Nuts is a neat game about squirrel surveillance

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My dad used to take me and my sister badger watching. We’d head out into some nearby woods and spend the day building a hideout from sticks, then camouflage it with ferns and settle in until dusk. What we didn’t do is set up a camera system and camp out night after night until we’d uncovered their secrets, as is the aim of free squirrel surveillance game Nuts.

That squirrel has a stash, you see, and it’s up to you to track it down.

Here are the specifics:

“You have 3 cameras, wired up to three TVs at your hideout. Each night, the squirrel leaves its home, goes to its stash, and returns home. You can place the cameras during daytime, and at night you can watch it run around. Can you find the tree that has the stash?”

It’s a pleasantly simple task, complicated by the way that dastardly squirrel has a habit of scampering all over the forest before heading to the tree with his stash in. You’ve got as many days as you like to find it – I got lucky and managed it in 5. I was almost sad when I found it so quickly, seen as I’d have liked to have spent more time bathing in the game’s gorgeous yellow glow. It’s like a less ominous version of that day last year when someone summoned some sort of Lovecraftian Old One.

Be warned that Nuts doesn’t have any audio, so you might want to do what I did and slap on some ambient woodland background noise.

There’s no wildlife on display other than the fleeting glimpses you’ll catch of the squirrel, but this has whet my appetite for more nature watching games. I do like the active, investigative role you play in this though, so I’m not sure if I’d get bored with just sitting back and observing. I’m imagining something like Monster Hunter, but without the monsters or the hunting – instead you’d spend half your time hiding yourself and preparing for when a critter appeared, then the other half following them about.

So, um, not an awful lot like Monster Hunter then. Maybe someone just needs to make me a badger hideout simulator.

Nuts was made for the 2018 Global Game Jam. You can download it for free from its Itch.io page.

5 Comments

  1. Artist says:

    Dear developer, squirrels arent nocturnal animals…

    • joon says:

      Dear Artist, birch trees don’t have nuts either, what’s your point ;)

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        particlese says:

        Well, they might’ve inverted the schedule and had only the intended atmosphere suffering, rather than the fabric of reality and the knowledge bases of our vulnerable children and cityfolk. I’ll just play and pretend it’s a northern flying squirrel or the like, and that some silly human has been taping nuts to birches/aspens and painting the sky yellow just for giggles. ;)

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Um, can someone teach the Guardian about basic shapes and colours? Those skies are clearly yellow.

  3. Lucky Main Street says:

    I love this. I do wish you could slow the mouse movement, and you’re DIY soundtrack is perfect. That’s exactly what this needs. I could really see this concept fleshed out into something much large.