Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together!
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.