GDC 2013: Nimble Quest – Will Snake Into Your Heart

4.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Duration: 4/5

Engrossing arcade action | Revitalizing the past | Packed with style & charm | So much to enjoy

Just an endless set-up | Tokens required for checkpoints & friend connectivity

There’s nothing quite like the classic arcade with the bulky wooden cabinets, and continuously popping in quarters to keep playing. Arcade games have come a long way since then, and one stop along the way was the classic game of Snake, which was one of the only games for most cell phones before the iPhone came along. Today, there are all new arcade games, and Nimble Quest harkens back to the past to deliver a brand new arcade game. Nimble Quest is a reimagining of the classic Snake, and it comes from the makers of Tiny Tower, Pocket Planes, Pocket FrogsSky Burger, and more. It’s interesting that Nimblebit decided to launch during GDC week where they were in attendance, but it gives Nimble Quest extra context to stand out even more.

In Nimble Quest, the snake is transformed into a conga line of heroes, and the game board has been filled with similar moving enemies. The arcade action is amped up considerably as all parties move at high speeds in opposite directions, attacking one another as they pass by. You control your hero squad by simply swiping the direction you want them to move, and like Snake, you don’t want your chain to run into itself. You end up engrossed by the on-screen action caring about every move of your chain of heroes as you try to defeat all of the enemies in a particular environment. There’s quite a surprising amount of strategy as you try to move your chain to dodge attacks, while getting your own attacks from behind.

The game is set up in an endless nature just like classic arcade game with progressively more difficult levels. In this case there are multiple environments with the forest, graveyard, sewer, courtyard, castle, dungeon, and depths to battle through, and once you complete your first pass, it’s on to Forest II. The level set-up is seen in a game like Pac-Man, and it fits perfectly for the new age arcade game that you can just keep coming back to. There’s always an increased challenge awaiting you, and Nimblebit has done it again in making such an engaging game with a great replay factor.

As you would expect from Nimblebit, it’s a freemium game, and in this case there are gems and tokens you can earn or purchase. The gems are easily collectible, and are used to upgrade each one of your heroes, and there are 15 unlockable characters with three upgrade levels each. The tokens are used in a few different ways beginning with adding special abilities to your party in a particular game to increase damage, speed, or overall health. Tokens can also be used to skip ahead through checkpoints to restart a game at a specific stage, as well as replay the given stage as soon as you die. The tokens are a bit like quarters in an old arcade machine, though you do earn them at a good clip.

Finally, there’s Arena mode which offers guild connectivity like in Pocket Planes allowing you to team up to compete in global cumulative leaderboards in time based special challenges, Arena mode costs a token each time you play, but it’s also the place that you can earn the most tokens for topping the leaderboards. You can burn through tokens rather quickly, and it’s discouraging that using checkpoints, and connecting with others are limited by a relatively restrictive freemium currency. It would also be nice to see more than just an endless game, but it does apply well to the arcade theme, and freemium style. As an added bonus, the game uses Everplay to automatically record each round you play, and provide the option of sharing the video of your play through.

Nimble Quest nails the classic arcade experience, while providing fresh flair perfectly suited for iOS. It’s a lot more action packed than Nimblebit’s recent efforts, but it’s also their most engaging yet. It looks like Nimblebit has another hit on their hands with an all new style that still maintains the great personality, charm, retro stylized graphics, relatively friendly freemium structure, pick up and play style, on the go quick chunks gameplay, and fun above all else.

Nimble Quest (Free, Universal) is a must have app that’s such a worthwhile experience, and has all the makings to become your latest go to iOS game.

Also, you can join our guild #AppleNApps.


Our Everplay recording preview:


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