What a wonderful little gem The Little Acre could turn out to be this year. Its hand drawn art style takes me back to being a child watching films like The Rescuers and An American Tail. Partnered alongside other elements, it may do the same to other players. Bar the emotional moments I was smiling the whole time playing.
Developer Pewter Games Studios are set to release the most adorable game you’ll play this year on 22nd November. Published by Curve Digital, The Little Acre is a point-and-click adventure game which will come to PS4, Xbox One, PC, and it’s great to see it releasing to such a wide audience. You play as Aidan and his daughter Lily investigating the disappearance of Aidan’s father, Arthur. As The Little Acre is rather short, that’s all I can divulge in terms of its story at this point. I can tell you, though, that from start to finish it’s engaging, heartwarming and touching.
Let’s start at The Little Acre’s most delightful feature – its beautiful hand-drawn art style. Almost everywhere you go is stunning to look at, with intricate detail in every aspect of the surroundings. It’s so reminiscent of hand drawn Disney animations – the sort of animation that I dearly miss. Most is now all computer generated, but it’s great to see that hand-drawn animation is still out there (I would recommend Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist if you’re a fan of beautiful traditional animation). In The Little Acre, it’s the little details such as watching a mouse climb out of a mug and into another for no apparent reason that makes me so fond of this art style. And it’s not just the art that’s reminiscent of Disney either; the story too is something that wouldn’t go amiss in the catalogue of Disney animations: the loving father, the adventurous child, the funny sidekick, characters stumbling into adventure – it’s all there.
Don’t go into The Little Acre expecting a difficult point-and-click, because it’s relatively easy to solve any puzzle. I could say I’m a bit disappointed that the point and click side wasn’t as complex or as challenging as I thought it would be, but over-complicating them would have slowed down the pacing of the game, and the urgency in The Little Acre’s story would only have been hindered by that.
Lily creates the majority of the adorable moments in The Little Acre – of which there are many. Lily and Aidan’s dog Dougal, who protects Lily as best he can, make a formidable duo resulting in a lot of laughs. Lily tries to outsmart Dougal to get her way, and poor Dougal; well, he’s just trying his best, bless him. The sweetness of The Little Acre really is something the player should experience themselves.
There was a moment playing The Little Acre where I thought “if I get an achievement for doing this, then the developers get it”. Low and behold I got an achievement greeted with a chuckle, and that isn’t the first time an achievement got a laugh out of me. Just small details like that adds to the charm and the feeling of love that emanates from The Little Acre. Even the soundtrack partners the look and feel so well to enforce that wonderful feeling. I hope many people get to play the game on its release later this month as I genuinely think it could be one of the best short adventure games this year.
I sit here and wonder: if I review it on release, what else can I say? I still wouldn’t talk more about the story, and everything I’ve said here creates a glowing preview of The Little Acre. I hope and wait for a good reception critically and commercially for the game because it deserves it. I’ll definitely play it again on release and maybe find hidden secrets if there are any. For now, The Little Acre should definitely be on your radar.