Three of the developers of Angry Birds have formed a new company called Boomlagoon, and their debut game is Noble Nutlings, available for iPad and iPhone. The game puts you in command of a trio of little nutlings (who are, essentially, colorful squirrels), on a quest to collect as many nuts as possible. They’ll complete their quest by riding in various types of carts and flying through each level at the highest speed they can muster up. The faster you finish the course, the higher the score you’ll get. So grease the wheels and buckle up, because this ride is about to get bumpy!

Noble Nutlings is a simple racing game that still manages to provide a challenge. There are 36 levels, with more promised to be on the way, featuring a variety of layouts and difficulties. Levels are relatively simple in the beginning, with just a few hills and bumps, but eventually you'll be performing massive jumps across canyons and doing loop-de-loops, all while trying to keep your three nutlings balanced in their vehicle. You’re scored one to three stars based on the time it takes you to finish each course, and this is where most of the challenge comes in. If you want anything other than a one-star you’ll need to focus -- not crash -- and use the hot chili power-up at just the right moments to blast your cart forward.

The nuts the nutlings collect provide coins, but don’t contribute to the overall score, so even if you collect every single one of them, you could still get a one star if your time isn’t fast enough. It would be nice if they contributed somewhat to the score, because additional levels are unlocked based on the number of stars you’ve accumulated. In the end it’s not a big deal since you can pay coins to unlock the levels. Even if you can’t get the proper amount of stars needed, the coins accumulate rather quickly.

The game also provides a decent amount of customization options. While you start with a relatively simple cart, once you’ve accumulated a decent amount of coinage you get all sorts of additional options for cart bodies and wheels. And you’re not relegated to traditional cart parts, either. You can have a bathtub, a shoe, a tree, or a turtle shell for a body to name a few. You can even have wheels that are watermelons, beach balls, or smiley faces, among other things. If you’re feeling impatient and want to unlock a particular item but don’t have the coins to do so, you can, of course, pay real money.

Noble Nutlings is a fun, accessible game, with a decent amount of challenge to it. Though the controls can be a bit twitchy, they are straightforward. There is an option to play with your friends through Game Center or track your progress and compare with others through Facebook, adding a more competitive feeling to the game. It’s also free to play so you’ve got nothing to lose by downloading this game today. You'd be nuts to pass it up.


App Store Link: Noble Nutlings for iPhone & iPad | By Boomlagoon Ltd. | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.1 | 30.2 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating