Friday, 23 December 2016 00:00

The Little Acre Review

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The Little Acre is an Irish children’s fairytale book turned videogame.

The story revolves around a moral theme and children’s love for their parents. When Arthur goes missing, his son Aidan sets out to search for him. When Aidan goes missing, his daughter Lily sets out to search for him. Then when Aidan finds his way back, he sets out again to search for Lily. It’s like inception within inception within inception, a kid searching for her father searching for his father.

While I was playing, I wondered why the developers, Pewter Games decided to title their adventure, The Little Acre. The title seems to have nothing to do with the story. However, when I finished the game in less than two hours, I figured it out. The title refers to its compact size. The Little Acre has few areas of exploration and an extremely short story. It feels more like a demo than an actual game.

There is even an achievement for beating The Little Acre in under an hour.

The shortness of The Little Acre not only diminished the playtime, but also forced Pewter Games, to make sacrifices on other elements. The plot is very interesting and introduces players to an alternate world inhabited by strange and interesting creatures. However, the world seems underdeveloped. You only get a small glimpse into this world and your craving for more is never satisfied. There is also no backstory about this world or how Arthur came to discover it. The creatures Aiden and Lily encounter and their powers and motives are also never fully explained. Heck, Aiden and Lily aren’t explained either. In the beginning, you’re just thrown into the story without any indication of what is going on or what your adventure entails. It took awhile for me to figure out Aiden and Lily’s relationship and about half of the game before I even knew what Aiden’s name was. There are also hints to Lily’s mom/Aiden’s wife, but what happened to her is never fully revealed. There was just so much introduced throughout the adventure and not enough playtime to explain it all. When you finish The Little Acre, you are still left with many unanswered questions.

Throughout the game you play as both Aidan and Lily.

This is a unique and interesting feature that adds to the value of The Little Acre. However, because the story is so short, you switch between the characters way too often. You click on one item and complete a simple task, and then it immediately switches back to the other character. It happens so fast that I sometimes didn’t realize I switched characters and kept saying, “Wait. How did I get here?!” or “Why am I back here?!” Especially since Lily follows Aiden through the world and explores areas after he does, it started to get confusing and made me feel as if I was constantly backtracking.

The Little Acre is one of those games though that you really wished was longer. It was actually good and had so much potential that you wished Pewter Games had enhanced the story. Although the puzzles aren’t challenging and clickable items are clearly marked, they are fun. There are even timed puzzles, which is not a common feature in typical point-and-click adventures. The animation is also cartoony, adorable, and overall, extremely well done. The characters and visuals, along with the light and playful mood, contribute to the fairytale book feeling. You really feel like you just jumped right into a cute Irish children’s book and it truly shows that Pewter Games spent a lot of time on the hand-drawn characters and world. However, it seems like the developers spent too much time on the animations that they had to rush on the other elements of The Little Acre.


The Verdict

The Little Acre is appropriately named because it is short and has very few areas to explore. The story and plot are really interesting and the animations make you fall in love with the characters and world. The fairytale elements keep you smiling and happy the entire time you’re playing, but the smiles are cut way too short by the length of the game. You fall in love with the story and become so attached that it’s a huge letdown when it ends so abruptly. I truly wished The Little Acre had been longer, as it had so much potential. With more time to play out the story, The Little Acre could have been a huge hit.

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Jessica Andrews

Whether it's dancing on the streets of Paris or swimming with the dolphins in the Dominican Republic, you can find Jessica anywhere in the world at any given moment. While she is an avid traveler, she calls Washington, DC her home and spends most of her days working as an analytic writer for a tech firm. Growing up in a Japanese household, gaming was always a part of her life. Video games brought her family together and she has kept the tradition alive ever since. In her free time, she also enjoys photography, traveling, running, dancing, and Krav Maga.


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