Ever since he placed 6th in the Jade Emperor's Great Race, the Snake gets to Zodiac-party the heck out of every twelfth year. And if 2013 is the Year of the Snake, well, then there's absolutely no reason why it can't be the year of the Shadow Snake 3, the new browser arcade game from PlayPanic, also as a free download for iOS and Android. Click and hold the mouse to direct your snake around the play area. Collecting all the sun pieces will open the portal to the next level. Avoid the dark matter critters that will chomp away at your health. Collect green nature energy and auras to recharge your health and protect you from hits, and collect fire orbs and bombs to send waves of flame at the baddies. Completing each level will give you points to use on upgrades. Once a level is completed you can replay it on "hard" and "insane" modes for more spendable points. There are four temples of seven levels to complete.
The basic gameplay of Snake is as familiar as it is hard to mess up, but Shadow Snake 3 does a great job in its interpretation. The visuals and music do a great job of evoking the naturalistic feel the developers intended, even if they do seem a little incongruous once the difficulty kicks up in later levels. The Confucian quotes at the start of each level are a little much, but hey, we could all use a little more ren in our lives. In short, Shadow Snake 3 servers up a little mystery, a little mysticism, and soothingingly satisfying snake gameplay.