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    The PS3 garden gets a slithering surprise in the shape of Snakeball, one of the most addictive games to be released this year. Tempted?

    No one can accuse Snakeball of being just another game. The concept alone is likely to raise a few eyebrows out of sheer curiosity even before you download it from PSN and catch sight of its attractively gaudy visuals. In essence, Snakeball has you controlling a tiny TV styled character (on to which you can map your face using PlayStation Eye) driving a vehicle called a hoversnake. Gliding across a dazzling disco floor, your aim is to swallow multicoloured balls and score points by placing them in a goal. Strange? Well, yes, a little. Utterly brilliant? No doubt about it...

    Sneaky Snakeball

    The genius of Snakeball is that it will lure you into a sense of false security with its beguiling and disarming oddness. On the surface of things, gliding around a constantly colour changing arena, collecting balls that trail behind you and depositing them into glowing holes in the ground may seem relatively straightforward - even with other snakeballers trying to achieve the same thing and put you out of commission by forcing you into their growing ball-created tails. But as you begin to play, Snakeball's vast nuances slowly begin to slither their way into your game. Your score can be multiplied substantially if you colour match the balls to their goals. The arenas become packed with obstacles, such as mines and barriers, which can lay waste to your hoversnake if you're careless enough to run into them head on. Weapons can be used to take care of these issues, and your rivals can also deal out laser death too, adding a combative element. Soon enough the game has you tackling a mixture of ball collecting, battling opponents, tactical colour matching chains, obstructions, bombs, making sure you don't run into your own growing tail and more. Before you know it, Snakeball becomes a veritable juggling act, with you at the centre of balls, rockets, explosions and hazards.

    Brilliant ball balancing

    However, rather than becoming unwieldy for all these aspects, there are a number of well designed facets that keep Snakeball manageable and compelling. A comprehensive tutorial mode eases you into the gameplay nicely, while the constantly smooth frame-rate - essential for a game that's in perpetual motion - and tight controls keep you engaged, regardless of whether it's using the trigger buttons for throttles and breaking respectively, or the SIXAXIS Wireless Controller's motion abilities to guide remote rockets into foes. There are a large number of modes for those wishing to hone their skills or indulge in the wide variation of game styles. The main mode, for up to eight players online (although as many as four can enjoy a split-screen, with the option of extra bots) is adaptable so you can choose how you want to play. There are also challenges that gradually throw a number of problems at you within a time limit, and the hypnotic Ball Frenzy which involves surviving as long as possible without bumping into the hoversnake's increasingly growing tail as you feed it.

    Snakeball in the grass

    Along with its nostalgic charm which extends across both its vibrant look and throwback sound effects, Snakeball's extremely addictive qualities come from its superbly measured balance of risk and reward, something that rests as the crux to its excellence. Do you create a long chain of balls for the chance of big bonuses, knowing that a mistake can prize rivals with your dropped booty? What about firing off collected balls into their goals - much easier than transporting them directly, but it also means opportunistic opponents can snatch them if you miss. Or do you concentrate on destroying other hoversnakes and survive off the bonuses instead of trying to mix collecting and destruction? It may be a tad surreal, but Snakeball's sneakily deceptive day-glo brightness only complements its ample charms and deep subtleties. Embrace it for all its enchanting eccentricities and you'll be welcoming an indispensable PS3 title into your home.

    Contributed by havoc of smeg (22317) on Feb 12, 2011.
    Hit the disco floor for the funkiest online sport ever created.

    Glide across the dazzling disco floor on your hoversnake, bag the coloured balls and rack up points before the clock runs down... welcome to Snakeball, the funkiest sport of all time!

    Your opponents will do anything to knock you off the top spot – but keeping an eye on their multicoloured tails and weapons can be difficult when you're hurtling around the arena!

    Tune up your balling skills in 1 Player Mode and Challenge Mode, then take on your friends in the split-screen 4 Player Mode, or the world's best Snakeballers in frantic online matches for up to 8 players!

    • Four modes and over 30 levels to master
    • Play as one of 16 Snakeball riders
    • Map your own face onto a rider using PAYSTATION Eye

    Contributed by havoc of smeg (22317) on Feb 12, 2011.