Nut Chuckin’ offers harrowing look at hard lives of squirrels

Risoo the squirrel’s struggle in GhostHand Games‘ Nut Chuckin’ parallels that of many Westerns: After some bullying squirrels move in next door, he has to assert his rightful place in the oak tree by kicking them out of town. 

Only, instead of gruffly intimidating them and scheduling duels, Risoo has to climb the tree after lobbing nuts his neighbors throw right back at him. The higher you ascend, the more squirrely they become. 

Nut Chuckin’ boasts a Pixar-like art style and a simple concept that belies its depth, and an endearing charm that can hook even the grouchiest of rodent-averse gamers. 

Movement on your branch is tied to which direction you tilt the iPhone or iPod touch, and catching is done by tapping nuts when they glow mere moments before bopping Risoo on the head. It’s a risky undertaking, but no one said winning back your patch of land would be easy. 

The first couple of branches serve as training levels, but from the fourth branch on, the harder it gets. Enemy squirrels won’t hold still waiting to get knocked down–they’ll bob and weave like heavyweights or flat-out hide to assure their position on the tree. And while the later squirrels can incur multiple hits, Risoo remains a one-hit wonder. 

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