Charlie Brown and his friends in the Peanuts comic strip and cartoons deal with some depressing stuff, such as loneliness, a lack of adult presence and a failure to kick footballs. But the gang sure has some fun in Snoopy Coaster. The endless runner is molded after Mad Coaster, another favorite produced by Chillingo, but naturally, Snoopy Coaster adds that Peanuts flair by putting Snoopy in the driver’s seat of the runaway train, with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Peppermint Patty filling the rows behind him.
But is this adaptation enough to define its place among the many endless runners and coaster games? Find out after the jump.
The Scenery is the Charlie Brownest
Snoopy Coaster feels like an authentic extension of the Peanuts’ kids’ adventures — if one can get past the idea of these kids being stuck on an endless roller coaster that’s being driven by a beagle. Anyway, the characters look very much like they would in a comic strip or an animated holiday special.
As an added bonus, each is given a voice that sounds much the characters would in the cartoons. The one-liners spit out by Snoopy’s coaster pals sound as though Charles M. Schulz penned them.
Additionally, the background environments are inspired by various events within Peanuts’ mythology. For example, one stage of the endless coaster adventure takes place in a pumpkin patch that references moments from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. There are also scenes from Snoopy’s visions of being a famous World War I pilot who fights the Red Baron. And the winter-themed stage looks an awful lot like Charlie Brown’s Christmas special.
Even roller coaster upgrades and special items will look familiar, like one train looking like the Great Pumpkin (it moves fast, too, likely powered by the momentum of belief generated by Linus). There’s also a bonus stage, where players collect coins among trees that eat kites. When here, the kite is one’s means of staying afloat, so be sure to dodge the hungry oaks.
How to Score
While the Peanuts gang is roller coaster riding through a series of backgrounds, they’ll have a few tasks. The first is to collect as much stuff as possible. Within this stuff are animals, such as birds and butterflies, which Snoopy and his crew can simply drive into (don’t worry, no animals are hurt during the collection process) or can jump into the air and grab with a tap on the screen.
There are also other items, such as balloons, kites and paper planes that are floating through the sky. Players can capture them in the same fashion as the animals and add them to their bag of collected goodies. Doing so will add numbers to the growing list of things a player owns and will also add points to their tallies. Some power-ups are also scattered throughout stages that can be scooped up by driving the train into them or by utilizing two helpful tools, but more on that in just a bit.
Finally, there are coins aplenty throughout Snoopy Coaster. After loop-de-loops, before jumps and even on stacked tracks, coins both small and large will shine up any environment. Getting these will let players buy fun things later on, such as roller coaster upgrades and power-ups.
And don’t forget the objectives. Each round will present a series of things that should be completed, like making a certain number of perfect jumps, making Charlie Brown dizzy (use your finger to make the coaster circle a loop three times) or traveling 1,000 meters and so forth. Execute these tasks well, as players get graded at the end of each game of play.
A Little Help from Friends
While zooming through Snoopy Coaster, it may seem impossible to get to all of the coins, animals and identified flying objects that inhabit the screen. But Snoopy’s pals have that handled with the occasional use of special moves.
Peppermint Patty, who occupies the rear car of Snoopy’s roller coaster, will grab a vacuum cleaner, which pulls objects from every corner of the screen into the player’s bag of items. The effect is temporary, but can be very rewarding, especially toward the end of a stage, where hundreds of coins linger.
Then there is Linus’ security blanket grab. When Chuck’s buddy starts swinging it through the air, it has a similar power as the suction of the vacuum cleaner. Items found near it, whether the coaster is jumping or simply driving down the track, will get scooped up and added to the bank.
Some other helpful tools include a booster, which rockets Snoopy’s roller coaster across the screen for a select period of time. It will sort of make the train fly through scenery, so it’s possible to fly high above and low below the tracks. But pay attention to how much longer the booster is powered. If energy runs out and there’s no track below the roller coaster, it will fall the to the ground and that will result in one life lost.
Of course, more lives can be earned with the acquisition of wrenches, which are found throughout each stage of the game and can be bought in the store’s shop. Also be on the lookout for ramps, which will launch roller coasters through the air temporarily and at high speeds.
More goodies, special items and in-app purchases can add trading cards, access to comic strips to the player’s collection of Peanuts paraphernalia.
Fun On the Run?
There’s no denying that Snoopy Coaster is great entertainment. Seeing these characters run the courses will bring back memories of childhood (or, at least, the last holiday when one of the specials aired) and since they’re all-around engaging personalities, it’s hard to not be in love.
It’s not the most unique game or concept and at times feels as though it’s simply Mad Coaster with Snoopy and his pals subbed in. The one-liners may get repetitive, and so will the background scenes. Those may affect how long players are interested in the game, but the characters’ history and devoted fan base will likely keep in demand for quite some time.