Some times I get cutesy fatigue, and I just block out all the new cute releases for the week. I read a blurb in my inbox about Mr Nibbles the squirrel, and all my alarms went off. This I will not touch today, no way. And so I simply skipped answering Nick the friendly Chillingo contact at PR-firm Indigo Pearl. The days went by, and our head honcho at TouchGen Nigel sent out a distress call to whether we had got any codes for the week. My answer was the following:
“Nope, just an Acorn game that looked like another cute physics puzzler.”
What I got to experience was far from my initial physics puzzle assumption, but rather a mixture of some of the best Super Mario Bros platforming with a clear Meatboy vibe, and some Hook Champ. And yes, a lot of cuteness as well. Not as bad, as I thought though.
For each level you have to collect all the acorns before time runs out. Once all acorns are taken you can either dash for the exit, or try to collect the five fruits for maximum platforming proof.
Initially the game is kind of easy, and lets you complete levels without too much hassle. As new enemies are introduced it gets narlier, as enemies make Mr. Nibbles weak. Hook points, and the skill to break walls further enhance the difficulty by making acorns harder to reach.
The controls are spot on with simple to use arrows for movement, and a jump button. Soon the game turns into a speed-run contest combined with some slight Meatboy hardships. Not that cute Mr. Nibbles gets himself sawed into a bloody mess, but rather the level of difficulty increases slightly.
The presentation is cute, bright and colorful. There are countless cute games in the App Store, but somehow Little Acorns manages to set itself apart with a cool vibe. The deep backgrounds certainly helps as well. Funky music that gets you in a nut-collecting mood is another highlight of the game. As is the nice seasonal take on the levels. Instead of having the same old worlds you get the four seasons, and you have to fill up the tree with nuts for each of them.
Little Acorns is real treat, and I am glad I overcame my initial qualms. No matter if you are three years old, or forty you will be able to enjoy the game. The three year old will enjoy the graphics, and easy to get into controls. The more mature games will enjoy the challenge, and great level design.
Little Acorns $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Chillingo Ltd