"It's not JUST a game..."
So goes the tagline for Man Vs Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, an in-development documentary film bolstered by recent success on Kickstarter to raise additional funds. In fact, as of press time, it was just hours ago that the Kickstarter page concluded, with an impressive $61,440 total, well over the initial goal of $53,470. These efforts were undoubtedly helped along by some truly interesting pledge incentives, such as original Don Bluth artwork, some of it even signed.
Many fans of classic games immediately understand the sentiment at work with this project. Often, a retro gamer has a specific title that they specialize in, or have grown to be particularly fond of. In the case of the arcade high-score scene, legendary cabinets such as Pac-Man, Missile Command, Donkey Kong, and others have all seen their fair share of tense competition, inspiring their own various documentary films along the way as well. The most famous of these is likely The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, centered around the rivalry between Kong players Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell.
Man Vs Snake, on the other hand, is focused on a unit that is probably a bit more obscure: Nibbler, a game that challenges the player to eat particles of food, while the protagonist Snake lengthens with each nibble, thus increasing the odds of death through self-consumption.
Nibbler has the claim to fame as the first video game on which it was literally possible to score a billion points, with competitive gamer Timothy McVey being the first to achieve that prestigious mark. However, he would soon find competition, in an intense decades-long narrative that appears to be ready to unveil itself when this film releases. In fact, the team is aiming for festival submission as soon as the fall.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.