In a market bustling with clones, it’s heartwarming to see NimbleBit pay tribute to its inspiration. Nimble Quest’s tutorial features a cute rendering of a ‘90s style mobile phone handset running Snake, accompanied by a playful “Remember this game?”
It’s a bit more complicated than Snake, all told. Starting off as a singular auto-walking hero within a walled arena, you wander about automatically killing enemies, picking up the gems and power ups they drop when they die. Sometimes vanquished enemies will leave another hero behind, who will be added to the rear of your train. More heroes means more offensive power, so you’ll want to keep adding adorable RPG archetypes to your ever-expanding conga line. Take too much damage or crash into your own followers, however, and they’ll disappear.
Keep killing enemies and you’ll eventually be whisked to the next arena, where tougher monsters await. It’s precisely as compulsive as you’d expect a game based on Snake and dipped in a NimbleBit candy coating to be. The studio has traded the art style of Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes for more generic cartoon fantasy but there’s a bubble wrap-popping satisfaction to hacking and spellcasting through the hordes.
Sadly, Nimble Quest lacks the purity of its inspiration. You must both steer towards and avoid enemies, for instance, which means everything can be scuppered by a knight’s unexpected turn. Meanwhile, a microtransaction-geared upgrade economy will see the progress of those who refuse to pay slow to a crawl. Nimble Quest is cute and compelling, but it’s also a cynical complication of a classic design.