Developer: GhostHand Games LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
It's tough to get ready for winter, especially when the other squirrels are bent on destroying you. Such is the moral of the story in Nut Chuckin'.
Nut Chuckin' is a game where you must dodge the flying nuts of your tormentors and attempt to beat them at their own game. As Risoo the Squirrel, you're parked on a branch front and center. The other squirrels — apparently suffering from a fit of rabies — are all against you. They come at you — alone or in packs — and chuck nuts at your head, trying to knock you off the branch.
It only takes one acorn in the head to make Risoo fall, which is unfair considering some of his combatant brethren can take multiple knocks to their noggin before finally passing out. Nut Chukin' progresses through levels in stages, so if you do fail a stage, you don't have to start the whole level over again.
Nut Chuckin' uses the accelerometer to control movement and touch to control the shots. To avoid flying nuts, tilt your device left and right to make Riso scurry back and forth across the tree.
Simple avoidance isn't the best plan. The real object is not to avoid the nuts, but to catch them and throw 'em back. When an acorn comes hurtling towards your head tap to catch it. Then, aim and fire it back at any one of your opponents.
After awhile Nut Chuckin' is about as much fun as a game of catch. Some folks will fall into a rhythm, get in the zone and find their own little piece of squirrel-killing zen. Others will be frustrated by the pace and start to wonder if there's any point to tossing around a ball when no one's keeping score.
As players move up the branches, there are fun little extras — squirrels that run off, do flips or are mutantly overgrown — and new challenges to defeat. The problem is that it takes too long to pass each stage because little Risoo is so frail. Give this nut chucker a few extra lives, and the game would progress faster and be able to keep my interest longer.
Nut Chuckin' has several good things going for it. The controls are smooth and responsive, and the graphics are really excellent. The illustrations feel more like a popular animated flick than a video game. That's high marks in my book.
In fact if not for the quick death, Nut Chuckin' is polished enough to make it into our Editor's Picks. Hopefully a future update will make Nut Chuckin' a more sticky gaming experience. Until then, it's still a solid 7 that most casual gamers will enjoy, for now.