What the heck is Nibbler? Oh, the Rock-ola arcade game from 1982 which is a mash-up of Pac-Man and Snake? Nah, doesn’t ring any bells. Anyway, Man Vs Snake – The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler tells the story of high scoring Nibbler players’ quest to become the undisputed world champion.
Just like Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe competing to become The King Of Kong, Man vs Snake (MvS) introduces the main protagonist, Tim McVey (no, not that Oklahoma City bomber bad guy), the dude whom in 1984 was the first video gamer to clock Nibbler with a billion point high score, earning him the Rock-Ola arcade machine in the process. Then enters the dark horse, one Italian named Enrico Zanetti, whom had held the unofficial high score for Nibbler (not recognised by Twin Galaxies) and the main contenders to Tim’s high score, Canadian video game champion Dwayne Richard and “The Machine”, Rick Carter.
With a cast reading like a who’s who from the US arcade world including Walter Day, the theme is set – so what’s a high-score challenge documentary without some controversy aye? Just like The King Of Kong, it seems as this is the genre du jour. Not wanting to spoil it for anyone, an unfair advantage is uncovered which leads to accusations of, well let’s just say it, cheating! Balance could have been given here by allowing the accused to elaborate on their side of the story, but that may have spoiled the narrative of the documentary.
The film fulfils its primary objective by capturing the essence of not just the players wanting to beat one another, but showing the tension, determination and sacrifices they go through to conquer the mountain that is the Nibbler high score. In the end, the real battle in Man Vs Snake, just as the title eludes too, is between man and machine. If you were a fan of The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters, then Man Vs Snake – The Long and Twisted Tale Of Nibbler is compelling viewing!
Man Vs Snake – The Long and Twister Take Of Nibbler will be available from June 24 on all major streaming platforms. Visit the Man Vs Snake site for more details.
image source: Man Vs Snake