Hands-on with Nutty Fluffies
By James Gilmour 11 September 2012
Game Name: Nutty Fluffies | Developer: RedLynx | Publisher: Ubisoft | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad | Genre: Casual
Anyone who has played MotoHeroz on iOS - or its XBLA cousin Trials HD - will be familiar with RedLynx's distinctive take on vehicular physics-puzzlers.

With new offering Nutty Fluffies, however, the Finnish developer has replaced free-wheeling motorbikes and chunky monster trucks with a series of hair-raising roller coasters.

In keeping with the fairground theme (and justifying the slightly awkward title), the carriages of these coasters are populated - and piloted - by thrill-seeking stuffed toys.

These carnival-dwelling critters come to life when the theme park is empty, leaving them free to loop-the-loop to their woollen hearts' content.

The first thing we notice about Nutty Fluffies during our hands-on demo is the control system - or, more specifically, how it differs from previous RedLynx games.

Whereas in MotoHeroz, you control your car's acceleration and pitch via a set of virtual buttons, here you simply swipe the screen to get the coaster rolling.

Thankfully, we found the gesture controls to be both intuitive and immediately accessible. Propelling the carriage forwards with a swipe from left to right feels extremely satisfying, while stroking in the opposite direction gives us a good level of precision over the braking.

This degree of finesse is essential, for an overzealous burst of speed up a slope will often result in your carriage rocketing off into the sky, a situation which often ends badly for the furry occupants.

Though the control system may be new, the basic goal in Nutty Fluffies remains the same as ever: get your vehicle to the end of the track without smashing it to smithereens or accidentally ejecting the passengers en route.

Finishing a track in one piece is only half the battle, however. Dotted along and above the path of the carriage are hearts, which you have to collect and then transform (by some unknown alchemy) into gold coins.

This gold is necessary to unlock new tracks from the game's four worlds. You can also use it to purchase new passengers and carts to help you earn more hearts on the next run.

You see, each stuffed toy on board your carriage functions as a passive power-up. For example, stick a pig in one of the free seats and you'll get extra hearts every time your carriage lands with a bump, plus ten more if he makes it to the finish line without falling out.

Chuck an elephant in, meanwhile, and you'll get bonus hearts for jumping and going downhill, and a whopping 12 hearts when he reaches the end of the line.

The catch - and you knew there had to be one - is that the better the bonus, the more expensive the animal. A pig will set you back four gold coins, while the perk-tastic elephant costs five.

To make things even more interesting, if you lose any of your adorable passengers through careless driving, you have to replace them before your next run. This can be very damaging to your bank balance, especially if you've just flipped an entire herd of elephants to their doom.

If you don't want to gamble your winnings for greater gains, you can always stick a rat in for free. He'll only give you two hearts, though, which may mean you'll have to repeat the tracks a few times before you have enough coin to progress further.

Of course, if you want to open up the game a little quicker, you can buy additional gold via in-app purchases. Rest assured: with some careful coasting (and some complimentary rodents), you can complete the entire game without your having to splash some real-world cash.

Though RedLynx was a bit hazy on the release date (it should be out in weeks rather than months), we can tell you that Nutty Fluffies will be available for iPhone and iPad for 69p / 99c. An Android version is also on the way.
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