Noble Nutlings App Review – Nutty Fun by Former Angry Birds Devs
From former makers of Angry Birds comes a new studio and a new game. Boomlagoon is a newly founded studio consisting of three Angry Birds developers who had recently left Rovio. Following its history with Rovio, Boomlagoon is hoping to carve out its own identity. Those looking for an Angry Birds copycat better look elsewhere because Noble Nutlings is a fascinating mix of gameplay elements, which do well to outshine the fact that the genre is a bit saturated and the game feels a tad familiar.
You control three squirrels attempting to collect precious nuts in as little time as possible. Your vehicle of choice: a rickety, old cart. Fret not, customization fans: this cart can be upgraded to become the ultimate driving machine. With tons of different types of tires and bases, this never gets old. Depending on how quickly you finish these levels, you will be awarded with anywhere between one and three stars. You will also earn tons of coins in your time with Noble Nutlings, which can later be used in the in-game store. The store contains upgrades on your wheels (mix and match wheels for the perfect combination), your base (with everything from carts to banana peels, you’re never short on options), and boost refills.
Gameplay in Noble Nutlings is easy to learn, whilst also being hard to master. Pressing an acceleration button in the bottom corner will give it some gas, while a tilt feature dictates the angle at which you land your cart. Though the tilt function works well, Boomlagoon was nice enough to include an alternative control scheme that utilizes two “tilt left” and “tilt right” buttons in the bottom corner, which caters to those who don’t like rotating their iPhone in every which way. Also included is a boost button which really launches you through the many levels of Noble Nutlings, and refills of your boost meter can be purchased in the in-game store.
Level design in Noble Nutlings is intricate, which is expected from the (part of) the exemplary team that brought you Angry Birds. Gaps, ponds, and steep terrain will hinder your search for nuts. Often times, you’ll get tons of air, and that’s when the tilt controls really come into play. Landing is key, as it comes down to earning the lowest times. A smooth landing really is the difference between one star and three stars; if you don’t land well, your cart might fall apart, spilling your squirrels and further delaying your progress.
In the visual and sound department, everything seems pretty standard. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled with too many great titles, but the cartoony animations are generally average. Friendly tracks play in the background, but the sound isn’t very notable, especially when you’re focused on beating your fastest time.
Overall, Boomlagoon definitely establishes itself as a game developer to be taken seriously. The ex-Rovio devs applied addicting gameplay to another kid-friendly concept. Though the visuals and sounds are rather mediocre, there is not much to complain about. As Boomlagoon builds up its staff, I am sure we can expect bigger and better titles, but don’t let me under-sell Noble Nutlings; any fans of the casual genre would be nuts to skip out on this one!
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Written by Austin Tamblyn, edited by Michael DeLisi.