Not even space slugs can stop the mail from being delivered.
Snail Mail is a 3-D on-rails adventure with plenty of loops, jump pads and hazards to avoid. You play as Turbo the Snail, a happy go lucky and loveable guy that delivers packages across an intergalactic super highway. Opposing him are hordes of diabolical slugs that seek to make his life difficult, and to make matters worse, there are plenty of holes in the tracks, asteroids, turrets and even salt. It's a cute and enjoyable app that, while not jaw dropping, justifies its budget friendly $1.99 price tag.
You play Snail Mail from a behind the back (more like behind the shell) perspective. Since Turbo always slides forward, you don't need to worry about hitting an accelerator. Instead, you tilt the iPhone left and right to make him move in the desired direction and tap the screen to shoot. There's an alternative control scheme that involves sliding your finger back and forth, but we much prefer physically maneuvering the device.
Throughout each of the 50 levels, your goal is to make it to the finish line and pick up as many packages as possible; to do this, simply run into them. This becomes increasingly difficult because of constantly changing terrain. One second, you'll blaze down a straightaway and the next, you'll soar through the air, zip through a loop or shred down a half-pipe. This also means you'll need to make split-second decisions. Screw up, and you'll restart from the beginning of the level.
For the most part, Snail Mail is fun to play. Its developers did a marvelous job with the tilt controls, so you'll have no trouble dodging slugs, piles of salt and other objects. Meanwhile, the game has various weapons to pick up including a laser that comes in handy for killing the aforementioned baddies and blasting asteroids. This experience is further enhanced by the outer-space themed visuals and Turbo's amusing one-liners. We didn't know a snail could have so much personality.
Our only complaint, however minor, involves the loops that curve left and right. It's too easy to lose sight of the curves and fall off the tracks. While not a big deal early on, it's quite demoralizing whenever we nearly beat a stage but fail because of the loop near the end. Eventually, we grew tired of replaying the same levels.
While far from mind blowing, Snail Mail is a charming video game with attractive visuals and an unlikely hero. With 50 levels, Time Trial, Challenge Mode and impressive controls, it's one of the best and most affordable apps you can buy.
What's Hot: Excellent tilt controls, loveable hero, 50 levels, space-themed graphics.
What's Not: No checkpoints, too easy to fall off tracks during loops.