New Obsession:


New Obsession is our weekly column on whatever game or app has us hooked, with a focus on what gives it such an addicting quality.

Slither has pretty well captivated everyone at some point now, right? The take on competitive Snake, where players gobble up orbs of light, growing their snake, while causing the untimely deaths of competitors isn’t our New Obsession, but it has clearly inspired it. is everything Slither is not — and that’s not a dig at either game.

In Slither, death comes from making contact with the edge of the massive map or touching another snake. In Narwhale, death comes from another narwhale torpedoing at you full speed and SEVERING YOUR BODY WITH ITS HORN.

Slither is polished and stylish. Narwhale is plain.

Slither rewards slow, methodical play to grow your snake. Narwhale demands you slam full speed ahead into other narwhales.

Contact with another snake is a sure death in Slither. In Narwhale, horn-on-horn action sends the adorable creatures bouncing across the entire map, fate to be determined.

Don't let the simple graphics fool you -- this game is addictive!
Don’t let the simple graphics fool you — this game is addictive!

Little snakes can make big plays in Slither but suffer from a severe disadvantage. Each and every Narwhale is a threat immediately in the much tinier arena, though leveling up does come with its perks.

In both, you can unlock a set of custom skins for using social media to promote the game (does this count?).

Both games serve as fantastic browser-based multiplayer games with few prerequisite skills. It’s easy to jump in and jump out of a game. There’s no loading, no wait time, no tutorial. You want to play? You’re in! Have no clue what you’re doing? Great! Half the other players don’t either.

Don’t get me wrong: Both Slither and Narwhale reward strategy, and organically teach, via other players, advanced play. But in Narwhale, it’s far less dependent on skill and mastery and more on chaos, in much the same way Mario Kart rewards whatever the heck it wants to while Forza demands fine tuning.

Go dive into the water and see what you make of it. In servers filled with Harambes and Donald Trump themed names, know that you don’t swim alone. That is, until an orange narwhale named Ev comes barreling at you, splitting you in two in the process.

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