Back in January we told you about Man vs Snake, well now, the long-awaited video game documentary Man VS. Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler is now in wide release. Kickstarter backers of the film were able to obtain a digital copy on Thurs., June 23 with the general public’s wide release on Fri., June 24. The movie has previously only seen limited screenings at film festivals since September 2015, winning numerous awards along the way.
The latest film to take place in the world of high score champions on vintage arcade game, Man VS Snake focuses on the story of Iowa’s Tim McVey. In 1984, McVey became the first video game player in history to score over 1 billion points of a video game as he toppled Rock Ola’s Nibbler in an Ottumwa, Iowa video arcade. For his accomplishment, he was awarded with an arcade game, the key to the city and the first and still-only civic day named in honor of a video gamer.
However, one day in the 21st Century, McVey learns that his score was apparently beaten just months later by an overseas player named Enrico Zanetti. Now married and working long hours at his day job, McVey decides to return to video game competition in an attempt to get the Nibbler record back without question. With his wife and best friend Tina at his side, McVey quickly ends up doing battle with not only the arcade classic but another retro arcade champion from the past in the form of Canada’s Dwayne Richard. While McVey is clearly the American everyman in the story, Richard is very much the antagonist, not only aiming to beat Zanetti’s score before McVey but boasting about his ability to do so.
While there is some drama and a clear hero and villain to the story – as there was in King of Kong – Man VS Snake succeeds more fully by leaving the viewer with a pure and positive impression of all the key players within the film.
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