Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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A traditional 2-D platformer, Little Acorns may be dressed in family-friendly furry garb, but the game packs enough run-and-jump challenge to keep the seasoned gamer engaged for many hours.
Players traverse well designed levels as a squirrel. He is a father and gathering acorns that are scattered about the levels is his mission. He has four seasons to store enough to survive with his family until the next year. The years are the main environments and the seasonal levels must be unlocked sequentially to progress. There are three years to survive at present with the promise of more to come.
The little rodent has to contend with spiders, angry caterpillars and other woodland hazards to complete his mission. He’s up against the clock; all the acorns have to be collected before time runs out. There are platforms that fall away, ropes to swing from, and power-ups that provide extra time, invincibility, super jumping and the like.
Once the acorns are collected, fruit appears on the board and if time permits, collecting them all adds a bonus. On some boards, the baby squirrels sneak away from mom and dad has to gather them up with the acorns. This variety of challenges add replay for those seeking extra challenges and also vary gameplay.
The graphics are pleasing. The characters are cute in a quirky, boxy way, and the game zooms in appropriately and unasked when precision in a specific area is necessary. Players can even unlock an assortment of clothes and other adornments.
Two “Pesky Products” or in-app purchases of $.99 are available. One opens the entire wardrobe, the other unlocks all the levels and adds 20 seconds to time limits and power ups. That latter, aptly names the “Big Fat Cheat’ will definitely help cover all 60 levels and achieve greatness on the Game Center achievements and leader boards. As these name suggest Little Acorns has a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor.
The controls are impressive. Exactly where they ought to be, the simple left and right and jump mechanisms work precisely, which is necessary when trying to land on little ledge, or spider’s noggin. It’s as easy to adjust a jump mid-air with the touchscreen controls as with any console platformer I’ve played with physical controls.
There is nothing not to like about Little Acorns. Even the soundtrack has a funky groove. For newcomers to platforming this is a great entry point, and veterans of the genre will find the challenge, precision and gameplay on par with the best.