On the show floor at NYC’s hands-on Nintendo Switch event—and easy to bypass amongst the bustle of activity surrounding titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild—stood Snipperclips.
The night before, I caught a glimpse of an odd yellow shape with eyes during Nintendo’s highlight reel of upcoming games for the Switch. In the seconds the game flashed by, I was intrigued but soon forgot about it amidst the whirlwind talk surrounding other titles. When I found the demo station while attending the Switch event on Friday, I happily recalled what I had forgotten not even 24 hours before—and that was nothing. I knew nothing of it other than the game featured appealing, cartoonish shapes.
Incidentally, it took me a couple of days to even remember the game’s name but that’s not on account of it being a terrible experience. I was pleasantly surprised that it was showcased for hands-on impressions. Even more surprised that after previewing it, I found that of all the flashy demos at the NYC event, for me, Snipperclips stood out as the best. Yep, it had even more of an impact than Breath of the Wild, the much-talked about Arms, Splatoon 2, and the weirdness of 1 2 Switch, among others.
While all those aforementioned games offered their own memories, and unique gameplay experiences—and surely, I’ll spend more time with at least one of those in the future—none of them impressed upon me as much sheer joy and fun as Snipperclips managed. Nintendo’s quirky new puzzle game with its emotive, colorful characters and use of scientific paper for its backgrounds, charmed like no other.
Offering co-operative play, Snipperclips follows two pieces of “U” shaped paper (but think solid filled-in masses into the crater of the U) that also act as savage cutting machines. It’s an interesting, strange but simple concept now that I’m thinking about it much harder than I should.
Each level presents players with a problem. In one level, for example, an outline of a heart was on the center of a page background. Snipperclips then tasks you and your characters with filling the heart using the curious characters’ bodies to do so—by having fellow players cut each other up into pieces which match and fit into the target shape. When I played, fellow TAY’er Nach assisted. Filling the shape was easy enough but required some devious cutting of extra paper bits off the characters and using the Switch’s joy-cons’ shoulder buttons to rotate our newly made shapes to fill the mold.
Not every stage presented problems like these. Other objectives included working together to carry a pencil to a sharpener. The levels we got to try involved rotating and cutting our shapes to carry out those missions. Sometimes we had to stand on top of one another to get things done. Other times we had to crouch down and rotate into specific, angled positions to cut shapes as required.
What I loved about Snipperclips were the expressions on the paper characters, and of course, the trouble that follows when you’ve a terrible friend trying to help you sort a puzzle solution.
Co-op play is the heart of Snipperclips and the greatest fun comes with yelling at each other to figure things out. Figuring things out doesn’t always mean a conventional solution and may result in a hilarious round of trial and error, skill, and luck. This was quite evident when Nach and I encountered our first real challenge: the elusive basketball stage.
Being the loons we are, we first dumped my character into the basketball net. The stage was built with a net on one side and to us, nothing else mattered. Until we realized that wasn’t actually the objective—duh! To the left of the screen was a button within a narrow space. It became evident we had to push said button but one of us would have to be clipped to make a small enough point to trigger it. Taking one for the team, Nach’s character snipped a chunk out of my own and with some prompting by our Nintendo representative, we formed a scoop for the basketball which falls out of the ceiling when the button is pressed.
After a few attempts of our trying to carry the ball from one end of the screen to toss it into the net and failing miserably, we decided to play basketball as the world intended.
My character with three-quarter of its head missing and its sharp point stood pressing the trigger which released the ball to Nach’s character. Nach, bringing his best Miami Heat inspired pro-basketball prowess, balanced and bounced the ball all the way to the net where he scored two points after a few attempts.
This wasn’t the method the Nintendo representative recommended as the easiest solution. For guaranteed success via a much easier method, players are supposed to create the scoop out of one character, carry the ball to the net and then dunk the ball through using the Snipperclips’ characters’ abilities of ducking, stretching and using one as a stepping stone. But as our representative noted earlier in the demo, many puzzles don’t offer just one solution. And I have to say, we much preferred our finesse and theatrics.
Coupled with various approaches to puzzles and the ridiculousness that can follow when friends can play together, Snipperclips astounded me for its adorable, colourful yet clean presentation and inventive, puzzling tactics. I’m completely sold and I can’t wait to cut my way—and my sister, player 2—through all the puzzles we can manage when it releases.
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