Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll Soundtrack (NES), David Wise, 1990
Amongst the original properties that Rare launched on the NES and Game Boy, the Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll games must rank among the best, up there with the Battletoads franchise. Inspired by Marble Madness’ isometric view (Rare developed the NES port), the developers concocted a joyfully bizarre and off-beat – not to mention funny – platformer. Its stars are a couple of snakes that need to gobble up as many enemies as they can so they’re heavy enough when hopping on the scales at the end of each level, hoping to be admitted to the next stage. Initially released on the NES in 1991, Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll’s playability and creative multiplayer made the game enough of a success to warrant a Sega Genesis port in 1993, netting equally strong reviews. Meanwhile, the Game Boy saw an original, somewhat more middling 2d platformer starring the two slithering protagonists.
The game’s name was obviously inspired by classic 1954 rock ‘n’ roll song Shake Rattle and Roll. As such, the musical direction that David Wise’s soundtrack would take was clear from the get go. Wise would apply his intimate knowledge of the NES sound chip to deliver a chiptunes homage to 1950s rock ‘n’ roll. Of course, few other game scores – before or since – have sought to emulate early rock ‘n’ roll music, so the Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll soundtrack was bound to be a distinctive one.