Generally favorable reviews - based on 71 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 71
  2. Negative: 0 out of 71
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  1. And even after spending nearly 20 hours amassing enough jiggies to take down the final boss, I'm compelled to get back in there and keep playing new missions, unlocking new vehicle parts, and exploring more of the game's beautiful world. I had no affection whatsoever for the Banjo-Kazooie franchise or characters going into Nuts & Bolts, but its list of great qualities quietly won me over to make it one of my favorite Xbox 360 games of the year.
  2. 91
    The combination of a surprisingly lengthy single-player game and a robust multiplayer mode make this one game that just about anyone can enjoy. While the challenges get a little repetitive, the ability to create and operate custom vehicles -- both online and off -- make Nuts & Bolts a unique, entertaining spin on the everyday platformer.
  3. 90
    With so many vehicle parts, places to go and people to see, Nuts & Bolts is going to be a game you keep going back to. Just getting to the end will require hours of commitment, but, it’s not like you need an excuse, right? Apart from a confusing premise (the story is a little bit weak) and the small text, this game is a massive success.
  4. Nuts & Bolts offers true next-gen gameplay, with user created content being core to the experience. Simply making vehicles is good fun, and with the ability to instantly test them out you can sink hours into one creation alone. It certainly won't be for everyone, but with spectacular presentation, highly entertaining Robot Wars style multiplayer and a lot of good hearted humour, the bear and bird are back.
  5. Nuts & Bolts is a fantastically fun game. It may threaten to overcomplicate itself from time to time, but it’s impossible to play and not come out with a smile on your face.
  6. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    The new generation Banjo game is the flagship platformer for Xbox 360 – similar to Super Mario Galaxy for Wii. One of the best games this year offers an extreme amount of fun. [Dec 2008]
  7. Quite simply Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is not a renter, but a must buy in my eyes!
  8. It's a shame that Nuts & Bolts is so overlooked and undervalued, as it it genuinely brilliant, and shows that Rare does have what it takes to make a classic, even if they misjudge their audiences a little bit.
  9. The story's specific games and challenges are not always innovative, and some can get darn right repetitive and frustrating, especially if you can't quite beat the clock. But the ability to craft mind-blowing vehicles provides an endlessly addictive experience that'll keep this title in your 360 longer than it probably has a right to be there.
  10. After years of keeping Banjo fans waiting RARE successfully delivers the goods. The new direction works well and you owe it to yourselves to give it a shot.
  11. Pelit (Finland)
    An excellent combination of platforming, racing, combat and freeform vehicle building. [Jan 2009]
  12. Rare is a one-of-a-kind developer that can make a new game look and feel new while keeping an old feeling at the same time. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts fits into this familiar spot creating an experience that is extremely fun and definitely RARE.
  13. Banjo is back. A whole new adventure featuring several old friends and some new characters, but in a completely new world. It's great to see Banjo this well, as Nuts & Bolts is really funny, but the new gameplay is something users must get used to. Vehicles are fun, but not as much fun as they should be.
  14. Despite its quality Banjo Kazooie is a videogame very difficult to locate, especially because it refuses the legacy of the previous games and because it's friendly looking masks a gameplay deep and sometimes even complex. Brainless car racing, engaging vehicle creation and plenty of fun are its main values.
  15. Annoying collect-a-thon aside, Nuts and Bolts is a rare delight that offers up big laughs and inventive gameplay. It also ends up being the closest thing there is to a virtual LEGO set.
  16. This is no ordinary platformer, with a strong focus on racing wacky vehicles that you create yourself from more than a hundred different parts that you find. The ability to build these vehicles - planes, helicopters, submarines, boats, racing cars and more - is truly amazing. Overall a huge amount of fun at a very low price point!
  17. An excellent vehicle creator and a variety of fun missions make Banjo's return to gaming a blast.
  18. Soon I found myself scouring the hub world obsessively looking for cool new bits to add to my machines; larger engines, lighter wings, better weapons.
  19. Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts acts out its premise. It takes an old game, disassembles it, and puts it back together in a new package.
