SQUIRRELS GO NUTS - SmartGames 2018

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION OF SQUIRRELS GO NUTS!                               


As a child I lived close to a small forrest, but the only thing I ever saw were trees. Although I only knew the forest animals from pictures in books, they still fascinated me. In the past I made a lot of games with exotic or spectacular animals like penguins or dinosaurs, but like last year (Jump’In), I wanted to stay closer to home this year.


I like nature. Many children and adults only see it on TV, for example when watching the fantastic BBC-serie “Blue Planet”. But sometimes we forget that the most amazing creatures live in our own neighborhood. You only need to go outside to find them.


WINTER IS COMING

When I choose a theme, I look for two things: the theme should explain the main game rules and it should be visually attractive. Squirrels suited both requirements. I also like it when it’s very clear when a challenge is solved. This avoids that people need to check their solution. The concept for this game is straight forward: help the squirrels to hide their acorns underground. Although it’s a simple sliding puzzle with 2 L-shaped and 2 rectangular puzzle pieces on a orthogonal grid of 2x2, it has an extra feature: holes and acorns. When you move a squirrel with an acorn over a hole, the acorn will drop through the hole of the puzzle and will land in the hole of the game board. This game has some similarities with Titanic, although this game is much simpler and you can’t make any mistakes when you are playing. But you have to be careful not to drop your nuts in the wrong hole.


example of a easy challenge/solution of “Squirrels Go Nuts” with 2 squirrels and the piece with the red flower


DRIVES YOU NUTS!

The downside of sliding puzzles is that many people try to solve it by moving the pieces randomly, because they can’t figure out that you can use logic to solve them. But of course you can. Before you start you can analyze the position of the holes and acorns. In most cases this will help you to determine which squirrel can fill which hole. After that, you only need to figure out how to move your squirrels to get there. The order in which you need to hide the acorns can be very important, because once a hole is filled, other squirrels can slide safely over this hole without dropping their own acorn.


The flowers were added to give the game some color, but also help you to place the puzzle pieces with squirrels in the right orientation. The word “SmartGames” is also added for the same reason.


There is a small metal ball inside every acorn. You can hear it when you shake it. The function of this metal ball is to avoid that the acorn bounces too much when it drops on the floor. This way we hope, not too many people will request spare parts. But if you loose more than 1 nut, you can also replace them with small marbles.


This game is slightly easier than Jump’In. That’s why the box says 6+ instead of 7+. I love the pictures made by Bert (by Milo Profi, a company only 2 streets away from our office in Belgium). Although it shares the size and a forrest theme with Jump’In, it’s a very different game. So you can’t go wrong with buying both. All good things come in threes, so if anyone has a good suggestion for the next forrest animal, I am all ears.


example of a hard challenge/solution of “Squirrels Go Nuts” with 4 squirrels


GAME RULES

Before you start: Pay attention to the orientation of the game board, so that the holes are in the positions shown in the challenge. A quick tip: if you place the gameboard on top of the transparent lid you can prevent losing nuts!


1) Place the puzzle pieces with squirrels on the game board as indicated:

- Easy challenges use only 2 or 3 squirrels. More advanced challenges will use all 4 squirrels.

- Place an nut in front of every squirrel.

- Some challenges will also feature the square puzzle piece with the red flower. This is a stationary obstacle and cannot be moved.


2) Slide the squirrels horizontally and vertically around the gameboard:

- The feet underneath the puzzle pieces should always stay inside the grooves of the gameboard.

- The puzzle piece with the red flower cannot be moved and will always cover one of the holes.

- Every hole can only contain 1 nut. Once a hole is filled, other squirrels can pass over this hole safely without losing their nut.

- Avoid dropping your nuts too early in the wrong hole! Some holes can only be filled by squirrels in a specific orientation.

- If you need to redo a move (or re-start a challenge), just lift up the game board to pick up the nuts that were already dropped in holes.


3) The shortest solution is offered at the end of the challenge booklet.


After playing: You can store all the nuts inside the included transparent bag, which can be placed together with the puzzle pieces and challenge booklet on top of the game board and covered by the transparent lid. Without the bag, the nuts can fall through the holes inside the game board and could get lost. There is 1 spare nut included with every game …but not a second!


 


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Raf Peeters, January 2018

English/

2018

SQUIRRELS GO NUTS!

ASTEROID ESCAPE

IQ-STARS

GOLDMINE

SLEEPING BEAUTY

CUBE PUZZLER GO

CUBE PUZZLE PRO

JUMP’IN XL


2017

TEMPLE CONNECTION

SNOW WHITE

JUMP IN’

IQ-FOCUS


2016

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

PENGUINS POOL PARTY

PARKING PUZZLER

DEDUCKTION

DINOSAURS MYSTIC ISLANDS

WALLS & WARRIORS

SMARTCAR 5x5

IQ-XOXO

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES JR

HIDE & SEEK JUNGLE

NORTH POLE EXPEDITION

GHOST HUNTERS

ANTI VIRUS MUTATION

IQ-PUZZLER PRO


2015

THREE LITTLE PIGGIES

BUTTERFLIES

IQ-BLOX

IQ-CANDY

PENGUINS PARADE

TANGOES PARADOX


2014

QUADRILLION

BRAIN CHEESER

CITY MAZE

IQ-STEPS

2013

BUNNY BOO

VIKINGS BRAINSTORM

BACK 2 BACK

IQ-LINK


2012

TEMPLE TRAP

BILL & BETTY BRICKS

BEND-IT

IQ-FIT

NOAHS ARK

AQUABELLE


2011

PENGUINS ON ICE

TRUCKY 3

TROY

IQ-TWIST


2010

CHICKEN SHUFFLE

ANACONDA

CANNIBAL MONSTERS

SMARTCAR

SMARTPHONE

2009

TITANIC

DAY & NIGHT


2008

ROADBLOCK

METROVILLE

ALCATRAZ


2007

CAMELOT JR

CASTLE LOGIX

GOGETTER 4


2006

AIRPORT TRAFFIC CONTROL

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES

TOWER OF LOGIC INFERNO

DUOPUZZLE


2005

CAMOUFLAGE

HIDE & SEEK SAFARI


2001

GOGETTER 1, 2 AND 3