Iron Snout is about as basic as they come. There’s no story present, there’s no depth, and overall, there’s very little to talk about. In essence, it’s a quick (and cheap costing) button-mashing fighter that doesn’t want to be anything but rapid-burst and fun. Whilst the former is especially true, I cant say that there’s much enjoyment to be had outside of the first half-hour of play. Still, for its generous price, that half-hour is a worthy trade, and with this being a Ratalaika game, you can expect to net easy achievements if that’s what you’re here for.
Booting up the game takes you to a clean and concise menu. Here, you’re able to select one of four game modes, alter your character’s appearance, change the map that you’ll play on, and tweak a few settings. Despite the fact that Iron Snout has elements of violence within it, you are indeed able to switch off the blood to cater for the younger audience. Outside of that, you can adjust a few volume settings and toggle the screen-shake on and off. You’ll also witness a large panel of information to the right of the screen, this serves as your overall statistics.
Here, you’ll see your accumulated stats; play time, total kills, deaths, strikes, and so on and so forth. When you’re done there, there’s little else to do but to dive on in. The game’s modes include the likes of classic, sudden death, 2P wolfieball, and pig vs 100. The modes are all self explanatory and don’t really need much introduction outside of their titling. Whilst the game’s 2P wolfieball is a nice touch, I much preferred the alternate modes on offer above all else. That being said, these do play quite similarly in the grand scheme of things.
In fact, the only major difference sits between classic mode and sudden death mode, being that in the former you’ll enjoy a full bar of health, whereas in the latter it’s one-hit death. Moving back. When playing for the first time, most of the game’s maps and character skins are locked. These are unlocked through natural play, most of which will be yours for just killing enemy wolves. There’s no major benefits to altering your character’s skin outside of appearance, but shifting up the map that you play on does indeed bring with it a few additional changes.
These changes tend to consist of the types of enemies that you’ll encounter, all of which are fashioned on the theme of each level. Whatever the case, the crux of play is simple enough to understand. Players take on the role of a piglet, and must contend with a constant barrage of enemies that appear from all sides of the screen. The kicker, however, is that your piglet is tethered to the center of the screen and cannot move from that one position. The only movements that you’re afforded is attacking, ducking, jumping, and a mixture of all three.
You’ll need to use these moves to overcome the few variations of enemies that gun for you from all angles, many of which sport their own individual movement and attack patterns. The key to success sits with learning their patterns, and avoiding danger whilst dishing out attacks of your own. For instance, some wolves may throw a weapon from afar before closing in for heaps of melee damage, whereas others may simply charge you straight off the bat. Each mode tends to start off quite simplistically, but then soon ramps up by throwing crowds of foes your way.
You can utilize your attacks through the use of the analogs and the face buttons, most of which consists of punching and kicking left to right whilst standing neutral, ducking, or jumping in the air. You can also pick up weaponry from dead wolves so long as you can reach it from your standpoint, which tends to come in handy for throwing and mob clearing. Most enemies usually have something that you can pull from their corpse, whether it’s a handbag, a large axe, or something like a pirate sword, you’ll always find something to toy around with.
The game comes to an end once your life has been depleted, which will vary depending on which mode you play through. When that happens, you’ll be sent straight back to the main menu and will be given the choice to dive back in. The game’s UI showcases your current progress per-run, which all gets tallied up and added to the aforementioned statistics panel. That is to say that if anything, Iron Snout is an experience that sees you chasing best scores and accumulated scores. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you’re unlikely to pull much from this.
There isn’t really a way that you can complete Iron Snout, it’s just one of those endless high-score games that dish up a quick bout of time wasting whilst you’re waiting for a bath to run, or, for something bigger and better to install. On that front, it succeeds, but that’s not to say that it’s going to keep you going for hours on end. I grew bored and tired of it all after just an hour, and despite the fact that there’s quite a few skins to unlock, I witnessed everything the game had to offer after just fifteen minutes. Once I hit that point, repetition began to sink in quickly.
If you’re looking for something silly and quick (or indeed, easy Gamerscore) Iron Snout will serve you as well as any game of a similar type. There’s just enough variation present to keep things initially interesting, but its lack of overall depth only drives you towards boredom-ville before long. It would have greatly benefited from some more map variation, or a mode that at least felt rewarding. Instead, you’re fully expected to do the same thing over and over, then rinse and repeat with very little deviation. Pay a cheap price, get a cheap game, I guess…
In regards to its visual and audio design, Iron Snout just about gets a pass. Throughout its few environments, and across its few variations of enemies, the game remains colorful and vibrant from beginning to end. That said, the game lacks detail and graphical refinement, making for a very visually bland affair overall. I can say the same about the game’s audio design, being that it does little to relay anything memorable or exciting. It’s fair to say that for both aspects of play, Iron Snout, at very best, merely offers a serviceable experience. Nothing more, nothing less.
The generously priced Iron Snout offers a silly endless high-score fighting experience that, despite its varied modes, is only fun for as long as you can stomach its repetitive loop. Whilst there’s some excitement to be found during the initial stages of play through the introduction of new enemies, new maps, and new cosmetics, you’ll have seen everything the game has to offer after just fifteen minutes. Past that, there’s little else to enjoy.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.