By Jade Entien
During this pandemic, spending time with family is important as we stay safe indoors. So, like many, I’ve embraced the opportunity to play video games. With an interesting story to introduce itself, Save Your Nuts is a colorful and vibrant video game that allows up to eight friends to play as various animals that compete against the opposing team to capture nuts. I found the game frustrating at first control-wise since it was very fast-paced but it branched off into laughter inducing fun with some surprises.
For me, Save Your Nuts passed the first impression test. The characters are customizable and cute and each map has a lovely look that makes the player wonder about the hidden secrets to each one, (my personal favorite would be a mysterious aquatic aggressor in the park.) The opening provides the player with a little bit of story explaining the tournament the squirrels organized to prove themselves the dominant species. I enjoyed this scene since the art style and voice acting was quite captivating. However, I would’ve liked to have heard a little from the other animals as well.
The tutorial was helpful introducing the controls, explaining how to win, and the powerups that would help benefit your team. Character selection is very creative, as each character has their own pros and cons giving each player a special quirk or perk to help the team. There are also power-ups to help boost your animal’s skills. When you get comfortable with the game, you’ll find that certain power combos help you earn nuts for your team. I found myself maining the Armadillo, a cute bug-eyed tank character, and pairing myself up with a coffee speed boost since the con of Armadillo is the slower speed.
I mostly played with bots that ended up carrying the team as I desperately tried to participate helpfully in the matches. Over time I slowly learned more about what character I should be and what to look out for (as previously mentioned there are many features in the many other unlockable maps.) I also learned about what maps I could take advantage of such as the ice rink. Here, you have to move fast in order to avoid falling through the ice. However you can use breaking ice to your advantage and attempt to immobilize your enemies.
Still, even such a cute, fuzzy game may have some parts that could be changed or added on. Honestly? I was really bummed when I found out that the game only had three game modes and only up to two teams. The capture the nut game mode only allows players to collect up to 5 nuts which can get repetitive if people want to play longer games. If there was the ability to collect more nuts on a new map every two or five rounds, it would also create a more intense feeling in players as they try to get a taste of each map. The same would apply to battle mode where you would be able adjust the amount of balloons. Price wise, I believe the $15 isn’t exactly what I would pay unless the developers added more to the game.
So what’s the wrap? This game is adorable, has maps full of surprises and will provide people of all ages with a few laughs as they compete against each other to collect some nuts and battle it out. The pros seemingly outweigh the cons for me as I continue to play with family through these scary times. Despite some issues, Save Your Nuts is a game I’d recommend to anyone who likes competition.
Jade Entien is a high school student from the Bronx. This is her first story for the New York Videogame Critics Circle.