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Snake Overflow

Snake Overflow is a 3D snake game for Microsoft Windows developed in C++ using Cinder.

Choosing a map

Before the actual game starts, the user is asked to select a map to play on. Maps can be browsed by pressing the left arrow and the right arrow keys. The name of the currently selected map will be displayed at the top of the window:

Choosing a map

When inspecting a map, it is possible to rotate the camera around the center of the terrain. To do so, hold the left mouse button and drag the cursor around; the camera will rotate correspondingly. You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out or, alternatively, the keys 'W' and 'S'.

Controlling the snake

Unlike classical snake games, Snake Overflow lets you control the snake by using only two keys: the left arrow and the right arrow (or the 'A' and 'D' keys, alternatively). These respectively turn the snake left or right relative to its current direction of movement, and not relative to the observer's viewpoint.

In order to follow the snake as it moves up and down the terrain, you can use the mouse to manipulate the camera as described in the previous section.

Since the control system is quite unusual, it is possible to pick a map named "rubik" for practicing movement upon a plain cube - without mountains, water, bridges, and obstacles of any kind getting on your way.

You can pause and unpause the game at any time by pressing the 'P' key:

Game paused indicator

If you lose eye contact with the snake, you can press the spacebar to toggle auto-follow on and off: when auto-follow is on, the system will control the camera automatically and try to keep the snake constantly visible as it moves on the terrain. The camera cannot be manipulated by using the mouse while auto-follow is active. When auto-follow is active, a message is displayed on the bottom-right corner of the window.

Auto-follow indicator

As the screenshot above shows, not all blocks of a terrain are solid and walkable. The snake won't float on water, for instance. When a non-solid block is reached, the snake will wind around the edge of the solid block it is currently on.

Goal of the game

The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible. The game ends when the snake bites its tail, unless an invulnerability bonus applies - as explained in the following. In particular, none of the obstacles, including walls, are deadly: the snake will always wind on them.

Several items are spawned at random intervals on the terrain's surface, and picking them up will bring you particular benefits depending on the kind of item:

  • Fruit: Picking a fruit will increase both your score and the length of the snake by its nutrition value. Each fruit has a random nutrition value ranging from 1 to 5. The size of the fruit's shape is proportional to its nutrition value. Fruit are the most frequent kind of item that will be spawned.

  • Diet pills: Picking diet pills will reduce the size of the snake by 5 units, but never to a length lower than two units. Diet pills are quite common, but definitely not as common as fruit.

  • Invulnerability bonus: Picking an invulnerability bonus will allow you to survive otherwise lethal self-bites for a fixed amount of time since the last invulnerability item was picked. When the snake is invulnerable, the color of its skin assumes a pulsing tone of red. Invulnerability bonuses are spawned relatively rarely.

  • Speed booster: Picking a speed booster will increment the snake's speed by one unit for a fixed amount of time. Speed boosters can be cumulated, but the snake's speed won't ever be increased by more than three units.

All items have a random lifetime; when the lifetime of an item expires, the item will disappear from the terrain.

Once the game ends, it is possible to start a new game on the same map by pressing 'Enter' or 'F5'; pressing 'F4' allows going back to the map selection screen:

Game over

Other features

It is possible to toggle full screen mode at any time by hitting 'Ctrl+Enter'. Hitting the 'F' key, on the other hand, toggles the frame rate display on the lower left corner of the application window.

At any time while playing a game it is possible to show the top ten high scores for the currently chosen map by pressing the 'R' key:


When rankings are shown the game is automatically paused; the game is automatically resumed when the rankings are hidden. To hide the rankings, press the 'R' key once more.

Installation instructions

The quickest way to play Snake Overflow is to:

  1. Download the file from the /deploy subfolder in this repository.
  2. Unzip it to some local folder.
  3. Start the snake_overflow.exe executable from the unzipped /snake_overflow folder.

Alternatively, you can build the program from the sources. To build the projects you will need Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 and Cinder 0.8.6.


The sound clips featured in Snake Overflow were taken from


A 3D snake game, because never not make a snake game.






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