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13 Reasons Why Snake (Video Game) Is So Popular – Nokia Effect,…

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Since 1976 when the first snake video game came into the light, several variations and upgraded versions of the snake game have come and gone. However, the fact that the snake game is one of the most popular games to ever exist is as clear as day. 

The major reason why the snake game is so popular is traceable to the Nokia effect. The snake game on Nokia mobile devices was just as popular as the Nokia mobile phone. The company capitalized on this marketing strategy and kept releasing updates of the snake game; hence the game’s popularity steadily increased.

1. The Nokia Effect

After Nokia introduced and released, in 1998, the Nokia 6110 that featured the first mobile snake game, little did they know that this game would be one of the many reasons why customers would fall in lovewith their mobile devices. 

Nokia was known and sought after for its tough build and excellent battery life. So, when the snake game was introduced to the Nokia devices, it gained popularity. 

At that time, everyone wanted a piece of the Nokia technology; the snake mobile game was the icing on the cake.

2. Availability of Multiple Variants

Another major reason this game has stayed popular is traceable to the different variations that have and continue to pop up. 

From the serpent (1990) to the Meerca chase, slither.io (2016), and even other subsequent Google releases, it’s nearly impossible for a game with this much variation to lose its popularity among gamers.

Today, it is not surprising to find the snake video game on platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Google. By including the snake game on the website and app versions of their platforms, snake game lovers needn’t go far before enjoying a game of snakes. 

Also, this way, people who have not had any prior contact with the snake game get to experience the wonders that come with it.

3. Its Top 100 Games of All Time Rank

Next generation, the video game magazine ranked the snake video game number 41 on their Top 100 games of all times in 1998. This helped the snake game gain more traction. 

Folks who enjoy and rely on background data and stats before delving into a game only have to check the rank and know it is a game worth playing. 

This shows that Next Generation Magazine had a hand in encouraging people to play the game.

4. Availability on Home Computers and Mobile Phones

When the first variants of the snake video game were released, people had to go to the arcade before they could get their hands on the game, limiting the game in terms of accessibility. 

However, as time passed, unlike other arcade games which phased out with the arcade, a version of snake titled worm was created in 1978 for home desktops. This easy access gave the snake game wide acceptance since people could now play it without needing to get to the arcade. 

Similarly, adding the snake game to mobile phones and consoles was also a big win for the game’s popularity. 

In 1997, Taneli Armanto programmed the first version of the snake game on the Nokia cell phone. This first version of the mobile game would be adapted into different versions. Even to this day, it is still available on our smartphones and remains as popular as ever. 

The only thing better than having your favorite game on your home computer is having it on your mobile device.

5. Easy GamePlay

We believe that if the snake video game was a difficult one, many players would have gotten fed up or given up altogether. Luckily, the programmers put this into consideration. They also assisted players so that the game would be relatively easy for them.

To further ensure that gameplay was easy, when Taneli noticed how hard it was to avoid colliding, he introduced a little second delay so that players could turn without crashing. By reducing complexity and difficulty, the game remains acceptable to a wide populace. 

6. The Snake Game is the First Experience Some Had with Technology

Playing games from a box might have been thought to be impossible; however, thanks to invention and innovation, the world of possibilities was opened. 

Going to arcades became a favorite activity because everyone wanted to play the latest games. Gremlin industries caught on to this and introduced the snake video game during this period.

The snake game lives on and is still popular because it was one of the first games that got some people interested in gaming. For many, the nostalgic effect is more than enough. 

7. The Social Gathering Bonus

Many times, when people meet up, all they do is play video games. Since the snake video game is readily available, socially awkward situations could be easily avoided by challenging someone to a snake game duel. The ability of people to bond over simple games like Snake is unmatched.

8. The Absence of Age Restriction

Unlike several other video games, the snake video game is suitable for most age ranges. There is no age restriction to this game, so it is a good and safe option for even children to play.

All variations of the game have the same simple rule, avoid crashing and get the snake to become as long as you possibly can. This alone has greatly influenced the popularity of the game.

9. It was the First Video Game Released by Gremlin Industries

The Gremlin industry, although first known to be a manufacturer of coin-operated wall games, made a switch in 1976 to the video game industry. The first video game they released was a snake video game which used to be referred to as blockade.

This switch to the video game scene was Gremlin’s first, and as such, they made a splash with marketing and advertising. This meant more popularity for the snake video game.

10. Nokia Snake Game Creator Recognition

The programmer Armanto Taneli was not recognized until 2005. When he got his much-deserved appreciation, the snake game gained another popularity boost. His recognition made people talk about the game’s history, which created new interests for the Snake video game.

11. Multiplayer and Online Versions Helped to Boost the Game’s Popularity

These days, unlike when the first version of the snake game was released, you can now engage in multiplayer gameplay. However, unlike the N-Gage, Nokia 9290, and other older versions of Nokia that support multiplayer mode through bluetooth and infrared connectivity, online multiplayer modes are now available. 

This means you don’t have to be in the same room, state, or country with the other player. 

12. The Upgrades and Updates Available

When the first version of the snake game was released, it was not exactly flawless. It saw some programming errors, and the design was not the most captivating. 

Through the years, upgraded versions of the game have been released; these updates and upgrades addressed issues in the previous versions; hence the reason why the game has remained popular.

The ability of a game to grow as users and lovers of the game grow is one many gamers love. Nobody likes a game that is stuck in the past.

13. Absence of a Sole Owner

Unlike several other games that have a sole owner and are copyrighted, the snake game is different, and this has made it easily accessible to everyone. 

Anybody can create their version of the snake game, share it and make money from it without the need to worry about copyright infringement laws. The same cannot be said for several other games. This specific feature has also contributed to making the snake game popular.

Last Word

The popularity of the snake video game is not attributable to the new age variants. Since 1976, the snake video game has been one of the most widely accepted games. Although its popularity has dwindled, children and adults love the game then and still enjoy it today.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.