just one player, having to control both characters and try and manipulate all of the different aspects by changing between them can become tedious. The magic really begins when you have a second player (or more as the game does support up to four). Since everyone’s minds work in different and mysterious ways, it quickly becomes apparent that each player is going to have a different approach to solving the various puzzles. Some of them will revolve around the aforementioned forming of shapes, but many others will require intense cooperation in order to succeed.
During my first few play sessions with Snipperclips, there was a group of four of us tackling the puzzles. A few minutes in we were all throwing ideas out there for each to try. You’ll be rotating, jumping, and clipping each other to no end in order to attempt to solve the various stages. At times we even began yelling at one another or screaming when someone messed up – all in good fun of course. One level in particular called for us to drop a bowling ball from the top of the level to the bottom, but there were four platforms in the way, each with a hole cut out. The solution was to line up the hole under the bowling ball so it could fall down to the next platform. This soon proved pretty difficult since two of us were on one side of the screen and the other two on the other. It took a lot of squeezing and rotating and pushing and pulling from each side of the platforms to figure out how to get the ball to drop. It was fun to solve the puzzle together with a group of friends and this is definitely where the game excels.
Another mode for up to four players is the competitive party games. There are three different games here to play: air hockey, basketball, and fighting. In our play session it was two players against the other two. The games feature controls just like the main puzzle mode, which means you can (and should) snip other players. This can take them out of the game for a few seconds while they bring their character back to normal. I had the most fun with the air hockey game, which was the fastest moving of the bunch. Basketball was also a ton of fun, but the fighting game was a bit too limited for my tastes. Still, the inclusion of these simple, yet very enjoyable multiplayer games was unexpected and helped round out the experience.
Snipperclips is one of those games that you really need to play for yourself to fully understand the appeal. The amount of variety and insanity throughout the game helps keep each puzzle fresh and entertaining. This game would be a great candidate for additional level packs via downloadable content, especially for the four-player puzzles. If you’re not sure if this game would appeal to you, be sure to download the free demo on the Switch eShop and give it a whirl. If you’ve got at least one person to play the game with you, it can be a riot!
Snipperclips - Cut It Out, Together! Review
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Snipperclips is a wholly original game that showcases the Nintendo Switch’s ability to play a 2 player co-op game anywhere at anytime. It’s a fun experience played solo, but it turns into a great play session when you have some people join in. Players of all ages can appreciate this engaging and charming title.