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Snood

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Snood is a puzzle video game created in 1996 by David M. Dobson.[1] Today, versions exist for a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Palm OS, and other systems, including the TI-83 and TI-84 calculators.

This connect-the-critters game is a direct copy of Puzzle Bobble. Similar to other puzzle games, the rules of Snood are simple, and the only computer skill needed is the ability to use a mouse. Connect three or more identical Snoods to make them disappear from the board. If you clear the board, you win. If the Snoods reach the bottom of the screen, you lose. Play is not time-limited in most game modes.[2]  

Game information

The pieces in the game are called Snoods. There are seven regular Snoods and four Special Snoods. The regular Snoods are: Jake (Blue), Midoribe (Green), Mildred (Grey), Spike (Purple), Zod (Red), Geji (Light blue), and Sunny (Orange).

Each turn, the player launches a Snood of randomly-selected color into the play field. If the Snood lands adjacent to two or more Snoods of the same color, all connecting Snoods of that color vanish and any pieces left unattached beneath the vanished Snoods drop down. The player's score increases with the number of Snoods eliminated. With each Snood launched, a danger meter increases and when it reaches the top, all the Snoods in play lower a level. If the Snoods drop past the lowest level of the playing field, the game is over. Releasing Snoods reduces the "Danger Meter."

The first special Snood is called Numbskull. Numbskull is shaped like a human skull and is the one type of Snood that is never launched into play, which means it cannot be joined with other Snoods. If Numbskulls are found at the start of a level, they will have to be isolated and dropped by the player to remove them from the board. Second, if the player loses the game, all the Snoods will turn into Numbskulls, serving as a visual game over message.

The other three special Snoods may be launched, and appear at random (and infrequently). One is called Stone which is round and gray, and will always knock out the Snoods adjacent to where it lands. Another is called Wildcard which appears to cycle through all of the regular Snoods, and may be used in place of any of them. The last is called Rowbuilder, a diamond-shaped creature which will fill one row horizontally with like regular Snoods. In the registered game users may control how frequently these special Snoods appear.

The game is extremely simple, but many players also find it to be frustratingly hard at times. Unlike Bust a Move, there is no conventional time limit in Snood modes other than Time Attack; however, players must eliminate Snoods efficiently enough to prevent the gradually descending ceiling from crushing them. Many levels also require Snoods to be ricocheted off of walls in order to get them in the appropriate spot, which can be tricky. Snood requires considerable hand-eye coordination and strategy.

Levels and Play Modes

The different levels of Snood and the difficult progressions are:
Child - The easiest level, on which the player is allowed to use an aimer in the PC Version of the Game
Easy – Increases the fill rate of the Danger Meter by 2x over Child Mode. Fewer Magic Snoods, and additional rows of Snood on screen.
Medium – Increases the fill rate of the danger meter, introduces Sleeping Snoods, adds an additional row of Snoods.
Hard – Adds Numbskulls to the board; increases the fill rate of the danger meter 2x over Medium, adds another additional row of Snoods.
Evil - the hardest level of the lot, Numbskulls are rampant, and the danger meter fills up 2x faster than Hard, the Snoods almost touch the bottom of the screen on the first level.

Additional Versions

Snood was modified in version 3.0, to include an "Armageddon" level which adds the element of time to the puzzle. This newest level has added a higher level of difficulty to the game. Newer versions of Snood offer a 'Time Attack' mode, playable on different difficulty levels.

Version 4.0 for Windows and Macintosh, includes a tournament mode and worldwide daily scoring competition (the Game of the Day) hosted at SnoodWorld.com [4], in addition to other new features.

A sequel was released on the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance in late 2005. Other games that use the Snood characters include What's New, Snood Slide, and Snoodoku.

In 2009, startup game developer Monkey Gods, founded Naughty Dog co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin, licensed the rights to Snood and announced that they were releasing an all-new version of Snood for the iPhone and iPod Touch Platforms.[3] Naughty Dog is the developer and creator of numerous popular video games including Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter and Uncharted.

Awards and recognition

Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder (with Steve Jobs) of Apple, Inc. lists Snood as one of his favorite games.[4] Al Gore, Michael Crichton, Lorne Michaels and Nora Ephron are reported to be fans of the game.[5]

Jupiter Media Metrix did a study in 2001 to find the most played games and Snood placed ninth with 1.5 million unique users. This is most notable because most of the games on the list were those that came with various versions of Windows (such as the top ranked game, Solitaire, with 46.7 million users).[6]

Snood received 2004 Shareware Industry Award for Best Game Action/Arcade on July 17, 2004.[7]

Snood has been used regularly by the Ronald McDonald House staff at Stanford University as a tool to teach seriously ill children. Its also been used as palliative for ill patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and dialysis.[8]

Snood was voted “one of the top 10 things on the Web to make you happy”, in April 2009.[9]

Snood in popular culture

Template:In popular culture

  • On Saturday Night Live, Season 31, Episode 5: Steve Martin was the host and he goes to Lorne Michaels to demand a raise because he's hosted so many times. When he walks in on Lorne, Lorne is playing Snood.[10]
  • In Judd Apatow’s short-lived TV Series Undeclared, the characters are apparently fans of the game. Their dorm sports a Snood Poster, and on the Episode entitled “Truth or Dare” of Marshall Nesbitt (Timm Sharp), wears a Snood T-Shirt with the Jake, Sunny and Midoribe visible on it.[11][12] In the original script for the episode entitled “Addicts”, where Ron Garner (Seth Rogen) and Marshall get addicted to day-trading a stock called “Anatomical Industries”, Ron tries to camouflage his trading addiction by telling Marshall he’s “Just... playing a little Snood.”[13] In the final version, he says he’s “Just…surfing a little Internet porno.”
  • In Season 5 of The Sopranos in the episode entitled “In Camelot” a washed up writer named J.T. Dolan (played by Tim Daly) plays Snood while he’s hiding out from Christopher Motisanti (Michael Imperioli).[14]
  • In the Ben Affleck/James Gandolfini movie Surviving Christmas, Brian Valco (Josh Zuckerman) has a Snood Poster on the wall of his bedroom.
  • In author Kasey Michael’s mystery book Maggie Needs an Alibi, the protagonist Maggie Kelly plays Snood to relax, and compares aiming her gun to aiming the Snood Blaster. In the next novel, High Heels and Holidays, Maggie worries that she’s becoming a Snood addict. In Maggie by the Book, Maggie gets irritated when a new Snood player beats her high score even though she’s been playing every day straight for three years.[15]

See also

References

External links

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