Snood was developed for the Mac in 1996 and was ported to Windows in 1999 where it gained popularity as shareware. The game began as a hobby project for developer David Dobson, who was learning to program for the Macintosh. He wanted to create something like a casual version of Bust-A-Move for home computer players who preferred playing klondike solitaire to more action-oriented games.
In an interview, Dobson attributed the success of Snood to the people witnessing others playing the games in communal places that had Internet access such as college computer labs, who then returned home to download and install it on their own computers.
The game plays like Bust-A-Move with the exception that there's no time limit in most modes. The player shoots different colored "snoods," queued at random, from a cannon on the bottom of the screen. The cannon can be angled differently, but cannot be moved from the center. The snoods are released and bounce off walls until they make contact with another snood or the ceiling. When three snoods of the same color touch they burst and are removed from the game board. Any snood that is not adjacent to other snoods or the ceiling is cleared from the board. As the round progresses, the ceiling lowers to reduce the playing field.