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You can store the direction with 2 bits: 1 for axis and 1 for pos/neg. As such, storage-wise it will be more efficient regardless of the number of bends -- about ~2.5 KB for 10,000 tiles. Store it as a bitmask as well (1.25 KB for 10K tiles) and then you have fast collision checks ("is snake on tile"). The slowest operation would be "Access nth body part" ...


In the worst case it looks to me like you're going to use more memory this way. Picture a snake that goes something like this: ‾|_|‾|_|‾ as much as possible. There are a few spots at the edge of the screen where it must go straight for a few squares but those aren't enough to overcome the higher memory storage per location unless the world is small. While ...

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