  20. 85
    Rare took a huge risk by giving the franchise a new direction, but thankfully it paid off. Nuts & Bolts is easily one of their best titles in recent years.
  21. So, if you’re looking for “bang for your buck” this is it – near limitless vehicle creation, interesting levels, mini-games and multiplayer outside the main story, a light-hearted sensibility and mostly optional items to collect make this a good game and worthy of attention.
  22. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    [Jan 2009, p.69]
  23. Once you’ve accepted the imaginative environment and characters for what they are, then you’ll be able to cruise easier, with the wind blowing in your fur, and a vast, exciting world to leave in the dust.
  24. Games Master UK
    An original but flawed concept - it doesn't quite live up to expectations but it's still fun. [Jan 2009, p.62]
  25. 83
    A game that never stopped being fun for me. It's an odd duck that doesn't fit into any conventional game genres and probably isn't right for everybody. Despite its friendly appearance, Nuts & Bolts isn't exactly easy to pick up and play and might be over the head of some small children. There's a lot of depth here and the vehicle creation tools allow you to flex your mind and your fingers at the same time.
  26. Although platforming may not be the key gameplay mechanic here as it was in previous games, Rare has obviously grown with the current state of gaming and brought a breath of fresh air to the genre as a whole with the whole vehicle system.
  27. Rare has done a great job of revamping the gameplay in order to provide a fresh experience while still preserving the core elements that made Banjo and Kazooie a hit in the first place.
  28. A really enjoyable game, especially so when it comes to the vehicle creation system.
  29. Overall, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is an excellent game that gives the series a long-overdue overhaul.
  30. GamePro
    The game's new vehicle-based emphasis will probably turn off some long-time fans, but I really enjoyed the game's premise. [Dec 2008, p.95]
  31. Rare's best game in years is quite obviously intended for a younger audience, one that will almost certainly love every minute of it.
  32. There's a big difference: instead of hopping and bopping on one foot, you spend most of your time in tricked-out vehicles you make yourself. [Holiday 2008, p.72]
  33. While falling short of hand-break turning, spring-bouncing and rocketing the series into a whole better direction, Nuts & Bolts will be remembered as a unique and enjoyable - if sometimes repetitive - spin-off to Banjo's platforming routes. It'll be interesting to see where Rare takes him next.
  34. Nuts & Bolts is a country mile away from being the instant classic that the original was, even though it can often be hugely charming, tremendously entertaining and filled with a bucket-load of humour. But it strikes us as having hit a brick wall midway through development, with its lack of ideas resulting in a clever concept falling somewhat short of the level it deserves.
  35. 80
    The game is thoughtful in design, mostly clever in its handling of pacing, upgrading parts and keeping you on track as you work your way towards the final encounter. But it's just not as fun or interesting as it should be.
  36. 80
    Nuts & Bolts has solid single player, but multiplayer has even more potential, making this Banjo-Kazooie game worth a buy.
  37. Perhaps the only viable way to bring Banjo and Kazooie onto the Xbox 360, Nuts & Bolts is nevertheless a thoroughly entertaining and rewarding video game, deserving of its place in the popular series despite its apparent changes.
  38. If you can get past the cutesy visuals and enjoy creative and time-consuming games with lots of challenges, you should probably give it a try. On the other hand, if you're looking for a fast-paced, adventure-filled experience, this may not quite meet your expectations.
  39. 80
    A gleeful, gaudy soup of physics sandbox, vehicle creator and action adventure.
  40. Joyous and hellish. Delightful and disgraceful. Too frequently annoying yet capable of compelling the player to see it through, Nuts & Bolts is more of a disappointment than it is a reward for an eight-year wait. But it's a disappointment that, for all the good it does, is actually worth playing.
