Cheap Shot: Nut Chuckin’

America’s favorite and most beloved rodent, the squirrel, is the star in this nut tossin’ game. You assume the role a squirrel named Risoo, and his turf has been overrun by a gang of cocky squirrels. Armed only with quick reflexes and wit, Risoo only has one choice to regain control of his home amongst the trees. He has to get busy Nut Chuckin’.

While Nut Chuckin’ has a snazzy tutorial to explain gameplay, it’s an easy game to grasp. Tilting the iPhone left and right moves Risoo on a branch, and you have to catch or avoid oncoming nuts being thrown by hostile squirrels. Once you’ve caught a nut, tapping on an enemy squirrel makes Risoo fling his nut at them.

You must be chuckin’ nuts.

The difficulty ramps up as you progress with enemy squirrels popping up in larger numbers, but it remains fairly easy due to the game’s slow pace. As it stands, the gameplay isn’t very exciting. While the mechanics are coherent, there’s no immediacy or tension that makes you worry about losing. We’d definitely be curious to see how a faster pace could help improve the apathy we felt.

The presentation is superb. The squirrels animate very well, and evidently a high level of care and consideration went into Nut Chuckin. The backdrops for the levels don’t have a great deal of variation, but they look fantastic regardless.

Nut Chuckin is a tale of two halves. On one hand, It’s a great looking game that you’ll want to show off to folks on the fence about buying an iDevice. But on the other hand, the gameplay isn’t the most satisfying stuff you’ll see out there. Nut Chuckin is relatively cheap if you want to lend Risoo a helping hand, but there are similarly priced games that are a more complete package.

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