The popularity of Slither.io belies the game's age. For quite some time, the game has been the most popular game available on iOS. Slither.io has been out for a little over three months, and the most recent ranking shows that it is still the most popular game, action game, and simulation game in the Apple App Store in the United States. The game is currently ranked higher than Google Maps, Uber, Netflix, and a number of other free apps that you probably use on a daily basis.
When reading the game description, it's hard not to be reminded of classic desktop games like Snake or Atari's Centipede. Slither.io is inspired by these vintage arcade games; however, it features a more modern, two-dimensional aesthetic.
Playing as a cute, wide-eyed worm in search of food. You navigate the void by avoiding collisions with any worms that may cross your path. If you want to develop and score more points, stuff your face with bright light.
You begin as a skinny, small being, which makes you quick and easy to control. However, as you grow in size, you also increase in breadth. Getting out of the way or making a quick turn becomes more challenging as one grows in size. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and energy if another worm crashes into you and you eat its brain.
In addition to playing against real people online, you can also play locally against the game's artificial intelligence. The mechanics of play are identical between the two. If your Wi-Fi connection is shaky, however, playing AI is your best bet.
Having tried the game both offline and online, I can attest to the fact that the online version features significantly more formidable worms. You'll face smart, strategic players who will trap you and eat you alive when playing in online mode, which pits you against a real person. There is a discernible decrease in hostility from the AI.
Let's discuss the levers and buttons now. Three different modes are available. I had the most success with the arrow mode. Simply dragging your finger along the screen will move your worm in the desired direction. There's also a classic mode where you tap to switch directions. True classics are for those with more time and practice. When other worms are heading in the same direction, you won't have as much time to make quick dodges.
A third choice, Joystick, is accessible to players with a moderate level of skill. Touching the small gray circle in the bottom right acts like a traditional joystick. Although it is not as user-friendly as Arrow mode, it is much simpler to escape from a jam. In terms of individualization, you can give your worm a distinct look by selecting from a variety of skins. Having so many free options for my character was a pleasant surprise. Although many other free games require you to pay or earn a cooler look, Slither.io gives you access to a wide variety of exciting skins right off the bat.
As reported in a recent article published by The Wall Street Journal, Sither.io has been downloaded over 68 million times across mobile devices and attracts an average of 67 million players per day via web browsers. Even more fascinating than the app itself is the upstart's journey from poverty to success. According to the WSJ, the game's creator had trouble paying rent before Slither.io became popular. Now, players can pay $3.99 to play the game without ads, which accounts for the vast majority of his daily estimated $100,000 revenue.
Although I know many people who are avid fans of the game, I myself am not one of them. So it's me and not you.
Slither.io can be obtained from the App Store and Google Play for no cost. Slither.io is also playable on desktop browsers.