Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers, an odd little Windows Phone 8 platform game

Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers is a platform Windows Phone 8 game were you have to fend off an invasion of nutcrackers. These are not your Holiday Season styled Nutcrackers but odd little creatures that remind me a little of Pac-Man.

You play the role of a Pic, a strange looking creature with eyes, hands, feet and a huge nose, who works his way through various puzzle platforms to defeat the Nutcrackers. Animations tend to give things a children's game feel and controls are a little cumbersome. Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers does have a bit of potential, but it may be best to give the trial version a shot before buying the full game.

Game Layout

Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers' main menu has options to continue a game, start a new adventure, view the about screen and exit the game. The only setting for the game is a mute button that rests in the upper left corner of the main menu.

When you first launch game play with Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers you will be carried through a series of storyboards that illustrate the storyline behind the game. There is no dialogue or text and you cannot skip through the story. The pictures should tell the story that the Pics have opened up a magical portal between their world and the world of Walnut. This enables the Nutcrackers to invade and the Pics must defeat the invasion and reach the King of the Nutcrackers.

Game play is laid out across three worlds, each having multiple levels of platforming adventure. To access each level of play, you'll need to guide your Pic to a doorway for each level.

Game Play

Each level of play with Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers has a series of puzzles, obstacles and dangers to overcome. In a nutshell, you must guide your Pic from the level's starting point to its exit point.

On screen controls are present to control your Pic's movement and action. In the lower left corner is a joystick control that handles forward, backward and crouching movements. In the lower right corner are controls that handle jumping, attacking and a generic action button. If you ever forget the control layout, there is a sign at the beginning of the level screens that will plaster the control layout on the screen when you stand in front of it.

Along with the on-screen controls, in the upper left corner of the game screen you will find your character's vital statistics that include health, experience and coins collected.

The platform challenges range from jumping across deadly pits, jumping over rolling boulders, leaping up platforms, and battling various Nutcrackers. You will also get the chance to battle boss Nutcrackers, who are (pardon the pun) a tough nut to crack.

If you miss a jump, you will fall to your death and have to start the level over. The health or life meter gauges your health while battling Nutcrackers. Many of the Nutcrackers you can jump over and avoid battle, while others you cannot avoid going toe to toe with.

As you play the game, your Pic will gain experience that will increase the creature's health, strength and vitality. Not exactly sure what the coins are for though.

Overall Impression

The animation and graphics for Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers isn't bad, just more Kid's Corner oriented. It comes across as a cross between Rayman and a early morning Nickelodeon cartoon show. Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing but may not appeal to everyone.

Game play has its share of challenges but most notably with the gaming controls. Movement seems laggy and cumbersome where you will find yourself falling off cliffs, platforms and misjudging jumps. The layout of the gaming controls is good but the responsiveness needs to be fine-tuned a little.

Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers also needs a help section. It isn't a very difficult game to figure out but some of the little things can be a bit of a mystery (what's with the coins?).

Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers has potential and with a little fine-tuning, could be a fun platformer game to add to your Windows Phone gaming library. As is though, I would recommend downloading the trial version first.

  • Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers - Windows Phone 8 - trial/$.99 - Store Link

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.