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Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch) artwork

Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch) review

"Snipperclips lets you have fun cutting up with friends, but sometimes it's a little too strict about the rules."

When Nintendo finally decided to show off the Switch and some of the launch software, a few weeks ahead of the console's arrival on store shelves, one of the games presented was Snipperclips: Cut it out, together!. It's a puzzle title developed primarily by SFB Games, and its appearance in the showcase offered a tantalizing glimpse of the sort of unique fare consumers can expect to see grace the console during its life cycle.

Snipperclips features a simple setup: a couple of papercraft characters are dropped in a stage with a puzzle to solve. They get to work by snipping away chunks of each other until they are the appropriate shape to fill pattern outlines, or to press switches, or to direct liquids and other objects to goal areas. The characters are both shaped like skateboards, but they also have legs. Those limbs allow them to move about freely, and to hop or duck or stand on tiptoes. They also can rotate their bodies a full 360 degrees, when needed.

Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch) image

Puzzles start out fairly simple, to ease players into the process, but they quickly grow more complex. There actually aren't that many puzzles available, not in a world where some games might offer 100 or more challenges without batting an eye, but the stages provided do at least show some decent variety and they force you to think things through from a number of angles.

In one early stage, your goal is to drop a basketball through a hoop. However, you don't start with a ball available. The hoop is located on the right side of the screen, and there is a large pencil eraser on the left side, with an arrow pointing to it. Your body is too wide to press the eraser tip, which is located in a recessed cylinder, so you have to cut down one of the two clips so it becomes narrow enough to make contact. When this is accomplished, a ball drops from the top of the screen. Now, you have to herd it over to the right side of the screen. This is most easily managed if you cut a groove in one of the clips, so it can act as a carrying tray of sorts. Then it can jump on its friend to gain some elevation, and from there drop the ball through the hoop.

Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch) image

Does the above example make any sense? If it doesn't, don't worry; everything becomes clear once you're actually playing through the stage in question. Snipperclips doesn't make a person puzzle overly much over how to do things until the last batch of stages. A little bit of logic is all that's required, and then you just have to make the right cuts... which is where the game's cracks begin to appear.

Quite a few of the stages ask you to fill patterns, as mentioned before. As you progress through the stages, those patterns naturally become more complex. They look less and less like your native shapes, and it will often take a few snips to trim each character to size. Cuts have to be executed in the right order, or you'll have a harder time of it than necessary. Then you have to stand in just the right position to fill the outlines. If your cuts were even slightly off, that might well prevent you from clearing the stage until you start over.

Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch) image

If you're playing Snipperclips alone, you can adapt to this system fairly easily over time. It's sometimes exasperating, but you can quickly switch between the two clips at the press of a button and whichever one you're not controlling remains frozen perfectly in place. However, there are quite a few puzzles also presented with the aim of facilitating multiplayer action. That's a welcome possibility, and yet many of the challenges are excessively demanding for players who lack sufficient experience. When one of you has cleared most or all of the stages, he or she is likely to grow quickly frustrated with the noob, who will constantly make the wrong clips or miss an obvious solution, all the while promising that "I know what I'm doing!" The game would work a lot better for everyone if it were a little bit more generous. Once two players know the solution to a puzzle and make a determined effort to clear it, they shouldn't fail because one of them made a cut that was off by a fraction of a millimeter. The controls are so precise that anyone without a steady hand is almost certain to run into trouble at some point.

Fortunately, you can unlock several multiplayer events that are more accommodating. Up to four players can join in on the action at once. In one mode, you're basically playing air hockey. You move your characters up and down as a puck bounds about between goals. In another, there are ball hoops positioned on both sides of the stage, and your goal is to score three times on your opponent before they have time to do the same to you. There also is a dojo mode, where players rush at each other and snip like crazy, trying to take out their rivals and be the last clip standing.

Snipperclips: Cut it out, together! (Switch) image

Snipperclips is full of personality, no matter which mode you choose to explore. The visuals--particularly in the first themed world--look like someone spread crafting materials across the table and then they came to life. As the characters clip, duck, jump and so forth, they make goofy expressions that are funny to watch. Players will enjoy cutting each other to bits, just to see what happens, and the process never feels violent or malicious. The clips are having too much fun for that. Kids will likely love the look, and adults should find it all strangely relaxing... at least until things become overly frustrating.

If you're looking for a unique puzzle game, Snipperclips could be right up your alley. It sports attractive visuals and encourages creativity, both huge marks in its favor. However, some of the puzzles are more demanding than feels necessary or intuitive. That restrictive design can lead to some tense moments, especially when the game is played with friends who don't have similar levels of experience with the mechanics. The end result is generally enjoyable no matter which mode you're playing, but it falls short of what might have been possible with a little more tweaking.


honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (April 21, 2017)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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