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  • Snood!

  • Developed by David Dobson and released many times over since 1996,

  • with this Deluxe edition being distributed by Tri Synergy in 2008.

  • Snood is one of those titles that was oddly unavoidable for a certain time, especially

  • around the turn of the millennium.

  • And the box certainly goes out of its way to let you know how popular it was, boasting

  • about havingover 50 million players.”

  • Note that it doesn’t say 50 million *sold* since it’s making this claim based on the

  • estimated number of downloads up to that point.

  • That’s because Snood began its life as a freely-distributed Macintosh

  • shareware game back in 1996.

  • The man behind it, Mr. David Dobson, programmed computer games as a hobby throughout the 80s

  • and 90s, with the first one he released beingBombs Away!”

  • This was a VGA Minesweeper clone for MS-DOS that was available completely for free on

  • Usenet, although he asked $10 for access to the complete source code.

  • His next game, Centaurian for the Macintosh, was a shareware release meant as a tribute

  • to the Midway arcade game Bosconian.

  • And it became his first success in the realm of selling software, earning positive reviews

  • from various Macintosh shareware reviewers in 1996.

  • Well, it was a success by obscure 90s shareware game standards,

  • selling between 3 and 5 copies a week.

  • Still, it made money, and it was encouragement for his next game, which would become Snood.

  • Dobson programmed the first version of Snood for the Mac while he was a grad student at

  • the University of Michigan.

  • It all started when he was teaching himself a new programming language and decided to

  • take the opportunity to make a game as a gift for his wife, Christina.

  • She was a fan of puzzle games so he used aspects of various ones he’d seen in the arcades,

  • most notably Taito’s Puzzle Bubble from 1994, known as Bust-a-Move in North America.

  • Just like in Puzzle Bobble, the gameplay here revolves around shooting things from a cannon

  • at the bottom of the screen and connecting three or more to make them disappear.

  • Except that instead of bubbles, Snood has snoods: seven little pixelated monstrosities

  • that smile and grimace and stick out their tongue as you play.

  • The order of snoods you can shoot out is randomized, as is the layout of the play area for each

  • game, so there’s always a fresh challenge to be had.

  • There’s also no strict timer involved in Snood’s normal gameplay mode, so youre

  • free to take as long as you want with each shot.

  • But youre still pressured to make decent moves because the ceiling will start moving

  • downwards after the meter on the right side of the screen fills up with each move.

  • Snood is also a little more forgiving with the collisions than Puzzle Bobble, in the

  • sense that each ball isn’t asstickyand you can

  • actually shoot them through narrow passages.

  • And finally, bouncing them off walls is a key part of the experience.

  • Not just for show, but sometimes it’s the only way to make a certain connection happen

  • to clear a group of snoods before the ceiling crushes you

  • or they go beyond the bottom of the screen.

  • And man does this aesthetic screammid-90s Macintosh shareware!”

  • The bright primary colors, the MacDraw fill gradients, the odd patterns, the busy backgrounds,

  • the bizarre character designs.

  • It’s almost like Osamu Sato meets Kid Pix, I can’t help but appreciate it.

  • As for where the title of Snood came from, Dobson took the name from a friends' fantasy

  • football team calledThe Snood Trunions.”

  • It wasn’t until later that he learned a snood is also a type of hair accessory, as

  • well as an erectile appendage attached to the beak of male turkeys.

  • Still, the name was absurd enough to work, so he released it as shareware on the Michigan

  • University servers along with a message saying

  • if anyone wanted more features they could register for $10.

  • Suffice to say, people wanted more.

  • At first it was a local viral hit, spreading through word of mouth among the students and

  • faculty since it was already on the school computers.

  • But it didn’t take long before it started reaching the rest of the country.

  • The registration envelopes started showing up, each with $10.

  • First one or two a day, then ten, then thirty a day!

  • And on and on it went, each envelope filled with $10 bills or checks or even foreign currency,

  • often with a letter from the purchaser saying how addicted they were to it.

  • Snood, LLC was then founded to manage the game’s sales, by 2001 there were 1.5 million

  • unique users playing at any given moment making it one of the top 10 most-played games of

  • the year, and by 2002 Snood had been installed over 5 million times.

  • Forget life, play Snoodwasn’t simply a marketing blurb chosen at random, that’s

  • just what folks were doing.

  • It seemed like everyone was playing it, from kids, to parents, to office workers, to people

  • like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and writer Nora Ephron admitting to Snood obsession.

  • Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton said that his addiction to SNood was so intense

  • that it was likely responsible for him not finishing a novel.

  • Heck, even The Sopranos couldn’t resist the call of Snood back then!

  • Of course, the success didn’t end with the 1.0 Macintosh version, not by a long shot.

  • Snood went onto be ported and patched and remade many times over, with frequent updates

  • over the course of the next two decades.

