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Tail hug is a pattern agnostic strategy that guarantees avoiding obstacles in "high score modes" in Google Snake.

TheEpicCarrot7 Tail Hugging in his Fast Key 1a Small All

Tail hug was first used by TheEpicCarrot7 to complete Key Mode 1a in Fast Speed on Small Board.

The strategy involves a few steps that are taken before each apple is eaten, to guarantee a safe continuation of the run, and it works on these modes:

  • Key Mode
  • Sokoban Mode
  • Poison Mode (Only avoids poison apples, might still die to overeating)
  • Portal Mode (Difficult to pull off)
  • Wall Mode (No real reason to use it)

Here's how the strategy works:

  1. If required, complete the step to unlock the apple itself (Key/Sokoban)
  2. Pass a tile next to the apple without eating it
  3. Skip tiles and get as close to the snake tail as you can ("Hug the tail" - this is why the strategy is named "Tail Hug")
    1. If playing on portal mode, then you need to keep the distance similar to the distance between both apples.
    2. This also means passing next to both apples.
  4. Eat the apple and keep hugging the tail afterwards (enjoy the safety of the tail!)
  5. Repeat

If done correctly, your tail will be inside the radius where obstacles can't spawn, hence your run would be safe from dying to one of them.

Advantages

  • Extremely safe. In key mode, this strategy will likely allow you complete a run in most cases if not all.
  • Works well on poison mode.
  • Useful for control box position in sokoban mode.

Flaws

  • This strategy is very slow, requiring multiple cycles for a single apple in many cases.
  • This strategy requires some thinking, understanding and practice to pull off correctly.
  • It's still possible to die in poison mode to overeating thanks to bad RNG.
  • Very difficult to pull off in Portal Mode, as the distance factor changes completely and 2 obstacles need to be dodged for any cycles to be repeated before attempting to eat safely.

Trivia

The name for this strategy was coined by Yarmiplay on 24.12.2021

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