Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Ice Age is one of the longest running computer animated movie series, and it stars a group of prehistoric animals like saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths.  But clearly the crowd favorite has to be Scrat the saber toothed squirrel and his constant chase for his beloved acorn nut.  And now Scrat gets his very own game with Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure.  While chasing his acorn, Scrat stumbles across a hidden temple of the Scratazons, an ancient advanced race of saber toothed squirrels.  Now in order to get his nut back, he must collect special purple crystal acorns across the land.  Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is a 3-D platformer available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Scrat can jump, roll, attack with kicks and his tail, sneak past sleeping enemies, and throw rocks or snowballs.  As you collect the large crystal nuts, you’ll be sent back to the temple to learn a new skill, like double jumping.  You can replay previous areas with these new skills to collect more items.  Small crystal nuts will increase your health when you collect a certain amount, and they’ll unlock concept art as well, which is cool.  Hidden in each area are stone tablet fragments and statues for you to find.  I don’t know if you get a better ending if you do collect those, but I kind of hope so since the ending I got was a bit anti-climatic and felt thrown together.

Play control is decent and I really liked the lush and varied wilderness environments.  The game does have a few problems, though, but most are pretty minor.  As 3-D platformers go, sometimes the camera angles were problematic and the frame rate could get choppy sometimes.  Jumping on small dinner plates would get annoying at times but luckily there are plenty of checkpoints so you won’t get sent too far back if you run out of energy.  Really the biggest problem I had was the bosses were way harder than anything in the rest of the game, but luckily there are only three bosses I came across.  Scrat’s Nutty Adventure doesn’t really revolutionize 3-D platforming at all, and it does feel like something that could’ve been done on the GameCube (which isn’t necessary a bad thing), but if you’re looking for a fun and breezy game, you might go nuts for this one.

Kid Factor:

Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You can kick enemies and hit them with your tail, but defeated bugs, rats, and dinosaurs just fall over and disappear or run away.  If you’re OK with your kids watching the Ice Age movies and TV specials, they’ll be OK with the game.  Most of the game is pretty easy, but prior knowledge and experience with 3-D platformers will help.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may have trouble with some of the trickier jumps and bosses.

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