Hard Lines review

Hard Lines review

Perhaps the biggest problem for Hard Lines is its inspiration. Because Snake is rubbish. But Hard Lines puts that bare mechanic to good use, building a game around it that's anything but an idle distraction.

The big idea is simple: loads of lines, and loads of points. Depending on the mode, your line has to either pick a path through the intersecting mass towards points, kill those other lines and gobble up their 'bits', or simply keep scoring to stay alive.

It's a score-attack game, but one with an unusual pace: with such simple inputs, and all of the screen visible at all times, Hard Lines becomes an exercise in slow-motion car crashing. Games never end with a bullet from nowhere. They end when you loop yourself into ever-decreasing patrol routes, get stuck in a narrow corridor at the mercy of two escorts, or play chicken and swerve at the last second.

Hard Lines offers seven modes total, but unfortunately there's no multiplayer among them (an update is promised). What carries it over the finishing line is personality: the neon retro visuals are matched by a thumpingly good soundtrack, while the lines make regular on-screen comments – anything from 'I am your father' to 'One lump or two?' It gets far more laughs than it should, and special mention to its credits song: perhaps the finest ending on the App Store. Original, funny, and intense: for a game based on Snake, not bad at all.