Squirrel review [Windows Phone]
We review Squirrel, a Windows Phone game where you take the role of a coin-collecting squirrel
Squirrels are strange creatures. They have a fascination with nuts, climbing trees and stealing food from birds, hardly the behavourial patterns of your typical animal. They also are one of the few animals that have to put up with racism, as the red/grey squirrel divide shows, and some of them can even fly. Well, glide anyway.
Fortunately for the Windows Phone game Squirrel, confusingly developed by Weesals, the red hero doesn't care about his grey compatriots. He just wants to climb to the top of the tallest tree ever known so you can show off your score to the world.
More fool him, because the tree doesn't actually have a height - it goes on infinitely. We're not sure what sort of seed gave birth to this particular length of wood but it must've been special. Magic beans, perhaps?
Anyway, we digress. Said tree provides lots of natural hazards the hero rodent must avoid or else he drops to the floor and breaks bones. Probably. The game doesn't actually show what happens if you aren't very good but you can guess.
Controlling the squirrel involves two methods of control. You can tilt the phone to run around the tree or you can swap to a touch method. The latter is a bit twitchy to begin with but it's essential later on when the difficulty increases as you can dodge far more quickly.
Not everything is stacked against our furry friend, though. You can collect nuts, which basically give you a lifeline if you hit a branch or twig. We're not entirely sure what having lots of nuts does versus just the one as you lose however many you collected when you hit an obstacle. Perhaps them being easier to re-pick up is the reward?
There are also coins to grab on your travels and these add 100 points to your score. When you first start playing they don't seem important but as you chase increasingly better scores, collecting coins early on proves crucial.
Why? Because like most games that go on infinitely, the difficulty comes from upping the speed. And in Squirrels, the speed really does pile on to the fact where it becomes a manic dash to find nuts just so you can plough into one more set of branches. Honestly, we've managed a score of 5,673 (19th on the leaderboards, go us) and by then our eyes were bleeding out of sheer concentration.
Suffice to say, Squirrels is pretty manic but that makes it fun. You always want to have another go, each time in the hope the tree gods are good to you and you can add another few hundred points to your score. It's for this reason, and because of the impressive visuals, that we highly recommend this game. It won't last you forever, and the menu sometimes stalls a bit, but for five minute bursts of fun it's worth every penny.