Review by Shady
"Not the baby's toy..."
Rattler Race can best be summed up as a puzzle game that is almost identical to the 'snake' game that comes with early versions of QBasic. Rattler Race (much like the QBasic game) involves a simple premise - you play as a hungry yellow snake that has to eat all of the apples in his room before time runs out. Sounds easy, but there are two extra elements that are there to make things more difficult. Those two elements are computer snakes that try to eat your apples and kill you if you run into them, and red balls that will kill you when touched. Of course, there's also the level designs that can be used against you or to help you in the form of boundaries and walls. Doesn't sound so easy now, does it?
In order to escape each level, you must avoid touching anything but the apples, eat all the apples, and then escape through a tiny little hole at the top of each room. Apples are your only friend although when you eat them, the yellow snake grows longer in length. If the snake becomes to be too large, then you might find yourself often trying to avoid hitting your own body since that will also result in instant death. Avoiding death is more of a challenge than eating all the apples, thanks to all of the ways you can be killed.
Rattler Race features 30+ levels of fascinating apple-eating snakes trying to make it out of a room. With new walls being added to each level, things can get quite frantic and difficult. It doesn't help that you only start with three lives. Dying is commonplace, so you will being losing lives (or 'second chances' ) constantly. The combination of limited lives, frequent deaths, and sheer frustration makes Rattler Race much more difficult than your average puzzle game.
Visually, the game doesn't have a whole lot to offer. The playing screen is incredibly tiny and since there's no option to maximize the window, you might have to squint to see what's going on in the apple-eating world. Despite being so small, the snakes and balls (must....resist....obvious....joke) look crisp and colorful. The game's background is pure black, while the walls inside the rooms are blue. Nothing abnormal for a puzzle game of this nature.
As for the sound, there is none (aside from your Windows sound settings).
Overall, Rattler Race manages to be a pretty decent game. The only thing holding the game back from puzzler greatness (like Jezzball and Chip's Challenge) is its high difficulty level. Deaths occur often and unless you play the game non-stop for a few days, you probably won't get more than halfway through the game's 30+ levels. Still, even with that flaw, I recommend downloading Rattler Race if you ever get the chance. It's worth it, especially considering its size (about 69 KB).
Best Feature: Easy to understand.
Worst Feature: High level of difficulty.
Graphics 4/10 - tiny
Sound .../10 - none
Gameplay 7/10 - good time killer, high difficulty level
Control 7/10 - here a click, there a click, everywhere a click click
Replay Value 6/10 - forgettable, but still worth playing every now and then
Challenge 8/10 - gets veryyyyy difficult at times
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/27/02, Updated 01/27/02
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