If there’s one benefit to the Nintendo Switch launching with a rather sparse line-up of games, it’s that smaller releases are getting a real chance to make an impact. One such title is SFB Games’ Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!, a puzzle game from brothers Adam and Tom Vian. Thanks to being published by Nintendo, the downloadable Switch exclusive is getting plenty of attention (compared to the sort it might have received if it had just been released on Steam).
As the game’s subtitle suggests, Snipperclips is meant to be a cooperative experience. In each of the three modes, players control cute pieces of paper called Snip and Clip, and are tasked with completing different goals. These tasks range from having to pull a cactus out of the ground to making sure a basketball is able to reach a net.
While the goals in each level may vary wildly, the way the solution is achieved always stays the same. The main mechanic of the game has players rotating their bodies in order to overlap the other player, and then cutting away at their body. This allows them to turn their characters into any shape imaginable, although it will certainly take some getting used to the controls in order to create the shapes that are needed.
The game starts off very simple, as players just have to fill in different shapes with their bodies, but things quickly begin to ramp up. Soon, I was having to work with my friend in order to create a makeshift net so we could trap a firefly. In another, we’d have to create a shape that could operate a crank. What’s so special about Snipperclips is that the solution always comes from the mind of the players, as they’re simply left in a puzzle room with no instruction. There’s never any instruction, just a puzzle that two minds have to work together in order to solve.
Snipperclips is comprised of three modes in total: World, Party, and Blitz. World is the main offering, and offers 45 different puzzles that one or two players can take on. While these are solvable solo, I must recommend playing the game with a friend. When playing by yourself, the puzzles become a slow, laborious affair. Doing something as simple of slicing a side of a character turns into a multi-step process as the player has to position one character, switch to the other, perform the desired cut, and then switch back. That said, all the puzzles here are solvable solo, and I even managed to do the final one by myself after about 15 minutes of trial and error.
If there’s one disappointing part about Snipperclips, it’s that the game gets pretty hard rather quickly. While I enjoyed the challenge, the person I was playing the game with cooperatively found it to be too difficult after the first third of the puzzles had been completed. So, if you’re looking for something to play with a more casual player, be prepared to have to walk them through the steps of puzzles. Don’t let the game’s cute aesthetic fool you, as SFB Games have created a very difficult title.
Thankfully, the game’s Blitz mode is basically designed for more casual play. It’s composed of three mini-games that are based upon basketball, air hockey and fighting. These sports-themed games are fast and energetic, basically the opposite of the main game’s slow and methodical gameplay. All three are fun, but sadly there aren’t any options to tweak. That means each one is always a best out of five competition, which is too bad, as I’d like to have a longer air hockey competition. The lack of options also means that this fun diversion doesn’t have much replay value, but it’s still a strong extra in spite of its limitations.
Finally, the game’s Party mode has over a dozen puzzles designed for four players. While they’re meant to be played by four, as little as two players are required to access them. I can’t really recommend doing that though, as these puzzles are the most elaborate in the entire game, and I wasn’t able to complete many of these puzzles with only two people. Sadly, there’s no online multiplayer, so players will have to round up three of their friends if they really want to give these advanced challenges a go.
Puzzle games are only as strong as their design, and that’s where Snipperclips truly excels. Every puzzle features a different challenge for you to complete, and figuring out what has to be done is just as much fun as actually completing it. It’s a game that really shows how well the Joy-Con controllers work for multiplayer (as you just break the controller apart in order to be ready for multiplayer), and is a great addition to any Nintendo Switch library.
This review is based on the Nintendo Switch exclusive, which was provided by the publisher.
One of the early Nintendo Switch gems, Snipperclips shows that the hybrid gaming system has a bright future for indie titles.