Pewter Games Studio invites players to 1950s era Ireland with The Little Acre, a hand drawn 2D point and click adventure that is chocked full of charm. In an effort to locate his missing father, Aidan accidentally uncovers a portal to the mysterious world of Clonfira. Aidan’s daughter, Lily, is never one to shy from adventure and follows her father to the new world. Should The Little Acre make it onto your download queue? Read our review below to find out..
The Little Acre’s introduction starts with a wordless cinematic showing Aidan’s father, Arthur, and his female companion attempting to escape from Clonfira. Following the cinematic, players are brought to their first puzzle – Get Aidan dressed and down the stairs without waking the ferocious Lily. Successfully doing so puts players in control of Aidan and allows for exploration of the The Little Acre where the family lives. Pewter Games Studio puts emphasis on The Little Acre being a story led adventure, but its obvious early on that the story is going to provide more questions than answers. While it appears that the puzzle at this point is focused on getting Lily breakfast, what the game really intends for the player to do is power up the teleporter located in the shed. Thankfully, the point and click nature of The Little Acre means that players can take the “click on everything to see what it does” approach in order to uncover their objective.
After fumbling through the initial puzzles with Aidan and accidentally teleporting him off to a mysterious world the player takes control of his daughter, Lily. Lily is excessively adventurous and her trusty pup, Dougal, is often tasked with protecting her from her own dangerous antics. Dougal proves to be a sufficient guardian of Lily in the beginning as he protects from her a clothes line that catches fire and a tipping china cabinet, so it comes as a bit of a surprise when he sits idly by as Lily teleports herself to Clonfira.
Aidan and Lily’s journeys through Clonfira present opportunities for puzzles as the characters traverse through each area of the world. The puzzles are straight forward and simple such as touching orbs in order to trigger bridges and open doors, or finding hidden codes in some of the rooms. It can be acceptable for point and click adventure titles to not have high flying action, but for a game that touts itself as story led, The Little Acre really struggles here. This isn’t just a problem with the puzzle aspects, either, but rather the entire story. The Little Acre suffers for it’s lack of backstory and the anti climactic ending will leave players exclaiming “Wait, that’s it!?”
The premise of a fearless little girl with a wooden sword her daddy carved for her bravely going on an adventure to save her family is solid, but Pewter Games Studios drops the ball on details here, unfortunately. The Little Acre is a story players will want to love, but there’s only more questions and no where near enough answers given to us. Even the final boss fight is a mere couple of clicks and then another cinematic that is still short on details for what’s actually going on. The entire game can be completed in under an hour, which leaves it not a short and sweet experience but just a short one.
Clonfira and The Little Acre as a whole has scenery that is beautifully illustrated, but the characters themselves seem oddly out of place with their surroundings as a result of their cartoonish design. Hand illustrating a game is no easy task, and for that Pewter Games Studios deserves their marks, but the poor blending of the characters to their landscape is still disappointing.
Its obvious that The Little Acre was a labor of love, but for an adventure game that puts so much emphasis on being a story led experience The Little Acre falls short.