ShadowGun. Temple Run. Sonic 4. Do all of these dazzling 3D masterpieces leave you longing for a simpler era in mobile gaming? Do you get a warm, fuzzy feeling every time you see a movie where the hero’s “top of the line” cell phone uses a black and white screen? Then you’re the perfect audience for Snake ’97. Forget all these fancy sprites and polygons, toss the touchscreen controls, and bask in the timeless story of dots and a line that loves to eat them. It’s a free download in the Android Market.

Of course, the Nokia phones that used Snake as a de facto time killer had screens about a tenth the size of modern high-end smartphones. To avoid marring the timeless graphics of Snake with undue artifacts, the developer includes a digital version of the standard Nokia keypad. this gives you all the controls you could possibly want, including Right, Left, Up and even Down! The sight will surely be familiar to those of us who packed one of the old 4-digit phones in a jeans pocket or, for preference, a belt holster.

Just looking at those screenshots makes me long for the days of poor cell reception, pay-by-the-minute plans and phones that doubled as blunt weapons. It wasn’t all bad, though – as I recall, those old Nokia phones would get three days of life out of a single charge. (I’m looking at you, Galaxy Nexus!) Maybe if the modern Nokia ever gets their head straight and switches to Android, we’ll see an upgraded version of Snake – this time with a whole three colors.

[via Reddit]