This is quite the interesting game.  While I do believe that Save Your Nuts has potential, the current state of it leaves a lot to be desired.  If you want to see what the gameplay is like, check out the stream I did with my friends, Taylor, Sean and Andrew, check it out on our Twitch channel (shameless plug).  And if you want to find out some of my deeper thoughts on this game, well, this is the place.

With saying that, I do not want to treat this like a normal review where I just grade what we are given. Instead, I want to talk more about what Triple Scale Games did wrong in my eyes, and how they can improve the game we have now. So buckle up, because while this game may be award winning, I am going to tear into it pretty hard. Not because I don’t like it… Okay, I didn’t like it, and neither did my friends. Even though that is true, I still want to see this game grow! The developers are very passionate about making this game the best it can be, and in doing so, I hope the criticisms made today can help them grow. So I implore you, do not take this as me being mean with no intention, look at this as a list of possible ways to improve the game and make it grow.

Sadly, with growth, must come pain.  

Choose Your Style

One huge prop to this game are the maps.  There may only be 8 for the moment, but each of them offers a much different experience compared to the last.  Some of my favourites being Dungeon and Pirate Ship, each feeling unique in their own right. Even when they look similar, such being the case with Pirate Ship and Waterfalls, their play styles and tactics can differ just enough to keep the game fresh in a long session.  There are only two points I wish to criticize; the naming scheme and the camera view. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with the current names they have, it just feels generic.

Names can be the make or break a game’s memorability.  They don’t have to be way out there to be iconic. Just think of maps such as Rust, Dust II or Final Destination;  simple, yet memorable. And with the nice selections of maps that we have, it can be done. For example, Pirate Ships can be changed to Seaside Brigade (I know, not the best).  But it can be done, and I believe the game devs have the ability to make a game this out there (in a good way) can come up with some good stuff.

In the Fight

Let’s start with the gameplay.  There are 3 modes with the possibility of 8 maps being played on.  The main game mode is a soccer type game mode where the goal is to get the nut into your dog house.  A solid mode, in my opinion; the only thing that I can criticize in this game mode is the nut placement at the beginning of each round.  I would recommend placing the nut closer to the team who is either losing in points or lost the previous round. It would be a welcomed change. As for the other 2 game modes, the balloon battle and capture the flag type are both just fine the way they are in terms of the mechanics.

The area that actually needs the work is the mechanics related to the characters.  One of these major issues is finding my character in the heat of battle. I am not the only one who has this problem, my entire group experienced this.  Whether it is a special hue outline that can be applied to your avatar, similar to how the character holding the nut has a golden glow or a special marker over your head, something can be done here.  It won’t take much, but it will make a massive difference.

Another problem that we faced constantly was getting our characters caught up on random objects.  While they may be minor inconveniences at times, they do compound over time and can be the trigger for full tilt.  Some clip brushes can fix this to make the game more smooth, or a change to the physics engine to allow you to move diagonally along a wall.  Either change would be a big improvement in gameplay.

The Sounds of Nature

Sadly, this aspect of Save Your Nuts is rather lacking.  

There are some aspects that are redeeming, such as the acoustic guitar featured in the soundtrack. It compliments the majority of the woodsy setting rather well.  The issue is, it repeats the same 3 or 4 phrases the majority of the time. After just a couple minutes, it starts to get stale. Especially with the stage’s songs.

With all of that said, there is still one issue.  And with it being on a technical level, I have no idea how to solve this.  So I will just point out that if you change the audio level to a lower level, every audio file will spike to 100% briefly before dropping back to normal when played.  Most of the time it is bearable, but with the squirrel sound effect, it hurts my ears to the point where I just turn off the sound effects.

Enjoying the Scenery

Another area where Save Your Nuts performs well at. The maps look great, each one having a distinct look while not being cluttered. The characters models are rather pleasant as well. The only criticism I have is to make the character models have a flat finish instead of a shiny finish.  

With the shiny look they currently have, they look more like toys instead of wild creatures.  If this the intended look, then great! But as it stands currently, it does not seem like this is the case.  Outside of that, maybe a tweak to make the game more vibrant. At times, the color pallet does seem a bit flat.  Even then, it is more of a personal comment than anything.

Is it Worth $15?

Currently, no.  There is quite a lot that needs to be fixed before people should buy Save Your Nuts.  And paying $60 for the 4 player experience we have now is not worth it. But I believe it will be one day.  Give this game sometime, and it can truly shine in the indie world.

THE GOOD
Map Selection
THE BAD
Audio Level Issues
Lose Track of Your Character Easily
Bland Music
Easy to Get Characters Stuck
3.5
Bad

Review Summary

While this game may have potential, as it stands, it is not worth the buy.

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