Nutty Fluffies Hands-On Preview

Developer RedLynx is known for their over-the-top racing games, like MotoHeroz, where keeping all four wheels on the ground is a grueling challenge. If you thought controlling off-road vehicles was tough, just imagine trying to control the speed of a roller-coaster being operated by a hippopotamus.

Nutty Fluffies is the upcoming iOS game from RedLynx and Ubisoft, and it stars plush animals who live in an amusement park. After the park shuts down for the night, the fluffies hop on the rides and basically wreck the place. Since they’re stuffed animals, you don’t have to worry about them getting injured if they fall off a dangerous-looking ride.

Your control inputs are very simple– you just swipe to the right to speed up the train cars, and swipe to the left to slow down. You’ll have to build speed to go up steep inclines, but if you’re going too fast, your carts could tumble over and crash on the descent. At the same time, you’ll try to collect hearts that are scattered above the track, and keep your passengers safe until the end.

We’re told that Nutty Fluffies will be cost around a dollar to download, but we did spot pop-up ads, and the game uses a freemium-style in-game currency to unlock new tracks, or to add carts and riders. Coins are earned slowly by picking up hearts, at a rate of about eight or nine hearts to one coin, but you can replay rides as many times as you like to earn more.

You can also spend money to earn more money. You have to fill each car in your coaster with an animal passenger– rats are free, and offer the fewest hearts, while cats, dogs, pigs, and elephants cost several coins each to seat. If you wipe out on the ride, you’ll lose your investment. If you want to blaze through the levels quickly, you’ll have to take a risk by seating pricier animals and hoping you make it to the end.

Another trick we noticed was that you can spam your friends through email, Facebook, and Twitter to earn more coins. While we didn’t care for these obvious attempt to drive in-app purchases, playing through the game without paying extra or bugging your friends is still an option– it’ll just take a bit longer.

Nutty Fluffies has fun physics and a cute concept, but we’re concerned that the emphasis on freemium gimmicks might disrupt the ride. If this were a freemium download, we wouldn’t think twice about these gameplay decisions. But a paid game should be fun first, with in-app purchases as a distant afterthought, and Nutty Fluffies seems to be prioritizing the latter. We’ll know for sure after we’ve had a chance to play the full game, which will be available in October.