I'm just a squirrel tryin' to get a nut
Sometimes, the simplest ideas work best.Where as most games try to throw over zealous plot devices your way, multiple control schemes, and graphics so detailed your eyes will bleed, some developers realize that less is more. And while the mobile market may be saturated with games that offer quick little bite sized adventures, some are finding new life on Nintendo's 3D handheld.
In the case of Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo, this is another crossover that is worth your attention.
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo (3DS eShop)
Developer: Pixel Toys
Publisher: Pixel Toys
Release Date: April 18, 2013
Little Acorns was released for iOS last year, and like Gunman Clive, it has been ported over to the 3DS. While this port may have added a mouthful to the title, it's not the only thing that's new.
Simply put, Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is a series of bite-sized levels that have you jumping, bouncing, and swinging around collecting acorns, power-ups, fruit, and even your children while defeating enemies. As Mr. Nibbles (yes, seriously), your year's food supply has been stolen and you must gather more nuts so your family doesn't starve. There are 5 levels per season, and 4 seasons in a year, culminating with a boss battle at the end of the year. Well, battle may be too generous of a word -- more like a boss-out-running. Your acorn total is tallied at the end of each level, with you hopefully reaching the year's goal before the year is up.
Standard enemies are defeated more traditionally, by jumping on their heads, while others require the use of power-ups that allow you to not be hurt when jumping on foes. Other power-ups make you move faster or jump higher, but each have a limited effect. Each level has a set number of enemies, and defeating all in the level earns you more acorns. Speed really is key here, as gathering all of your acorns in a given level unlocks fruit to gather (which also somehow adds to your level-end acorn count), and grabbing everything quickly enough unlocks a speed bonus which, yes, earns you yet even more acorns. There are costumes to unlock too, but these are purely cosmetic that fit the goofy look of the game.
For a such a simple premise, the control is equally simple. Nibbles jumps over various objects, and can attach a random rope to icons that float about in order to swing over chasms. The function for extending the rope and the jump button are the same, but it's not complicated at all to operate. Graphics too are basic, with colorful cartoonish characters, and a lighthearted goofy feel to the surroundings.
As for what is new over the iOS version, well, it's just as the title suggests. The 3D addition is unobtrusive, but highlights the simple animation of the characters. There is a new Turbo mode, which speeds up your character, but also ups the difficulty a bit. Finally, there's an all new challenge mode, which adds 30 themed levels to the already 150 stages (both standard and turbo) in the game.
Levels are very short, but besting your own times and scores is really what brings you back to playing it again and again. It's very clear this was made for mobile devices, as the length of the levels is clearly for on-the-go play, but the additional difficulties and challenge modes add a good amount of content for the price. Button control over touch screen is also a welcome addition, but the game suffers a tiny bit from loose physics with jumps and swings. While the music isn't bad, it can get a bit repetitive each season as well.
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is just what it advertises itself to be: a fun little portable game experience built for quick play sessions. It's not overly difficult, but does add challenging goals for those who wish to have them. There's a decent amount of content for such a little game, and I defy you to not have fun with it. Simple, addictive, and easy-to-control gameplay, coupled with the goofy looking cartoon-y characters make for great bite-sized fun.
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo reviewed by Ian Bonds
Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth most people's time and cash.
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