Our Rating: 7.5/10
NUTS begins when your character arrives at a trailer in which you will conduct a research on squirrels. Such research consists of studying the behavior of squirrels in the region. Therefore, you must film your travels through the forests to find out more about the habitat.
However, this is not so simple, as squirrels travel throughout the forest, and your job is to position the cameras in one day to capture the images, and relocate them on to try to find the next part of the squirrel path.
As you progress, the plot develops with your character doing research and discovering that there is a mystery to be unveiled in the region. However, the part that will really hook the player, are the different mechanics of how to do this research.
Initially you have a Scanner, in which you will use to send the information found to Nina, a fellow researcher with whom you talked over the phone. In your hands, you have a camera that allows you to photograph everything you want in the environment, in addition to having cameras on tripods that you can position around the scene during the day.
After positioning the cameras, you will enter the trailer where the equipment responsible for transmitting the images from the cameras to the TVs are. And this is where you’ll be able to play the video back and forth and pause. The images can be enlarged and printed, which is necessary in your missions.
Observe the Environment
Nina will tell you what to do at each moment, via fax. Through it, you also send the images with the information you find in your filming. The objective of the game consists of the routine of observing the environment during the day and identifying the best place for the camera tripod, and at night analyzing the results.
As you are researching squirrels, you have to understand their path, to identify where they live and even what other squirrels they interact with. As you progress, you are gaining other camera tripods, and this helps in more ways to achieve the research objective.
Gradually, the missions increase the difficulty of finding the path that the squirrels take, since they do not move only on the ground, they can jump from one tree to another and use paths hidden by the vegetation.
The Good, the Bad, and the Overall Experience
What we really liked about Nuts is the approach of a topic like squirrel research through the cameras. As you watch the videos during the night, it is easy to notice that the farther you are in the video and you see the squirrel, the closer you are to the final goal.
After all, this way of seeing progress removes frustration from puzzles, and can attract people who are not fans of the genre. It is satisfying to arrive at the end with the solution, and it is intriguing to try to understand why that information may be relevant to the story.
We have a very different art here, with almost nonexistent textures, focused only on simple colors. The scenarios are based on only two colors and variations of tones. The palette for each phase changes according to day and night. This change in the visual and the colors of the scenery, highlights the atmosphere of mystery that the game goes through.
However, it is sometimes difficult to see the way in these environments, and to know where to go. The developers could have made the art more carefully so as not to hinder the gameplay. Another problem is that twice the scenario ended up bugging and gets you stuck without being able to move, which forces the player to restart the game completely.
The tracks in the game are basic. However, it fulfills the necessary function for a puzzle game. They are not tiring and at times, are relaxing. They don’t draw much attention. But as the focus is on thinking and creating a strategy, music that doesn’t stand out too much is a positive thing.
However, it is worth remembering that if you are looking for a soundtrack that is striking, you may be disappointed. Being this is just a functional soundtrack.
Although art has its differential, due to the variation of colors between the phases and between day and night, it is not as positive as the theme and mechanics used. The theme of this game is not at all common. For many, talking about research is a reason to roll their eyes. Associated with boring things and even create conspiracy theories of how research is useless.
Importance of Research
People with a little more knowledge, on the other hand, will look at this theme and think. How will they do this? I believe that the idea instigates those who like to learn and know the importance of research. However, its mechanics are the most striking point, which is very unusual. Using cameras to solve a puzzle is a completely different theme than what you will find out there.
It is extremely pleasurable to reach the end of the missions. Through the time counter on TVs, the game shows you how far you are progressing in the puzzle, and how much remains to be solved. Therefore, there is no frustration of “I can’t solve this”, what exists is “I am getting closer to the solution”.
Unfortunately, frames are dropped frequently throughout the game. Most of the time it is not a serious problem. However, near the end there was a scene where you will fall off a slope. Here the frame drop made the game look like a power point presentation.
Nuts shows you a different way of seeing the world through the eyes of a squirrel. For this, you will carry out a lot of research to understand a little more about their habitat and where they live. Which is a pleasant and light sensation.
Its main differential is in its mechanics, and in the use of cameras to search for squirrels. We have something innovative in a puzzle that involves studying the path of squirrels in the forest, and researching their behavior
Despite its technical problems with falling frames, Nuts has mechanics and themes that are out of the ordinary and hook you quickly. So it is very worth playing. Here is a good example of how to be creative and escape the sameness of the market.