NUTS is a first person, single-player narrative game about monitoring and reporting squirrel behavior. You play as a rookie field researcher coming to the remote Melmoth Forest to track the movements of the squirrels and discover why they behave so strangely. NUTS boasts bold style and an intriguing narrative executed through distinctive gameplay.
The core mechanic of NUTS is a unique type of environmental puzzle that requires you to navigate through the forest while tracking the path of some tricky squirrels. You are given cameras that you set up around your map based on GPS coordinates given to you by your boss, Dr. Nina Scholz. The cameras serve as markers and give you a small window to view the targeted squirrel’s path each night. Your objectives often require you to follow a squirrel from its starting position through the area to its nut stash.
I found myself attempting to anticipate the path of the squirrels and was totally wrong at times but pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed playing back the footage each night and strategizing where to place my cameras next. Placing the cameras to stage the perfect shot during the day and scrubbing your footage each night feels fluid and seamless. It’s a perfect balance to keep you fully engaged and on the edge of your seat. This mechanic doesn’t change much throughout the game but navigating the different areas and discovering their hidden secrets is very rewarding. Even in areas where I was “stuck” for a bit, I was never frustrated with the gameplay itself. In fact I found it quite fun, and was definitely invested in my strategy.
NUTS promises intrigue and absolutely delivers. It presents itself as a mystery with nefarious roots. You feel on edge, trying to anticipate the nature of your study, and even your relationship with Nina. As things unfold and the plot thickens you might find yourself second guessing your initial theories. Throughout the game there are several questions posed that never get concrete answers — and I don’t think they need answers. Part of the appeal of the game is to speculate and craft theories. One might say you go a little… nuts. Just when you think you’ve got…