Snake Lite: Behind the Mysterious Rise to the Top Charts

Snake games have been popular since 1997 when Nokia introduced its famous Snake to its mobile devices.

Nearly two decades later, in 2016, this genre experienced a rebirth.

This was the year when two major snake games, Slither.io, and Snake.io, appeared on the market. These games could be played not only on mobile devices but also on web browsers.

In 2022, Snake Lite, another game from this genre, gained unexpected popularity and climbed the top charts.

The most interesting thing about this?

No one saw it coming.

Why did this game grow so suddenly? How does it rank on the top charts? What else should you know about it?

Let’s analyze Snake Lite and unravel the mystery.

Snake Lite Rankings

The main reason we’re analyzing this game is not its gameplay, mechanics, graphics, or something else.

It’s because of its impressive rankings.

Snake Lite Rankings
Hyper-casual rankings in November 2022. Source: AppMagic

According to AppMagic, since July 2022, this game has consistently ranked in the top 10 free hyper-casual games. For three months in a row, the game ranked 4th in downloads and is currently the 2nd most downloaded hyper-casual game (last check on November 28th, 2022).

For a hyper-casual game, staying in the top ten for five months is a big deal.

During this period, many titles and trends have come and left the top charts. For example, in July there was a trend of “fill the fridge” games, while October was a big month for the TikTok-inspired “save animals” theme.

However, none of them are still at the top in November, while Snake Lite has been there the entire time.

Snake Lite is not the only game from the snake genre that is doing well but is currently the most successful one. Other games like Snake.io and Worms Zone.io have been on the top charts for a long time, but haven’t reached the top five in a while.

Hyper-casual rankings in Q3 2022
Hyper-casual rankings in Q3 2022. Source: AppMagic

Thanks to its long-term popularity, Snake Lite became the 4th most downloaded hyper-casual game in Q3 2022 with over 33 million downloads in the quarter (AppMagic).

How Snake Lite Crawled to the Top

Snake Lite was published in December 2020 by Hippo Lab.

After it was released, the game didn’t make it to the top charts, which is an expected scenario for a clone game.

So what happened in the middle of 2022?

No one knows for sure, so we can only assume.

Arcade games have been on the rise recently, so this could be one of the factors contributing to the game’s success.

The other big question is — why are players choosing this game instead of all those .io classics?

One of the possible explanations is that games like Snake.io and Slither.io were developed as multi-platform games. They are designed to work on both the web and mobile devices, and they look nearly identical on both.

Snake Lite, on the other hand, was designed specifically for mobile devices.

To get even more answers about what contributed to this game’s popularity, let’s go over how it works.

Snake Lite Overview

Snake Lite Overview

Snake Lite works pretty much like all .io games.

In it, players must control a snake character in an arena while collecting food to help it grow. Simultaneously, they compete with other players who are doing the same thing.

Players need to be very careful — if they run head-first into another snake or the barrier of the arena, their snake dies. When this happens, it leaves behind everything it has eaten.

The more successful the player is, the bigger and stronger their character gets. At the same time, this makes them a more desirable target for the competition since the rewards for their elimination are enormous.

Okay, but what makes this game different from other similar games?

To bring you the answers to this question, along with this game, we also played and analyzed three other snake games — Snake.io, Slither.io, and WormsZone.io.

Mechanics

In this type of game, you never stop moving.

For this reason, it is crucial that it has quality controls.

snake lite mechanics

Snake Lite developers have done a good job at this — players can move their characters by dragging left and right anywhere on the screen. They can also speed up their movement with a tap and hold. Most importantly, everything runs smoothly.

Compared to the other three titles, the game’s controls are most similar to the ones in WormsZone.io. It’s hard to say which ones are better, but they are both more user-friendly than the remaining two games.

Graphics

Graphics

From a visual standpoint, Snake Lite looks like a contemporary arcade game. It has plain backgrounds that highlight the colorful 3D objects and characters.

Worms Zone.io screenshot
Worms Zone.io screenshot

However, it can’t be said that the graphics are innovative. It is pretty clear that they are inspired by Worms Zone.io.

Distinctive Features

Now that we brought up some similarities between this and the other snake games, let’s discuss their differences.

