Snakeball: Gamoola & Ravn Studio Talk

We manage to tell you all about Snakeball - a PSN game in which extra balls make your snake longer as you head for a goal - without a single bit of sexual innuendo.

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Another title to get its first proper showing at SCEE's recent event was the quirky Snakeball. It may be one of the lower-profile of the Sony's upcoming PSN titles, but it looks like this 'Nokia Snake'-inspired action game could well be a surprise hit.

Duncan Macintosh, designer and 3D artist from Snakeball creators Gamoola, and Tinka Town, creative director and producer and co-owner from friendly Norway-based development outfit Ravn Studio, which was hired to undertake development work for Snakeball on PS3, were both on hand to tell us all about their PSN title.

"We call it sports arcade as a genre," says Duncan. "You control a hoversnake all over this ambient disco floor, collecting these coloured balls that make you longer and longer."

Players can choose from a variety of Snakeball riders - and if you want something more personal, you can map your own face onto a rider with the new PlayStation Eye camera.

Duncan told us: "We're really happy with the game mechanics we've built into Snakeball and the rewarding feeling players will get - it's really a whole lot more than just the basic Snake that people have played on their mobile phones. What differs us is we have a 'goal' in the arena; you have to deposit the length of the snake you've built up in the goal, but it might be strategically smarter to get as long as possible first - say 20 balls - because it is a lot easier to die the longer you hold out."

A variety of game modes are on offer: feed the snake to make it grow as long as possible in one-player mode; take on the fiendish defences of each arena in Challenge Mode; or battle up to eight other Snakeballers from around the world in Online Mode.

"We wanted to make a simpler game, the sort of game we knew we would like to play, but really polished up for the PlayStation Network on PS3 - you don't need huge resources for a good concept."

The collaboration between Sony, Gamoola and Ravn Studio has been great, Tinka explained. "You can really be creative in a smaller team... we think Snakeball is a lot of fun."

Based on our time with the game it seems pretty obvious that Snakeball is really simple pick-up-and-play fun, and could have a dangerously addictive, highly competitive edge to it just like its mobile phone heritage. Snakeball will show up in the PlayStation Store this summer.

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