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So charming and endearing… It’s like playing through a classic Disney movie.

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    The Little Acre

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    So charming and endearing… It’s like playing through a classic Disney movie.

    It may not be as mainstream anymore, but I still happen to love the odd adventure game. You know what I mean, right? Point and click interface. Puzzles to be solved. Mysteries to be uncovered. Adventure to be had! With that in mind, I recently played through developer "Pewter Game’s" first title ever, a game called "The Little Acre", which as you’ve probably pieced together by now is indeed an adventure game. But is it worth your time? Let’s look into this title together!

    The story in Little Acre is actually split between two protagonists: a father named Aiden and his little daughter, Lily. They both live out in the country with Aiden’s father (Lily’s grandfather), but the grandfather has gone missing and neither of them know what has happened to him.

    This "search for dad" hook is how the adventure gets started (once you get out of bed, that is) and actually continues with both protagonists. Needless to say, communication isn’t one of this family’s strong points, it seems. Overall though, this story (with the help of its aesthetics… more on that below) was just flat-out charming.

    You don’t learn a whole lot about Aiden or Lily as you play the game (there’s no real good back-story here), but these characters come across as instantly like-able (thanks to solid voice acting) and obviously care for each other. You’ll eventually unravel the mystery as you play which is punctuated by small, charming moments and swings of emotion as the story comes to a close. It’s a fairly short story (mainly because this is a fairly short game), but for how short it was, I was just blown away by how charming and endearing these characters and overall story was.

    The game play in The Little Acre is very much your standard "Adventure Game" fare. You’ll pick up items around environments and store them in your inventory, then you’ll use these items to solve various puzzles you find. I’m pretty sure that every single item you find in this game is used in SOME way, which means there’s no "red herring" items that some games like to include (which is nice).

    Overall, I found the puzzles to be fairly easy (compared to many other Adventure Game titles out there). The game has a hint system in place just in case you get stuck, but with limited items and fairly self-contained areas I found that I didn’t really need any hints. Standard game play, in the end.

    Now, onto what I’ve been wanting to talk about since the start of this review: the game’s visuals. This is, by far, the first thing you’ll notice about the game: it’s absolutely beautiful. The game is clearly styled after "early Disney" films (think "Cinderalla" or "Snow White"): hand-drawn visual and animations that just ooze charm and personality. You can tell that there was a lot of effort put into this game’s visuals to give it this aesthetic, and personally I think it goes a long ways towards not only making the characters more like-able (helping the story) but also drawing attention to the game in general.

    I touched on this earlier, but let me reiterate how likeable the voice acting was. There’s not a lot of characters in this game, so the most important ones are of course Aiden and Lily. While you can tell right away that this isn’t professional voice acting, the voice acting is sincere and fits the characters (even if Lily sounds a bit older than she’s supposed to be!). Honestly, I think it just adds to the game’s charm.

    The actual sound track of the game is, for the most part, light-hearted and cheerful. Almost mindless, really… calm music that plays in the background while you explore or solve puzzles. You can tell there’s some Celtic influence here in some of the tracks, which fits the country environments well. All in all the music (and all the audio, really) helps support the charm this game has.

    One of the biggest downfalls of "The Little Acre" as a whole is undoubtedly how short it is. Combine that with how (relatively) easy the puzzles are and I can see how the game would come off as overall underwhelming. To put some numbers to this, you can expect to get through the game in 2-3 hours, easily. The game does have a full trophy list that may warrant a second play-through (thanks to a speed-run trophy), but this is still a one evening game and very short.

    Overall: 8/10

    In the end, The Little Acre just ended up winning me over with its charm. The characters are likeable, the story is touching, the audio is great, and the game is just plain beautiful. The game isn’t without its drawbacks of course, the biggest of which is just how short the game is. The game play is also rather standard and really doesn’t do anything too special. Still, despite the shortness, if you are a fan of adventure games you owe it to yourself to give "The Little Acre" a try. Hopefully this review has been fun and informative! Have fun and keep playing!

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