Quick Take: Players control characters and move from scene to scene, selecting objects they need to solve puzzles or objectives to progress the story.
If you are an older gamer like me, you may fondly remember PC adventure games like King’s Quest and The Secret of Monkey Island. These games set the bar high at the time and were akin to playing an animated movie. While these type of “point-and-click” adventures have diminished in popularity, thanks to developers like TellTale and a small collection of independents, the genre is seeing a resurgence. The marriage of storytelling and gaming is alive and well represented in The Little Acre from Pewter Games Studies. Located in Dublin, this small game studio has created a short, but beautiful game.
The Little Acre was created with hand drawn art, reminiscent of Don Bluth animated games like Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. Players control characters and move from scene to scene, selecting objects they need to solve puzzles or objectives to progress the story. That’s what games like The Little Acre are all about: the story. Most of the puzzles are very simple and obvious, but at times could be frustrating as the game gives no real indicator as to what items are needed to be interacted with to proceed.
Set in 1950’s Ireland, players first take on the role of a young father named Aidan. He wakes up in the first scene and players must figure out how to get out of bed and get dressed, without waking Aidan’s young daughter, Lily. The story unfolds as players control Aidan, and eventually Lily, and go looking for Aidan’s missing father. Their quest will take them to a mysterious dark land called Clonfira, where the style in The Little Acre changes to a slightly overhead view and the art design also changes to reflect the different worlds. Characters’ bodies shrink and they have enormous heads when exploring Clonfira.
The voice work for The Little Acre is fantastic. The characters’ voices fit perfectly and for such a small independant title, are very well done. I was impressed with the art design and graphics for such a small developer as well. The story is very well written, other than some unanswered questions, and at about two hours, the game is rather short. Given how much time was put into the animation though, the length of the game can be overlooked, just don’t expect more than one sitting to complete The Little Acre.
Overall, The Little Acre is a great independent game and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoyed older point-and-click adventures. My biggest complaints were the length of the story, and some interactive highlights would have made it easier to see what the objectives are in a scene. With the $12.99 price point at launch, players won’t spend very much cash to enjoy a wonderful story and beautiful art. You can feel good about supporting a small developer and hopefully we will see more from Pewter Games Studios in the future.
The Little Acre is available now on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. This review is based on a Playstation 4 copy provided for review purposes.