There is a time in everyone’s lives when the only game that mattered was the classic parkour madness known as ‘the floor is lava’. The game calls to our love of pure, unadulterated chaos as kids, dumb teens, and even dumber adults. Bearded Brothers Games aim to bring this feeling with Let’s Go Nuts, their latest game for the Switch. This platformer invites you to play as squirrels completing levels by collecting nuts and avoiding falling into the fiery floor. However, although the game certainly gives off chaotic energy by the bucketload very little of it is to the benefit of the players.
The first thing you notice when you open up Let’s Go Nuts is the cutesy design of the avatars and backdrops. Admittedly the squirrels are adorable — they even smile when they jump! However, with this 2D cartoon style comes an immediate reminiscence of browser games. This isn’t helped by the format of the game itself: a 2D fast, party game that requires you to get to the end as quickly and with as many points (or here, nuts) as possible. There are even browser games that feel more complete than Let’s Go Nuts as even as a party game it falls somewhat flat if you decide not to play versus. Teamwork doesn’t seem to be well ingrained into the co-op mode as well as Fireboy and Watergirl for example, instead, you just dash across as fast as you can and make sure not to get in the way of your teammate.
Made up of 40 levels and 4 different worlds — Forest, Burning Forest, Winter and Space — and with the option of endless levels, Let’s Go Nuts has a decent amount of levels to keep you occupied. New, fun enemies appear as you make your way through the game including octopi, pink spiders, and a horrifying yeti-like creature. In addition, with each world comes a handful of new mechanics to play with: the winter world provides you with melting ice blocks that will disappear after being jumped on while the space world decreases gravity for your jumping squirrels and requires you to pull levers in order to make it through certain spots. But again there isn’t enough of an increase in difficulty or interest as you advance through the levels.
What I find most difficult to grasp with Let’s Go Nuts is that I cannot for the life of me figure out who this game is for. Its style and concept would suggest it to be a geared towards children, its promise of having “levels that are simple to complete but difficult to master” would too suggest this. But even experience (and adult-ish) gamers like myself and my teammate found some levels to be a bit of a struggle while others were far too easy for even kids to enjoy. Then, it’s format as a time-trial party game with the option of versus might imply it to be for players who enjoy big social games. However, the versus mode bears very little difference to the co-op and single-player options and there’s only so much of the repetitive and somewhat painful music that people can take.
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