I don’t particularly remember where I heard about slither.io, though I imagine it was someone on Twitter. The game seems to be popping up a lot lately, and far be it from me not to try something popular. Going into it blind was something of an experience. I hadn’t known what to expect, and as I put in my name and loaded the game, I was even more confused.
It was clear fairly quickly that the general idea was to get bigger. I was a tiny snake in a grey pond of very large snakes. Reminded of the first level of Spore, I wondered if my objective was to go after things smaller than me. After collecting stray glowing orbs for a little while, I spotted someone who likely first came into the game. I rammed head-first into them a moment later.
My snake disintegrated in an instant. Hm, I’d thought at the time. Not like Spore.
Well, maybe a little like Spore. The idea of growing off the backs of others is, technically, the basis of the game. That little snake that killed me quickly gobbled up the orbs I left behind as I went to the score screen, growing larger. The difference, however, is the game equalizes things. Whether you’re at 400 or 40,000, you can make another player lose. They simply need to run into your body, and while it’s much easier to do that while larger, if you’re quick witted, you can end someone’s game from the first few moments of game play.
If you want to, that is.
As I loaded up again with this new information in mind, I immediately took on a defensive, scavenger style. There are plenty of orbs to go around, and I have no problem leisurely collecting things others hadn’t. Sometimes I spotted someone explode and I take a bit of what’s left over if it’s safe. Often, the larger players don’t even realize their ever expanding bodies caused deaths. I don’t actively seek out conflict, but conflict inevitably would come to me, especially as I got larger.
It’s easy to spot the ones gunning to overtake you, for the most part. They glide alongside you, waiting for their opening to cut you off. Sometimes I simply go another way – especially as I got too big to follow. Other times, I moved just in time to watch their attempt lead to their own explosion instead. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed seeing that happen. Sometimes death is your only reward for hubris.
Still, things got harder as I got larger. It at least feels like you’re slower as you up your girth and it’s certainly harder to squeeze through tighter spots. More people consider you a potential target – especially since you’re so hard to miss in the first place! I know soon enough that any moment I could die by one simple slip-up. Still, I kept on going, watching others die around me. Most of the time, greed seemed to be the major mistake. They’re too busy gobbling up their fellow player’s remains to realize they’re leaving themselves open for attack. I purposely tried not to spend too long around the larger deaths – they bring a lot of people over very quickly. It’s not rare to see three deaths in one area happening in quick succession.
Of course the game eventually came to an end. At my best so far, I actually ended up in the number 2 slot with something close to 30,000 points. Getting onto the leaderboards, it seemed, also made me a target. That was the first game I legitimately felt a little paranoid the moment I saw someone wandering near me, and it clouded my head. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long after for me to make a mistake that ended that run. Staying calm, cautious, and alert was the answer to how to keep yourself from dying early.
It’s such a simple game, it’s funny to me how often I’ve come back to it since learning about it. I have said before I am constantly on the lookout for chill games, things that don’t take a lot of effort for me to play but are engaging enough to keep my mind and hands occupied when I need something like that. It’s strange to find a game like this a stress reliever, but it really does fit the bill rather nicely. And at the whopping price of free, there’s no reason not to at least try it.
You can play the browser version of the game here, with that being said. There is also a mobile version, though I vastly prefer the browser one if I’m being honest. I always feel like my finger is blocking my view which leads to my death on mobile. I’ll leave this on a fun tip – if you want skins, make sure you share your score at least once. It unlocks all of them!