In an industry where technology and graphics are being constantly pushed to its limits and beyond, it’s nice to see a game like The Little Acre return to a simpler time, yet somehow manages to feel fresh and beautiful. One of the first things that will stand out to just about anyone starting The Little Acre is its delightful hand-drawn aesthetics and cartoon-like animations. Developed by Pewter Games, The Little Acre is a charming little point and click adventure game that is as enjoyable to play as it is to watch.
The story follows the adventures of Aidan and his daughter, Lily. You take control of both father and daughter as they try to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Aidan’s father. Throughout their adventure, you’ll solve basic puzzles while travelling between worlds and engaging with interesting and funny characters. However, the game isn’t without its flaws, and these shortcomings keep The Little Acre from being kept in the same conversation as some of the best adventure games that have come out in recent memory.
The Little Acre: Xbox One [Reviewed], PlayStation 4, PC
Developer: Pewter Game Studios
Publisher: Curve Digital
Release Date: 13 December 2016
Price: £10.39 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
The Little Acre follows the same formula that most adventure games take. You start off in the family’s small cottage home, where the family wake up from their beds and Aidan has to set off to find work. The initial part acts as a bit of a tutorial, teaching players how to explore from room to room, pick up items and combine them in order to solve a puzzle or clear a situation. The game has a cursor that allows you to select items that you can interact with, and movement is done with the left stick. It’s clear that the game was built for the PC, but still works well with a controller.
One major gripe about The Little Acre‘s control scheme is how it always opens up the inventory system whenever you pick up an item. It’s annoying when you have to back out of the inventory menu every time you pick up a new item, especially when you don’t need to use it immediately (which is most of the time). None of the puzzles really involve anything that requires quick action, so the slower movement of the cursor with the controller never feels like a hindrance.
Regarding the puzzles themselves, they are fairly simple for the most part, and never become overly challenging. However, the game does offer a hint system that gives players clues on what they need to be doing in case you do become stuck.
The best parts of The Little Acre include the artwork and characters. The hand-drawn animations of the game are some of the best that I’ve seen in a long while, and it was hard not to stop and admire all the details in some of the areas in the other world. Similarly, the voice acting for both Aidan and Lily are top notch, and each had their own distinct personalities and style that made it fun to switch between the two throughout the playthrough.
However, the game isn’t without its flaws. Aside from the control issues mentioned earlier, the game is disappointingly short. The Little Acre takes about one to two hours to play through and can be completed in under an hour if you play through it a second time and know the solution to all the puzzles. In that sense, the game is more in line with the first chapter of an episode adventure game, which is further reinforced by the ending that felt a bit rushed at the last ten minutes.
The Little Acre is a charming point and click adventure game that is beautifully hand drawn and full of endearing characters. However, the ease of difficulty and rather short duration of gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. The ending of the game left me wanting to see more adventures of the delightful father and daughter pair, and it would have been nice if this was simply part one of a series of tales. It’s still easy to recommend The Little Acre to anyone who is a fan of the genre, or those wishing for a quick and easy game to play with friends or family who may be new to the adventure genre of games.