  41. games(TM)
    The N64 predecessors are, whether we like it or not, relics of a time when everyone seemed happy just to riff on Super Mario 64, but Nuts & Bolts is a long-overdue move away from that style and a great one at that. [Christmas 2008, p.84]
  42. One of my most-enjoyed titles of this year.
  43. Nuts & Bolts appeals to an incredibly small audience; one that I’m not sure exists. To get the most of the game you must know a good deal about Rare’s past titles and their sales records, as well as being a Banjo Kazooie fan that has no problem seeing the past two games sh.t on and ignored in favor of a new, strange gameplay mechanic.
  44. 80
    Decidedly low on platforming and high on the fumes of self-deprecating humor, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is a playful addition to the series - though perhaps not what fans were clamoring for.
  45. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I feel like it could be forgotten in the winter rush, but Nuts & Bolts is an excellent game - and original as well, even for a sequel.
  46. AceGamez
    Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is distinctively different from the norm - and from what we were expecting - but this is by no means a bad thing. Visually it's stunning, with a cartoon style that's closer to Pixar quality than I've seen in a game before, while Rare's brave move away from traditional, platform-based gameplay is definitely a success and the flexibility and simplicity of the vehicle creator makes it a joy to use.
  47. Like Jurassic Park, Rare have revived a long extinct franchise, taking the DNA of the originals but mixing in new elements. Unlike Jurassic Park, however, N&B doesn’t end with everyone getting eaten by the revived bear and his bird sidekick.
  48. Good graphics, sturdy gameplay options and a great soundtrack, this is definitely for the younger gamer, however more mature gamers will still get a blast or a blast from the past out of this.
  49. I love(d) the Banjo-Kazooie series for years and they were the best reason to keep your N64 around for many gamers. But while this new Banjo-Kazooie title is one game I liked, I found it to be a bit boring to play at times and it honestly lacks or feels that it lacks a true identity to be either a game for kids or for adult gamers. Highly recommend it as a rental, but make sure this is a game for you before buying.
  50. Overall, Nuts and Bolts is a fairly fun platformer that most folks should enjoy.
  51. Despite a few rough spots, Nuts and Bolts is a great adventure game that manages to mix the best elements of the Banjo and Kazooie mythos with a fresh take on the series. It's not a game that you can just pick up and play, but for those willing to make the time investment, Nuts and Bolts provides a very rewarding single-player experience. Not to mention, it's also a good value for the money.
  52. 75
    It's a shame that the game falls into some decidedly old-school design traps, but there's still plenty of fun to be had here.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 66
  2. Negative: 20 out of 66
  1. Oct 31, 2012
    Seeing how beautiful the game world looks but being unable to platform in it and having to build stupid vehicles breaks my heart. It could ofSeeing how beautiful the game world looks but being unable to platform in it and having to build stupid vehicles breaks my heart. It could of been an AMAZING platformer. Full Review »
  2. Jun 3, 2013
    positives:town can be fun to navigate, designing your own vehicles is lots of fun,
    negatives: worlds are barren of EVERYTHING. seriously
    positives:town can be fun to navigate, designing your own vehicles is lots of fun,
    negatives: worlds are barren of EVERYTHING. seriously theres nothing in them. what your supposed to do isn't made immediately clear, the worlds look horrible and fake, the 'game master' is annoying, the characters are represented very poorly, for what reason did they make banjo and kazooie fat?. a trolley. really? a trolley? WHY?its horrible!, inability to change the trolley at all despite being able to in the demo, inability to use anything but the trolley in town, stop and swap eggs do nothing but unlock useless parts,weapons can be hard to aim. as if there was anything to aim at. the whole game just feels like something else should have been there, but isn't(this game should have been banjo threeie before some idiotic decision making backstage and an engine change)the whole game feels like an alpha stage game, and unfinished at that.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2012
    This game got score 79 for what it this game not good game i mean racing flying making cars and plane meh what the point.....

    Oh yes i am
    This game got score 79 for what it this game not good game i mean racing flying making cars and plane meh what the point.....

    Oh yes i am banjo kazooie fan only first 2 where best ones i said nuts and bolt game i said why not got it free with xbox but when i stuck it on i was so disappoint this not like first 2 pathetic of course u cant die which stupid
    Full Review »