ICE AGE: SCRAT'S NUTTY ADVENTURE / DEVELOPER: JUST ADD WATER / PUBLISHER: BANDAI NAMCO / PLATFORM: PC, PS4, SWITCH, XBOX ONE (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Scrat's Nutty Adventure stars the fan-favourite sabre-toothed squirrel from the Ice Age movies as he finds himself lost in the ancient ruins of the Scratazon Temple. He's lost his precious acorn, and needs to find four Crystal Nuts - scattered across forests, icy mountains and volcanic wastelands - in order to get it back...
This simplicity of this premise is matched by the gameplay. There's a lot of platforming to be done as Scrat jumps and climbs his way around the terrain, and a single attack button is used to combat various bugs, crabs and rodents that stand in his way. A few light (very light) puzzles involve finding certain items or activating switches to open doors, and new abilities like a double jump are slowly unlocked, that allows Scrat to fast travel back to earlier stages and access previously hidden or hard to reach areas.
There's nothing especially original about it, but its child-friendly simplicity might be a blessing for any youngsters who aren't quite ready for some of the more intricate platformers out there. It isn't the longest game in the world either, with a playthrough lasting around four hours - although you could certainly add more time to that if you were to go hunting for secrets after Scrat has gained his full suite of abilities.
In some ways, Scrat's Nutty Adventure feels like a throwback to simpler times. Its (seriously) fussy camera, relatively uninspired backdrops and straightforward gameplay come straight from the licensed tie-in games of the PS2 / Gamecube era, which many of us will have fond memories of playing. If that's the case, then perhaps players of a certain age might remember this one equally fondly in years to come. As a game aimed at kids, it doesn't really do anything wrong (beyond the dodgy camera issues), but an overall lack of variety means that this might struggle to hold the attention for too long.