3D platformers based on family films have been around for a long time and Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure is quite a nostalgia trip.
To be perfectly honest, I don't know much about the Ice Age franchise. However, I wanted to review Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure because I have fond memories of playing games such as A Bug's Life, Tak and the Power of Juju, and loads of quality platformers based on Disney films. Right off the bat, I was rather disappointed with it as some major glitches occurred in the very first level. Specifically, I encountered a bug where jumping made me keep ascending and I fell through the bottom of the stage, too. With that being said, I pushed through and ended up enjoying the campaign so much that I completed it. That's not to say that it isn't rough around the edges as it definitely is but as the gameplay opened up and became more varied and engaging, I actually had an impressively good time.
Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure has you play as the titular squirrel who goes on an epic adventure in 4 different directions from the central hub area which is called The Forgotten Temple. The core gameplay involves running, jumping, attacking, and throwing rocks so it's very simple stuff. You'll also find yourself solving basic puzzles such as throwing rocks at buttons in a specific order and carrying Power Cores to terminals in order to open doors and make floating platforms move. As you progress through the levels, you'll gather loads of shards which are scattered about, contained within crates, and dropped by enemies. After earning thresholds of them, your maximum health increases. With that in mind, failure isn't very punishing as you merely begin at the previous checkpoint again.
Although all of this sounds rather basic, you acquire additional moves upon completing each of the first 3 series of levels. First, you'll earn the ability to double-jump. Next, you can tap a button to leap through distant rings which propel you forward and finally, you can move certain blocks with telekinetic powers. These additional elements come together to create quite a varied and fun gameplay formula and you'll also find yourself in unique scenarios such as freefalling from a cliff, riding a chunk of ice down a river, and facing a handful of bosses. On the downside, there certainly isn't much difficulty in any of these activities so genre veterans will likely be disappointed by the low level of challenge. As a result, it's a solid game for children who just can't get enough of that charming little squirrel.
Even with its unchallenging campaign, Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure features a vast assortment of tricky collectibles that help extend its replay value. In fact, you basically have to complete the campaign twice if you want to collect everything because your new power-ups are necessary to obtain everything, even in the first few stages. You'll find Tablet Pieces and Statues tucked away in very well hidden nooks and crannies and finding every single one of them will require a great deal of exploration seeing as there are plenty of alternate paths and open areas to traverse in most stages. That actually leads me to one of my biggest complaints: there are no level maps. This is a huge pain because the levels can be overwhelming how intricate they are so a strong sense of direction is necessary.
Finally, the combat in Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure is very disconnected and unsatisfying. I found myself ground-pounding groups of enemies while jumping and spinning into flying foes which seemed to be most effective. Once an attack hits, it doesn't seem to register at all except for when some bugs turn upside-down but even then, it's confusing as to whether you're actually causing damage. It all just feels very disjointed and unsatisfactory but at least the platforming and puzzles are rewarding.
Even though Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure contains some ridiculous glitches and flat combat, it's still a fun 3D platformer that acts as a decent throwback to the PS2 era. So, if you love Scrat or have nostalgia for the genre then it might be worth checking out.
- + Fairly solid 3D platforming with a good amount of variety and collectibles
- + Lovely-looking environments
- + Enjoyable replay incentives
- - Combat feels flat and disconnected and there's very little sense of challenge
- - Contains some downright awful glitches
- - Could use level maps and other niceties