At first glance, Slither.io seemed like just another game of Snake on the internet. Two hours later, I was still playing, on a serious mission trying to have the longest snake out of everyone else playing at that time.
Sounds weird, right? Let me explain! Slither.io is a multiplayer game of Snake, with the No. 1 goal of being the longest player of the day. However, the catch is that everyone is competing against each other. If your head touches another player, you will explode and die (this sounds worse than it actually is). But, if another player runs into you, they will explode and you can eat their remains.
The game is available for iOS and Android devices, and can also be played in a web browser on a desktop or laptop. When you first start, you just enter a nickname (I chose “Dumbledore” to deter people from trying to mess with the greatest wizard of all time) and can change the color of your snake’s skin. There’s all different colors of the rainbow, some with flags of different countries, and more, so there’s something for everyone!
I chose to Slither on my iPhone, giving me the option of playing online or playing against A.I. The latter option is great for when kids don’t have access to data, so they won’t eat it all up, or perfect for parents who want peace of mind while their kids are gaming with multiplayer games. But, unlike other multiplayer games, kids will not be able to communicate with other players besides actually playing the game itself. The only information you have of other players’ are their nicknames.
To play, you must navigate your snake around a circular game board, with a map on the bottom right corner to show you where you are. To get bigger, you must consume glowing dots around the board. They either randomly appear throughout the game board, come up on another players’ trail when they use a boost, or present themselves in the form of the remains of players who have died. The amount that you eat is calculated on the bottom left side of the game, which also ranks you against everyone else playing. The top right shows a leaderboard, displaying the top 10 longest players and their scores. Eating remains of other players is hands-down the best method to gain the most points, and you can use your energy as a boost to go even faster.
A surprising amount of strategy is required to be successful in the game, and I’ve broken it down to three main strategies. One: Become long enough to circle around your opponents (pictured above). At some point, they will be trapped and they will be out of the game. Two: If you’re tiny, you still have a chance to make it big. If you’re skilled enough to make a bold move, you can speed up and make other players run into you and get their remains. Three, and most boring: Stay out of everyone’s way and eat the tiny glowing boost, getting bigger at the slowest pace.
However, getting too greedy might be your downfall. If you try to swerve in front of players (especially while using a boost), you may accidentally run into them. Or, if you’re trying to get to the glowing dots that are the remains after another player exploded, you could also accidentally run into another player. But, sometimes, you’re just at the right place at the right time.
Slither.io fans won’t have to wait long to get toys based on the game. Next month, blind bags, plush, collector vinyl figures, backpack clips, and more will hit store shelves from Bonkers Toys.