THE LITTLE ACRE

 

Genre:     Adventure

Developer & Publisher:   Pewter Games Studios             

Released:   December 2016             

Requirements (recommended):

  • OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista with SP2/7/8/8.1/10 x86 or x64
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 (2 * 2660) or equivalent | AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (2 * 3000) or equivalent
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 560 Ti (1024 MB) or equivalent | Radeon HD 2900 XT (1024 MB) or equivalent
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 3500 MB available space

 

 

 

By flotsam

 

The Little Acre

Pewter Games

The first game from this Dublin based studio, The Little Acre joins a pantheon of ever more abundant games which offer gentle animated point and click adventuring. Like many of the others, it never reaches great heights, but does what it does with care and a touch of panache, although it probably shouldnít include an achievement which you attain if you complete the game in under one hour (I didnít).

Aidan lives with his daughter Lily and their dog Dougal in an Irish farm house called The Little Acre. Aidanís dad went adventuring recently and hasnít returned. The various and mysterious machinery suggests he hasnít gone anywhere terribly straightforward, which eventually proves to be the case. Aidan and then Lily are soon hot on each otherís heels, determined to find out what happened.

There is a childlike fairy tale quality to the proceedings, particularly once you leave the farm. Somewhat disappointingly, the game felt like it was built upside down, with the front farm-based end offering the most interesting puzzling, while the world of Clonfira ultimately failed to deliver on its fantastical settings and creatures. Clonfira was more like puzzling by numbers, generally limited to what was in front of you. The abrupt end didnít help.

But perhaps that was me.

I do think it would have appealed to me more if I had played it 15 years ago with my then 10 and 6 year old daughters. We used to do that, first with Freddy Fish and Pajama Sam, then moving onto things like Legend of Lotus Spring, the Harry Potter games and Nancy Drew as they got older. It is a jolly, jaunty and reasonably pretty romp, nothing terribly dark, with some magic and some mystery and a (smallish) menagerie of whimsical beasts. Lily in particular is an appealing character; wide eyed little girl determination and bravado abounds.

There is a bit of humour, some pathos, smatterings of baddiness and monsters, and a happily ever after ending (I already mentioned it was a bit abrupt). Itís hard not to like The Little Acre, whatever its limitations.

It is completely point and click, with the left mouse doing everything. You can get hints and straight out solves anytime you want through the inventory menu. You will generally only have 3 or 4 items and limited screens, so solves arenít hard, regardless of their nature. Apart from a few codes, puzzling is all inventory based.

I did forget a few times that Dougal the dog (and later Bugsy the Ö bug thing) can be ďusedĒ to interact with the environment. It was on those occasions I used the hint system, and then kicked myself as a result.

You can tweak a few settings, play with different language subtitles, and continue where you left off. The loads were short, but at times there was very limited game play before you got another load, and it did occasionally irritate me. You get to play both Aidan and Lily, only ever controlling one at a time, although in one sequence they work together to move on.

For me, it lasted just under 2 hours. More utilisation of Clonfira, more puzzling balance, and a greater challenge would have added to my enjoyment. I look forward though to Pewter Games building from this, and look forward to their next project.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz

RAM: 32GB GDDR5

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB

 

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