Mini HD an iPad app, by developer TonApps, is a solid Snake clone that trades an amorphous, long-tailed creature for a cute mouse with a cheese problem. The end result is an entertaining, if sometimes slow, experience that’s worth the price of entry.
Mini HD is for the most part, a clone of the classic Light Cycle-esque game Snake, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there’s a reason Snake has been around all these decades: The thrill of careening around a map, collecting bits of this, that and the other while avoiding your own obesity is thrilling. By pursuing the same style of play, Mini HD has set a deserving bar for the app. But does the rodent-based gameplay live up to everything a good Snake clone should be?
Well, for the most part yes. As I chugged my way through the first level, gathering cheese—which is added to your tail as you collect it, creating the self-imposed obstacle Snake is famous for—and avoiding mouse traps, I did enjoy myself. Thankfully, Mini HD’s presentation is spot on. The level design—and there are five levels for the player to unlock—looks crisp, and the sprites are excellent. Menus are spacious, and the game looks right at home on the iPad. I do wish the designers had thrown in some different traps or various cheeses, just to spice things up, but in the end, that’s a very small complaint.
I quickly noticed how odd the controls felt. The game uses an on-screen joystick to move your mouse avatar, which would be a nice touch, if it weren’t so sluggish. My mouse felt at times like a Panzer, which when you’re trying to avoid deathly mousetraps, can be problematic.
Furthermore, if I let off in the stick, the mouse would shoot off in a different direction—I liked to cut him loose to see which way he’d go, as it was never quite consistent—making cruise control a bit impractical. Theoretically, I should want to be in control of my mouse at all times. However, Mini HD can be a bit slow, and watching the head of my cheese-train crawl across the map was often tedious. Having the ability to lay off for a second, then, would have been welcome. However, this becomes less of a problem in later parts of the game, when more cheese and traps were involved.
Overall Value and Fun:
At a dollar in the AppStore, Mini HD will hardly break the bank. It offers solid Snake gameplay that can be slow at times (a speed setting would be greatly appreciated) and the controls were iffy, but with five levels of cheese-hunting fun, Mini HD offers a decent value for the price of entry.
Mini HD iPad app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app review rating: