148Apps Network Post
Developer: Limbic Software
Price: $.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

If you love endless runners, jumpers and fliers, how about an endless tree-climber? Meet Jake, star of Nuts! – a great new minute-killer for iPhone and iPod touch.

Gamers control the speed and turns of the zippy little rodent with smooth tilt controls, as they guide Jake up the infinitree, collecting coins and power-ups along the way.

Get Jake as high as possible without getting him thwacked with a branch in the face – three gob-smacks and the critter plummets and has to start his climb from the roots in a new game.

Nuts! is a must for fans of jump-higher games, but, as Jake moves up, he has no time to stop and survey the scenery – he can’t rest on a platform or twig as it were. Instead, the branches pop up with almost no warning, especially if Jake happens to be on the wrong side of the infinitree in the middle of a sharp turn when one appears.

Nuts! is more forgiving than most endless games – Jake gets three tries to climb to new heights – but, the speed of this well-polished pick-up-and-play action game and the 3D graphics make ascending a lot harder than it looks.

Oddly, Jake doesn’t collect nuts at all – he mostly collects coins which can be redeemed for acorns that give fiery speed boosts and the ability to bust through branches, or purchase spare lives and extra layers of padding to protect Jake from some branch-abuse.

If you can’t earn the coins fast enough, they are available for in-app purchase. Then Jake can buy out the store and blaze past icy zones and “charred wasteland” sections of the infinitree and share his score on Game Center leaderboards or on Facebook.

The graphics in Nuts! are polished, animated and adorable. The controls are fast and responsive too. And, there’s no annoying theme song – Jake soars to an ambient soundtrack of birds chirping in a quiet forest.

This is about as simple as gaming gets, and about as addictive, but what Nuts! has in style it lacks in fresh challenges and varied scenery. No matter how high Jake climbs, the tree and danger zones don’t vary. There’s an ad on the splash screen, which is more confounding than bothersome, and achievements wouldn’t be nuts for Limbic Software to consider adding in an update, to add replay value.

But jumping higher, flying father, and running longer have all proved successful formulas for iOS gaming many times over and Nuts! combines the best elements of the classics, wraps it up in a top-notch design, and will keep casual gamers coming back for more.

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