Perhaps the only situation where getting snipped is actually fun.
One of the Nintendo Switch’s best games at launch might be one of its least expected. Snipperclips is a cute, intriguing, and unique game which requires players to cooperate with precision and frequent communication in order to solve a variety of puzzles. It’s designed for bite-sized romps through a series of a few dozen levels (each generally requiring five to fifteen minutes to complete), but it’s a lot of fun while it lasts.
The gimmick is fairly simple: both players control oddly-shaped paper figures which can squat, tiptoe, and jump around the arenas. But where things get interesting is when the two collaborate: by overlapping a part of one character with another, the instigator can “snip” out a part of the other player’s form by simply pressing the A button. It’s a humorous yet creative twist.
You see, the puzzles often require (or at least heavily reward) strategies which involve players taking on a particular shape to help complete the puzzle. That’s because a lot of what you’ll be doing includes guiding objects to a specified destination (such as a basketball through a hoop) or snipping/filling outlined areas with your body.
Mistakes are no big deal, because at the press of a button, players can make themselves whole again or the entire puzzle can even be reset. The game encourages experimentation and the exploration of silly ideas by design, so collaboratively it can be a lot of fun to work through the challenges with a friend. Since everyone’s still got Zelda on the mind, it probably wouldn’t hurt to extend a comparison here: like Zelda, the puzzles in Snipperclips are generally solvable in multiple ways, so that makes forming a strategy and attempting to implement it alongside a companion all the more enjoyable.
The game isn’t very forgiving about how well the players handle these situations, however. On one hand, this works in the game’s favor, as the frustration can be both irritating and hilarious at the same time (in that Surgeon Simulator sort of way). But it is pretty particular about such details as precisely how much of the outline you’re filling up, and that can be a little bit irritating. It’s probably not a game that most people will spend hours upon hours playing, but it’s fun in shorter spurts.
The earlier levels are pretty basic, but later into the campaign the demands increase appreciably. For instance, you’ll have to rotate and position a two-sided key to insert it into matching keyholes, or one player will need to pull a lever to guide a miniature character to the goal while the other player cuts out obstructing material. It never gets too terribly more complicated than this, but it’s hard enough to actually implement the solutions—that’s 75 percent of the battle.
Although it’s fun for a while, the campaign really is pretty short. In addition to the primary two-player adventure, there are an assortment of four-player challenges (get ready to really yell at each other—adult beverages suggested as a supplement), as well as some competitive multiplayer. The latter really isn’t anything special, with most of us preferring the basic dueling gameplay (chase each other around, snipping away where possible) over the other two options (basketball and hockey). Honestly, the main appeal of Snipperclips is in its cooperative puzzle gameplay anyway, so that’s where most players are likely to spend their time.
Presentation is basic yet perfectly adequate. Visually, the game is clean, attractive, and unmistakably cute. The rhythmic and catchy music is a real high point, somewhat resembling a cross between Animal Crossing and Pokémon, almost in some cases to the point where it’s uncanny.
For $20, Snipperclips is a pretty easy investment to recommend. Most players are likely to extract at least a handful of really entertaining hours out of it—that is, if they can ever muster the willpower to peel themselves away from Zelda.