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Great retro adventure game will please all levels of players

Price: $2.99 / £2.99
Version: 1.0.1
Size: 2.39 GB
Developer: Pewter Games Studios
Platform: iPhone and iPad

Download Hardbound on the App Store

Little Acre is the latest retro point-and-click throwback to hit the App Store, and it’s wonderfully faithful to its brethren. You can track the humor to the likes of Monkey Island, but it’s far less convoluted than more recent efforts like Nelly Cootalot.

Explore the house and solve the clues as to Aiden’s grandfather’s disappearance

The game’s funny, but it doesn’t try too hard. In fact, the whole game can be boiled down to a pleasant, warming experience – albeit a short one. The Little Acre is unlikely to take more than a couple hours to complete, but sometimes it’s nice to have an easy run through of a game that is hardly expensive.

The extent of the puzzles often boils down to trial and error

So, what’s going on? It’s a game of two characters, and its refreshing that the game switches between them scene-by-scene. Set in 1950s Ireland, you start with Aiden, whose first task is to get dressed and out of bed without waking his daughter Lily. So far, so straightforward. We spent most of the early chunk of the story with Aiden as he attempts to find his father, who’s gone AWOL. Eventually, Aiden finds an invention of his father’s that takes him some place very strange. And cue the switch to Lily, the self-assured, adventurous youngster, who, on finding out her own father has disappeared, sets off behind Aiden to find him.

Though their adventures pretty much run in parallel, the game does a good job of not retracing too much old ground, giving each character a unique journey.

Helpfully, anything you can interact with is highlighted. But does that make it too easy?

As for the actual mechanics, this isn’t a difficult game. Each object in a room that you can interact with is already highlighted with a crosshair, so even if you get stuck, you’ll eventually find your way out of the puzzle simply by tapping everything you’re shown. There are a few scenes that could be considered puzzles – like when Aiden has to reach a door across a swamp by raising certain stepping stones in the right order. It’s not a particularly clever puzzle, but it maintains the momentum just enough, despite its ease.

One of the game’s highlights is all the weird and wonderful characters that show up

The level of difficulty highlighted above is a risky approach to a point-and-click game, as so often the mystery can be lost entirely if you end up playing on auto-pilot. But in Little Acre, the joy is so firmly placed on the characters, the voice acting, the graphics, and the weird and wonderful world full of side characters and excursions that follow you through the game.

In this regard, The Little Acre truly is a little gem. But it’s almost impossible to finish the game without being left wanting a little more. However, if this was a book, or a movie, that’s simply a sign of good story-telling. iOS gamers should enjoy this title for what it is – an ode to good old-fashioned adventure games.

The Little Acre – a satisfying slice of retro fun
Great storytelling, great characters, but lacking in longevity and difficulty.
  • Characters are well-written
  • Great retro animation style
  • It's very short
  • It's very easy
4.0Overall Score

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