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  • John Bush

Game Review #498: Save Your Nuts (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Reviewer: John B

Developer: Triple Scale Games

Publisher: Triple Scale Games

Category: Action, Multiplayer, Party

Release Date: 4.16.2020

Price: $14.99

Watch the Trailer

Buy Save Your Nuts from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

The intro movie for Save Your Nuts for the Nintendo Switch starts off with some eyebrow-raising rhetoric about the racial superiority of squirrels. It made me just a little uncomfortable about what the heck I had just gotten myself into. Luckily, there’s really no story to the game; it’s just a good old-fashioned arena party game about backyard animals competing against each other for acorns (or soccer balls or basketballs or just plain beating the heck out of each other depending on the stage and/or game type you’ve chosen). Like pretty much every party game ever, it’s way better to play it with friends than it is against bots, but it does give you that single player option if you want to practice. But let’s get into what makes it go a little deeper, shall we?

Let’s Get Nuts

The object of Save Your Nuts is – in two of the game’s three game modes, at least – to save your nuts. The title team really did their job on this one. Every stage has two goals, one for each team of up to four players, so eight people total can get in on the action. You control one backyard animal – choosing from squirrels, raccoons, armadillos, a couple types of dogs, and more – and grab the nuts that appear on the screen. In the regular battle mode, on acorn appears at a time and both teams compete to bring that acorn to their base. The first team to five acorns wins.

The second game type, thief, sees five acorns being dropped at the beginning of the match. Whoever has the most acorns after the round is over wins. What makes this even more fun is that you can actually steal acorns from your opponent’s base, making it, it my view, the most strategic and most fun mode. Balancing offense and defense becomes much more of a focus in thief, and I really liked the extra layer of strategy on top of what was mostly a frenzied action experience.

Bunches of Punches

The action of the game doesn’t just revolve around grabbing nuts and running away with them; you can also jump, punch, and pass. You can jump to get over obstacles or avoid attacks. If you’re chasing the player with the acorn, you can punch them to knock that nut loose. You can also hit the punch button to throw the acorn if someone’s getting too close to you; if you’re good enough (I am not) you can aim the acorn into your base if you’re in range. Some animals have special abilities you can use as well, but there are tradeoffs. Armadillos, for example, have a special rolling attack that is way more powerful than a standard punch, but they’re way slower than any other animal class.

The third game type doesn’t use acorns at all, and is instead just a battle royale mode where everyone starts off with three balloons. You lose one balloon every time you get punched, and you’re knocked out of the round if you lose all three balloons. The last team standing wins the round, and again, five rounds wins the game. This mode was the hardest mode for me to get into; if you have eight players at once on the screen, it is really difficult to track the action, or your own character more specifically. Now, this is true of every game mode, but when you’re chasing the nuts you actually only need to track your character and one acorn at a time. In the battle royale, you need to actually be a little aware of where everyone on the screen is, and given that the screen is zoomed out so you see pretty much the whole arena, characters are small and hard to differentiate. There is a little badge over your head identifying your character, but that badge exists for everyone playing with you, too, so… yeah, the screen gets pretty busy and hard to read.

Nature Scenes

Save Your Nuts has pretty decent 3D graphics for an independent release. It doesn’t look as sharp as some indie games with a similar pedigree, but overall it looks fine. Honestly, considering how far the camera is zoomed out during gameplay, you’ll hardly be able to even notice the textures on character models and backgrounds anyway. So even if you don’t consider the graphics up to snuff, you really can’t see them well enough most of the time to distract you from how fun the game is.

Kick Butts, Save Nuts

The focus of any party game is to actually be fun to play with friends; everything else is a secondary consideration. Save Your Nuts nails that most crucial aspect; I played several rounds with my fellow JP’s Switchmaniacs to write this review, and we had a really good time punching the crap out of each other and grabbing all the nuts we could fit in our hands. That… uh… that came out bad, didn’t it? I’m gonna have to talk to HR again. The point is, if you’re looking for a game to enjoy with your buddies during quarantine, you could do a lot worse than Save Your Nuts. It’s got online play, too, so you can maintain your social distance and have a game party at the same time.

Score: 7.5/10

Buy Save Your Nuts from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Follow Triple Scale Games

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*A game code was provided for review purposes

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