Developer: Watch More TV Interactive
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Even to those unfamiliar with the Canadian animated series, Scaredy Squirrel: Look Out instantly feels like a licensed game. It looks and plays like a game trying to capture the essence of a chaotic cartoon. This gives the game its charm but it’s also what holds it back.
Scaredy Squirrel: Look Out is structured like a classic arcade game and that includes a lack of plot. It figures anyone interested is probably watching the show or reading the books anyway. The game’s 36 bite-sized levels are just about getting the titular rodent to the top while avoiding desks, boats, televisions, and other dangerous debris falling from the sky. As the trash piles up it forms helpful platforms but get hit three times and it’s lights out. The debris has physics applied to it as well, making each round feel different and random. Luckily, there are always a few mid-mission checkpoints and power-ups, like cranes and beanstalks, to help players reach the sky. Plus, a helicopter is always ready to yank players to safety if they get trapped.
It is a frantic game that evokes the typical frantic atmosphere of a children’s cartoon. However, leaping over junk eventually devolves into an act so uncontrollable and unwieldy it actually gets dull. This is why making mechanics more skill-based keeps players more engaged. Scaredy Squirrel: Look Out isn’t totally mindless. It even rewards players for narrowly avoiding falling garbage while nabbing power-ups. However, so much of it can be won through haphazard swiping it gets boring. This is mostly due to the controls that favor broad strokes over more precise ones.
This feeling of detrimental cartoon fidelity applies to the presentation too. The wacky music is good, and the art all looks great when it’s not in motion. However, the jerky animation and apparent lack of frames reminds one of cheap kid’s shows in a bad way.
Still, Scaredy Squirrel: Look Out is a noble attempt at translating the dumb, insane fun of a cartoon to a video game. In the least condescending way possible, it’s perfect for its target audience.