There was a time when platform games filled shop shelves and were in and out of games consoles all day. Back then you could find a whole host of developers and publishers who were looking for the next Mario or Sonic, and with that came Mr. Nutz.
Before there was Conker and his 3D foul-mouthed shenanigans there was the baseball cap wearing, bushy-tail sweeping, nut throwing Mr. Nutz, making appearances on the Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive (Genesis), Game Boy Color and even a 2001 release on the Game Boy Advanced.
Going way back to 1993 Ocean published the Mr. Nutz game for the Super Nintendo, one of the many ‘mascot’ platform games on the market, and one of the better ones too. One thing you should know about Mr. Nutz right from the off is that this game is a platformer in every sense of the word. You’ll be jumping on a lot of platforms, then you’ll find yourself jumping on a few more, so if that’s not the sort of thing you want in a video game you should probably look elsewhere.
Through themed levels Mr. Nutz will have to avoid pitfalls and enemies alike while looking to get from one end to the other. Mr. Nut’s can of course dispatch enemies too by means of jumping on their heads or throwing the nuts you find scattered around the levels. You can also sweep Mr Nut’s tail while ducking for a very short ranged attack.
Levels have a lot of verticality to them, more so than most games of the genre, which makes sense since you’re playing as a squirrel. There’s no shortage of exploration with little areas hidden behind walls or off to the side just out of sight. The idea is to collect all the coins in levels to get the 100% rating at the end of each for those perfectionists, as well as giving you a reason to play again if you want to find other level exits as well as bonus areas.
So gameplay is fairly standard stuff for a platformer of the time even it there’s quite a lot of it, but when it comes to graphics Mr. Nutz is definitely a ‘nut’ above. Everything is about the game is clean and the style has a real storybook sort of feel, plenty of colour and charm. Mr. Nuts is especially impressive, looking genuinely tired as he runs, and it all happens against some very nice backgrounds.
I found the music to be hit and miss, the clouds level was catchy but the living room was dull. There’s nothing wrong with the quality throughout, just some of the music is instantly forgettable.
The story to Mr. Nutz is very simple but presented quite poorly, the only mention of the story in game is found after beating it, so without a manual or the internet you’ll be left wondering why
Mr. Nutz is going to so much trouble to make it through the game’s linear map. I won’t tell you what it is if you want to keep it a secret till the end but be warned; it’s not particularly compelling.
When I say Mr. Nutz is going through so much trouble I mean this game is challenging, it looks cute but don’t be fooled, if you’re like me you’ll lose a lot of continues playing this.
Mr. Nutz is a straight forward platformer, it does everything just about every other platformer does, does it well enough to stand out among the many others that do the same, and is worth a look if you’re searching for a new game to play in the genre.
I give Mr. Nutz a 6.8 out of 10.
On a side note, there was a second Mr. Nutz game called Mr. Nutz Hoppin’ mad, unfortunately it only appeared on the Amiga so might be a bit difficult to actually get a hold of.
For Stage – Select, this was Ed.