The Little Acre
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
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
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
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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