Sitting down and playing video games isn't always about blowing things up or shooting people. Sometimes it's just about having a few laughs and enjoying a story. The Little Acre is the latter of the two. Sure there is a moment or two where "combat" comes into play, but for 95% of this game, it is the characters and their story that makes it fun and compelling.
The Little Acre isn't a huge game by any means clocking in at a couple hours depending on prior knowledge of the world and how fast players complete puzzles. The length never bothered me, as the game is just enjoyable. It's the kind of thing you play and you tell someone about, that you want to replay again for friends and family members because you think they would enjoy, even if they're not a gamer. The story is simplistic yet profound. You play as Aiden, looking for his father, Author, and Lily who is looking for her father, Aiden. You must journey between two worlds, ours and a mysterious, mystical one that we have never seen, to discover what has happened to Author and get your dad back.
Here's what I liked:
Story line – Right from the opening, The Little Acre is spot on, throwing you head first into the middle of a conflict with no need for a build up. Pewter Games manages to give you just enough background to each character and their lives without making things overly complicated or feeling dragged out. As you meet each character and progress through the story, it all makes sense why you are doing what you are doing and the outcome that you are workling towards is always clear. More so, it is very heartfelt and hits deep at some points, yet manages to keep a rather pleasant and fun undertone the whole way through even during the sad moments.
Puzzles – In many point-n-click adventures, the puzzles are either too easy, barely being able to be called a puzzle, or very hard, requiring tons of trial and error or even resorting to looking online for the solution because it is abnormally obtuse. Not here. I never felt that a puzzle was impossible or that I managed to solve it by luck. Each one was intuitive and made complete sense as to why it worked. Even if you were missing an item that was necessary, you could tell you needed something instead of just trying over and over thinking it's your lack of vision as to why you can't solve it.
Characters – Even though this is a hand-drawn video game, I was still able to connect with each one of the characters. They still felt very real to me, managing to elicit an emotional response more than once from me. I enjoyed each role they played in the game; they even managed to make Dougal, their dog, enjoyable and funny.
Art style – I really can't stop gushing over how much I love the two art styles here. So many games struggle to lock one down and make it look good and Pewter Games has managed to do it twice in one game. As you can see from the pictures, the two worlds have a very different look and feel to them all the way down to the character design. Pewter Games has managed to use the art design of each world to their advantage and not only is it visually pleasing, but it also helps add to the atmosphere of the game.
Here's what I didn't like:
Exploration – I wish there would have been hidden easter eggs or treasures, if you will, throughout each place. I know collectibles aren't always a desired thing, but when done correctly, they add so much to a game. Each section is rather straight forward and I do appreciate that, however, I just would have liked each area to be a little more interactive, giving me a reason to spend more time clicking on things.
Targeting – The color pallet in The Little Acre is impressive, covering bright and shiny to dark and dingy and a little bit of everything in between. Sadly, though, sometimes the color choices for selecting an interactable object makes no sense. It is a light orange color that does not stand out well against the background. It is also rather specific about where within that item they want you to click as well, which when you have a mouse is no big deal, but when you are using an analog stick to move the pointer, can be rather annoying.
The Little Acre offers a great all around experience for everyone. It's one of those games that you should pop some popcorn and gather the family for a fun enjoyable game night. Pewter Games manages to keep you enthralled the whole time, offering a happy yet emotional story with enjoyable puzzles, simple controls and good humor. I know point-n-click games aren't for everyone, but if you are a fan of them or don't mind them as long as you have a good time, then don't hesitate to pick up TheLittleAcrfe.
Score: Highly Recommended
The Little Acre was developed by Pewter Games and was published by Curve Digital it was released December 13, 2016, for $12.99. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.