  • After reaching 2.0 on the Mac, next up was the MS-DOS release from 1999, a rather unusually

  • late year to put out a new shareware DOS game.

  • Nonetheless, here it is, in all its command line-accessible glory.

  • It plays a little faster than the Macintosh version, but other than that it’s still

  • the same basic Snood.

  • But it did feature the 2.0 gameplay additions, including Journey and Puzzle modes.

  • Journey mode is like the normal single player mode, but instead of ending after one board

  • and earning you a high score, you continue onwards to play until you lose.

  • Each time you clear a board it increases the difficulty to the next highest setting, starting

  • at Child and moving you on up through Easy, Medium, Hard, and Evil.

  • And Puzzle mode presents you with a selection of pre-made puzzles to solve, bringing it

  • even more in-line with what games like Puzzle Bobble offered.

  • I quite enjoy these puzzles, even though the more randomized gameplay mode has more lasting

  • appeal.

  • It’s highly engaging to test the mastery of your Snooding skills, with satisfying strategic

  • wall-bouncing and making precise shots to squeeze things into place.

  • Especially since these often make use of Numbskull snoods, which don’t show up to be launched

  • so you have to drop them in creative ways using the others.

  • Next up was Snood version 3.0, and this one for Windows XP is probably the one I’m that

  • most familiar with.

  • It’s not only a great version to play, with updated graphics and sounds, but personally

  • it’s the first one I played at all.

  • A friend of mine introduced me to it my sophomore year of high school, and I was instantly hooked,

  • wearing out the battery on his laptop in no time.

  • I went home and grabbed it through Real Network’s Real Arcade and spent entirely too much time

  • tossing snoods in single player, puzzle, and journey modes.

  • New to this version were rare Magic Snoods that would generate at random intervals alongside

  • the original seven.

  • The first is the stone snood, which will knock down others in the vicinity of where it lands.

  • Next is the wildcard snood, which as its name implies will take on the color you need depending

  • on what it touches.

  • And finally there’s the rowbuilder snood, and this one generates a row of snoods horizontally

  • from where it lands, occasionally to irksome results.

  • Furthermore, if you paid for the registered version you could download new own custom

  • puzzle packs and snood graphics sets, among other things.

  • Dude, you could even get Snood shirts, hats, and mugs!

  • I still want that mug.

  • While I never did register the 3.0 version, I was happy to buy Snood Deluxe showed up

  • at retail in 2008.

  • Not only did it have this nifty box with the cutout of Jake on the gatefold cover, but

  • it came with all the latest updates on CD-ROM and that all-important registration code to

  • unlock everything.

  • This gave you access to all of the full version stuff offered in the past, like the puzzle

  • and graphics packs, as well as updated artwork, a full soundtrack, and new modes of play:

  • Multiplayer and Armageddon.

  • Multiplayer goes a step beyond the hot-seat, back and forth Tournament competition mode

  • of older versions.

  • This time it’s cooperative, with one player controlling the cannon as usual, but the other

  • controlling a spider that navigates from snood to snood to swap them out for better matches.

  • Then there’s Armageddon, which piles on the difficulty by making the danger meter

  • fill up constantly while more rows of snoods fill in from the top.

  • And finally, Deluxe also added the ability to easily create your own snoods using a process

  • that reminds me of making Nintendo Miis, and also a place to easily make your own custom

  • puzzle sets using the built-in editor.

  • All welcome additions if you ask me, if only because in-game editors always hold a special

  • place in my heart.

  • And that’s about it for Snood, at least in this particular video!

  • There were of course, plenty more releases for Snood, including the Gameboy Advance version

  • developed by Rebellion, Snood 2: On Vacation for the DS, Snood HD for iOS and Android,

  • and metric crapload of updates and spinoffs like Snood Plus, Snoodoku, Snood Flight, Snood

  • Slide, Snood Poppers, Snood Swap, and who knows what else.

  • But as far as I’m concerned, I’m happy to stick to the mid 2000s versions of Snood

  • and call it a day.

  • It provides all the absurdly compulsive gameplay I need with just enough updates and extra

  • features to keep me interested.

  • And it’s worth noting that while Snood got a bad reputation for a couple years for bundling

  • adware like Gator eWallet, none of the downloads I found actually included this.

  • From what I’ve read that ill-advised partnership between Snood LLC and Claria Corporation only

  • lasted about a year, even though the damage was done and people accused Snood of distributing

  • Gator for much longer than that.

  • And of course, you can still grab free versions of or buy brand new copies from SnoodWorld.com,

  • so the concerningly addictive gameplay never has to end.

  • And one more fact that I find quite amusing:

  • Snood creator Dave Dobson is now a professor of geology

  • at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina,

  • where he moved with his wife in 1997. Which blows my mind a little because

  • I lived just 20 minutes away from there when I was first introduced to Snood back in the day.

  • But anyway I hope that you enjoyed this video and thank you very much for watching!

Snood!

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/06
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