Video game documentaries are all over the place these days. It seems as though everyone has their own story about their challenge to make a game, triumph over a game, or the perils of writing about a game.
Man Vs. Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler (Known going forward as MVS) takes a hard look at Tim McVey, the one time champion of Nibbler (record set in January of 1984), the arcade classic that tasks the player with disposing of a seemingly endless growing snake. While that sounds like a pretty simple task, the obstacles that await the player make for a pretty difficult feat.
Tim during his quest to re-claim his Nibbler record
In MVS, Tim decides to take back the record he held and begins working toward it early on in the film. The record is held at that time by Enrico Zanetti (record set in September of 1984), a former competitive who captured the Nibbler world record and then retired from competitive gaming. The movie also stars Tim’s wife Tina McVey, and Dwayne Richards, an eccentric guy who gives Tim a run for his money at Nibbler. There are also other characters who make cameos such as Richie Knucklez, Walter Day, Bill Mitchell and David Nelson. Tim, Tina, Dwayne and Enrico are the primary focus of the film.
Tina McVey, Tim’s super-supportive wife
Throughout the film we find out the true character of each feature character. This is a great touch because it really allows viewers to draw their own conclusion instead of being led to a “bad versus evil” battle by the filmmakers.
Dwayne Richard, Protagonist who takes Tim on during his feat to re-capture the Nibbler World Record.
I’ve seen my fair share of gaming documentaries, however MVS ranks among the top five. It’s a film that is honest, full of great competition and absolutely knocks it out of the park in character development. I found myself really latching on to the competition throughout the film and drawing closer to Tim as he fought for his record.
Enrico Zanetti, Nibbler record holder during the film
One could compare these to other gaming documentaries out there; most notably one that focuses on the world record in a game that stars a certain ape and a guy named Mario. I firmly believe, however, that this film stands firmly on it’s own and will be one of those gaming docs that people both in and outside of the industry will talk about for a long time.
This film is an absolute must see. It’s currently available on VHX, Steam, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Playstation Store and XBox Video. Go get it, tell your friends to get it, get the popcorn ready and enjoy the film.