Snood 2: On Vacation
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2006-03-06 GBA Puzzle E (Everyone) DSI Games / Rebellion

Snood was one of the top downloaded shareware puzzle games. Available in PC and Mac versions (later on the GBA as well), the little snoods inspired a few other variations such as Snoodoku, Snood Solitaire and Snood Towers. Now invading handhelds everywhere (on GBA and DS), the snoods are back in Snood 2: On Vacation.

The gameplay in Snood 2 is basically what you know from Bust-a-Move. You shoot the snoods from your cannon into the puzzle area to create combos of three or more of the same kind. The goal is to clear the board before the "roof" pushes the snoods below the "cannon line" at the bottom.

However, there is one major difference between Snood 2 and Bust-a-Move. In Bust-a-Move if one of your bubbles falls below the no-crossing line you only lose the bubble. In Snood 2, if a snood goes below that line, you lose the game. This makes the gameplay extremely challenging (especially in certain game modes) but also quite frustrating, since you have to watch where you bounce from and to.

Snood 2 offers quite a few game modes (in five difficulty levels), all with the same basic gameplay, but each with a different twist.

Classic Snood gives you a random puzzle to clear, but unfortunately it's just one and not a series of levels. Snood Grab is a bit like Classic Snood, but instead of firing snoods, you pick up the existing ones with a grappling hook and fire them back into another spot. The hook can bounce off the walls.

Puzzle Snood offers crafty arrangements of snoods that require a little thinking to clear, and it's composed of 32 levels of increasing difficulty.

Snood Sideways places the cannon at the bottom as usual, but the snoods advance from left to right and the no-crossing lines are the bottom and right side. In Snood Stack, the snoods also advance from left to right but the cannon is placed on the right side of the screen and the snoods actually stack on the bottom instead of falling.

Snood Ball is one of the most challenging game modes. You begin with a circular cluster of snoods in the center of the board. The snoods keep appearing from the center of the cluster, forcing the existent ones out, increasing the diameter of the ball. All four sides of the puzzle board are no-crossing lines, and the game ends if a snood reaches any of them.

Snood Journey is a five level challenge composed of random arrangements, progressing through five difficulty levels: Child, Easy, Normal, Hard and Evil.

Armageddon is another challenging game mode, where you have a Danger Level meter that constantly fills throughout the game. When the meter is full, instead of the "roof" coming down, you gain an extra row of snoods.

World Tour is composed of ten levels, each level with a theme fitting the part of the world you're visiting. Each of the levels has six categories that you have to play through, so don't expect this to be an easy task. With a total of 60 scenarios to complete, World Tour will last you for quite a while.

A multiplayer option is also available via game link cable, allowing two players to play in any of the available game modes.

Although I wasn't very fond of the snoods moving in their particular animations (although funny, it was a little confusing to match them at times) Snood 2: On Vacation offers funny graphics, enjoyable music (I quite liked the twist on the U.S.A. National Anthem for World Tour) and many gameplay possibilities. Think of it as a portable Bust-a-Move, not as attractive visually, but with a lot of puzzle mechanics twists.

Special thanks to Alison Kain and DSI Games for providing a copy of this title.