Snip­per­clips: Cut It Out, To­gether!

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Hey, the cog might be wonky, but it’s ours. One of the many joys of Snip­per­clips is the strange sense of at­tach­ment – and pride, for that mat­ter – you’ll feel to­wards the messy shapes you make when you bring its two pro­tag­o­nists to­gether and use one to shear pieces from the other. That’s the hook for this unas­sum­ing co-op puz­zle game (pre­vi­ously known as Friend­shapes) from Bri­tish de­vel­oper SFB Games. There are no fur­ther em­bel­lish­ments to this cen­tral idea, but Snip­per­clips doesn’t need them: its di­verse ob­jec­tives are tes­ta­ment to its con­sid­er­able flex­i­bil­ity. It gives you as much room to blun­der your way to suc­cess as to care­fully or­ches­trate an ef­fi­cient so­lu­tion. If these geo­met­ric he­roes end up look­ing as if a tod­dler has been hack­ing away at them with safety scis­sors, it mat­ters lit­tle as long as they get the job done.

It’s de­signed pri­mar­ily for two play­ers, with each guid­ing an arch-shaped char­ac­ter on legs. The abil­ity to fully ro­tate their bod­ies, stretch their legs or flat­ten flush against the floor means you’re able to prune the other into pretty much any shape by tap­ping A where they over­lap. Af­ter a few stages, it looks like sim­ple wedges, hooks and scoops are all you’ll need to get through most of the game. But there’s much more to We’re rather fond of the charm­ingly sim­ple aes­thetic, which finds comic value in the shapes’ range of ex­pres­sions. The same can’t be said for the sound­track, whose jaunty themes are ei­ther forgettable or mildly an­noy­ing Snip­per­clips than ar­rang­ing the two char­ac­ters to fit within a dot­ted out­line, or fer­ry­ing ob­jects to a goal. You might be asked to change the back tyre on a rac­ing car by guid­ing it across an an­gu­lar rail, lift the bud of an awk­wardly rub­bery plant to catch some rays, or si­mul­ta­ne­ously hold down a se­ries of switches to ac­ti­vate a back­ground dis­play of the so­lar sys­tem.

You can play alone, swap­ping be­tween the char­ac­ters as you ma­noeu­vre them into po­si­tion, but you’ll rarely be able to fudge a so­lu­tion as you can in co-op. Lev­els that de­mand metic­u­lous care trans­form into slap­stick farce when an­other player is in­volved. You’ll reg­u­larly get into hi­lar­i­ous mud­dles, yelling in­struc­tions at one an­other, us­ing your part­ner as a ramp or a spring­board, or gid­dily jug­gling pre­cious cargo be­tween your­selves as you stum­ble to­ward its in­tended des­ti­na­tion.

A se­ries of party modes (see ‘Ge­om­e­try wars’) ex­plains the de­ci­sion to of­fer a bun­dle op­tion with an ex­tra set of Joy-Cons. But with­out them it’s a fine demon­stra­tion of Switch’s out-of-the-box mul­ti­player ca­pa­bil­i­ties – and a de­cent show­case for the fi­delity of its con­trollers’ rum­ble fea­ture, too. It may not look much like a first­party game, but as you col­lapse into help­less gig­gling for the umpteenth time – it was pretty wonky – you’ll un­der­stand why Nin­tendo has clasped this in­ven­tive, mal­leable and ram­bunc­tiously en­ter­tain­ing Bri­tish puz­zler to its bo­som.

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