Squeaking in just before the end of the year is a title that should not be missed or passed up on. The Little Acre from Pewter Games is a wonderful and heartwarming title of a Father and his Daughter as they both mess with a device that should have been better left alone.
The Little Acre may not be the longest Point and Click adventure out there clocking in maybe two hours on the first run, though these are some of the two best hours that I’ve spent this year. Every aspect of the adventure from the characters to the environments and their interactions together are a work art.
Players will find themselves set into the role of two people that while starting off from the same point will have two completely different adventures. Following the path of Aiden as he searches a strange world for his father, he soon comes to realize that he needs to make it home before worrying his daughter Lily. Lily not finding her father and doing exactly what any spunky little girl who equips herself with a sword, fairy wings, and a helmet would do obviously sets out in order to find her father and bring him home.
What becomes immediately noticeable as you switch between Aiden and Lily is how they interact with the world. Aiden is an adult and an engineer so his point of view is much different than his young adventurous daughter. Exploring the same environments from the different points of view keeps things fresh as while Aiden can simply walk out the door or grab something from on high the dog will do everything he can to protect his little human from getting herself into more trouble than usual.
Interacting with the world is easy as any points of interest will have a symbol denoting that it can be either looked at or used in some way. Fitting in with the style not everything will always be immediately usable or may even be there as a well placed Red Herring having you concentrate on it when you should really be paying attention to the thing beside it. If an item is truly important then it will be added to your inventory to be used later and sometimes drive you nuts as you figure out how to use a sandwich into the context of everything.
What struck me the most was that The Little Acre uses two separate visual and game play styles. The real world has everyone in “full size” while the world through the portal has everyone in a chibi like display. This makes it easy to keep track of where your characters are currently in their adventure but also shows the level of work that went into the visual design as two separate styles had to be created for most of the cast involved on top of the environments.
While both Aiden and Lily explore the world through Pointing and Clicking the style in which they do this can change from time to time. At times both will be able to wander their environments as they look for what they need in order to move forwards while in others they will both be placed in a particular spot and have to figure things out from there. This keeps things interesting as it means that everything you need is in this particular spot whether it is to make it out of bed without waking up a monster or making breakfast with the least amount of effort.
If over the course of the adventure you really get stuck there’s a built in hint system. Being the tab just down from the inventory makes getting to these easy and the first hint is free as it is really just the current objective. If you need to know more than that then you simply has to click on an extra hint. Still need more? There’s a trophy for that as it will give you the solution to the problem without ruining the adventure. It happens, don’t worry about it if you do. It just means that the trophy for not asking will have to be done on the next play-through.
Now as I mentioned the adventure isn’t a long one but I only noticed exactly how long once the credits started to roll. Every aspect comes together so well and the accompanying music always suits the situations when it’s present. If you need a bump in the right direction or a flat out boot in order to help you out then both Aiden and Lily have access to it in order to move forward in their attempts to find what they are looking for. The game play system is just as well designed and is in no way clunky which can be the tricky part when using the analog sticks instead of a mouse.
The Little Acre is a work of art. The character and environment designs, the dialog, and the game-play all come together for a masterpiece of warmth and fuzzy feelings as the credits roll over this beautiful hand drawn adventure.
Pewter Games Studios
Curve Digital Publishing Limited
Provided by Publisher
Article by Pierre-Yves