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Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is an action-adventure video game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The third main title in the Banjo-Kazooie series, it was released for the Xbox 360 worldwide in November 2008 (and was later released in Japan the following month). The game takes place eight years after the events of Banjo-Tooie, and marks the return of series antagonist Gruntilda, who plans to take over Spiral Mountain. To defeat Gruntilda, series protagonists Banjo and Kazooie must compete in a set of vehicle-based challenges.

The game mostly revolves around vehicle construction, in which the player must design custom vehicles including automobiles, motorbikes, boats and aeroplanes. Gameplay itself is centred on completing a series of challenges depending on the specific vehicle, although some parts of the game retain platforming traits. Development of the game first began as a remake of the original Banjo-Kazooie, although a game which involved "more traditional platforming" was conceptualised. Eventually, the project evolved into a construction-oriented game which was inspired by connecting Lego blocks.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts received generally positive reviews upon release. Critics were largely divided over the concept of vehicle-oriented gameplay, though some critics praised its mechanics and innovation. The game sold a total of 140,000 units by the end of 2008 in the United States. The game has also achieved "Platinum Hits" status, which means it sold at least 400,000 units during its first nine months of release. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. The game is also included in the Rare Replay retrospective compilation, released for the Xbox One in 2015.

Summary

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts primarily revolves around vehicle construction; the player must construct their own vehicles after collecting specific vehicle parts. In contrast to its predecessors, there are no conventional "moves" for Banjo and Kazooie to use, apart from melee attacks Kazooie performs with her spanner. The game's hub world is Showdown Town, which contains various portals that lead to five worlds and, at the end of the game, Spiral Mountain. Each world contains six "acts", different settings for the world that include different challenges and characters. The key part of the game is to earn "Jiggies" to unlock new worlds and ultimately Spiral Mountain, which contains the final boss.

The centre of Showdown Town houses the Lord of Games' (L.O.G.) factory, which dispenses "game globes" whenever a certain Jiggy total is reached. Placing the globes onto special stands unlocks the game's worlds. Each world features a set of challenges, which vary among races, combat and objectives such as slalom jumping. The game also features vehicular combat; players may equip weapons onto their vehicles for use against opposing vehicles. Players who surpass a challenge's best score will be rewarded with a Trophy; collecting four trophies will earn them an additional Jiggy from Trophy Thomas. Each Jiggy extracted from the levels appears in "Jig-o-Vend" collection units scattered in crates around Showdown Town. The player must vend the Jiggies and physically carry them over to the central "Jiggy Bank" device to affect the total of Jiggies. Showdown Town also houses Mumbo's Motors, a workshop where the player may create and design their own vehicles.

Vehicles play a prominent role in the game, replacing the moves and transformations featured in its predecessors. The vehicles can be built freely by the player from over 1600 different components available, such as body panels, engines, wheels, wings, propellers, fuel tanks and weapons. Vehicle types include automobiles, motorbikes, boats and aeroplanes. To create vehicles, the player must collect vehicle parts and blueprints, which may be found scattered throughout the hub world or earned by winning specific challenges. The player may also purchase preset blueprints and vehicle parts from Humba Wumba in Showdown Town. Players were once able to send and receive blueprints over Xbox Live, but the servers for this have been shut down since. The game retains some platforming traits; the player may disembark from a vehicle and explore the environment in a manner similar to that of the previous games. On foot the duo can grab ledges, swim underwater, balance on tightropes and perform basic jumps. Kazooie's spanner can also be used as a melee weapon outside of the vehicle, in addition to levitating lopsided vehicles. Banjo and Kazooie have limited attack power and agility on foot at first, but the duo can upgrade their speed, stamina and strength by visiting Boggy's Gym in Showdown Town. Scattered around the game's six worlds are musical notes, which serve as currency for the player to purchase certain items such as blueprints, parts, and access to advanced vehicles. Musical notes vary in value as determined by their colours (gold, silver, or bronze). Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts also featured an online multiplayer mode; players were able to compete in challenges such as races and combat over Xbox Live.

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts features bonus content unlocked through the use of "Stop 'N' Swop", a feature first introduced in the original Banjo-Kazooie. By collecting the six Mystery Eggs and Ice Key in the Xbox Live Arcade re-release of Banjo-Kazooie, players were able to find special vehicle part crates in Nuts & Bolts' overworld, to be used to unlock novelty vehicle parts, such as a disco ball or fuzzy dice. By using the Stop 'N' Swop items in the XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie as well, players who purchased the "L.O.G.'s Lost Challenges" DLC gained access to seven additional vehicle blueprints created by fans who won a blueprint design contest held by Rare.

Release Date

  • November 11, 2008 (North America)
  • November 14, 2008 (Europe)
  • November 20, 2008 (Australia)
  • December 11, 2008 (Japan)

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