Our analysis has shown us that Snake Lite has three main distinguishing features:

  • Shrinking arena barriers
  • The number of playing modes
  • Team mode

The arenas in all snake games are surrounded by barriers. Some of them have arenas that are so large that they appear limitless (Slither.io), while others are more accessible.

Distinctive Features snake lite

In Snake Lite, the arenas are not only relatively small, but they also shrink over time, which players can track on their screens. At the end of each round, the arena becomes so small that only a few snakes can fit inside.

This mechanic makes the game additionally challenging and addictive.

Furthermore, other games in this genre have fewer playing modes.

For example, Snake.io and Slither io have only one, while Worms Zone.io has three. Snake Lite includes five different modes: infinity mode, time mode, speed mode, survival mode, and team mode.

Most of these modes were copied from other games.

However, the one mode that is exclusive to this game is the team mode. In it, the game pairs random players to compete against the other team.

Retention Features

Retention Features

On top of the above-mentioned elements, Snake Lite also includes a couple of retention features that don’t appear in competitor games:

  • Sign in (daily) rewards
  • Gift chest
  • Lucky wheel

There are also some retention features that appear in most snake games, such as:

  • Leaderboards
  • Skins
  • Challenges

As you may have noticed, the features that are exclusive to Snake Lite are typical mobile game features. They usually don’t appear on other platforms, and that may be the reason why similar multi-platform games don’t have them.

Snake Lite Monetization Features

While Snake Lite is big in downloads, it is not as big in revenue.

This is not surprising for a hyper-casual hit since these games mainly make money by showing ads. None of the other top ten downloaded games made it to the top of the revenue rankings either.

Sure, this game is not the world’s most profitable game.

However, it’s not one of those games with a lousy monetization system.

If that were the case, its app store rankings would make it crystal clear. Players have rated this game with 4.5 stars on Google Play, so let’s check out how it monetizes.

Three Types of Ads

In Snake Lite you’ll see three types of ads — interstitials, rewarded video ads, and banner ads.

Snake Lite Monetization Features: rewarded video ads

The first ad type players come across in this game are rewarded video ads. They appear in many different placements. For example, as a second chance, as a rewards multiplier, as a way to acquire new skins, etc.

The longer they play, the players will start seeing more and more interstitial ads. For instance, they appear when they are about to start a new game, after a game, or while exploring the game’s features.

But, before these ads appear, the game warns players about them with a sign “Ad is about to show”, This way, the game adapted to Google Play’s recent ad policy changes.

Finally, banner ads typically appear on the bottom of the screen while players are not actively playing.

IAPs and Subscriptions

Not a lot of players will open their wallets for a game like this one.

But, if you have even just a couple of players willing to spend in your game, why not give them options?

battle pass subscription

For loyal players who want extra rewards, the game offers a premium battle pass subscription. Meanwhile, for those who hate ads, it offers a weekly “no ads” subscription.

Besides the subscription, players can also choose between different IAP offers. This includes five different packs of gold, booster items, and special packs (e.g. no ads + all items).

What Users Say About Snake Lite

We’re still not completely sure why over 30 million players installed this game in the last few months. The game didn’t go viral on social media. It doesn’t have a strong community around it either.

snake lite google play reviews
Source: AndroidRank

But we know one thing — the title’s Google Play ratings suddenly surged in July, when they peaked at 4.7.

To understand what users like and dislike about this game, let’s go over some of its most helpful Google Play reviews!

Compliments

Compliments

The majority of players agree that this game is addictive and enjoyable. The feedback on the controls is also very positive, with many reviews highlighting how smooth the game is.

Even the players who left negative reviews agreed on these positive aspects of the game.

Suggestions

Suggestions

A lot of players are comparing this game to others, and one of their biggest complaints is that snakes can only grow to a certain point. In addition, some players believe the game lacks a quit option and a social media login.

Criticism

Criticism

Just like almost all hyper-casual games, Snake Lite can’t escape the “too many ads” reviews, and most players agree on this.

Snake Lite Surge: Final Words

That’s it, you’ve reached the very end of our Snake Lite analysis.

Now, we want to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this game and its sudden success? How long do you think it will remain on the hyper-casual top charts?

Also, make sure to stay on top of our future articles and game analyzes by subscribing to our newsletter!

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