I’m not a fan of point-click puzzle games. In fact, all you need do to discourage my interest in the game is to categorise it in that genre. I just don’t like the gameplay where I click at everything and eventually – maybe – magically and with little logic progress happens. You can try to argue with me that not all point and click games are the same but, trust me, you will be just wasting your breath. With one little exception, of an adorable game called The Little Acre. And it’s not just because that game has a cute dog. Although cute animals always get bonus points in my books. No, it is because everything you in that game makes sense and you don’t have to seep through hundreds of items in your inventory to get to ‘sense’ either. More than that, it is a point click game that was designed to be played with a controller from the ground up.
• Developer: Pewter Games
• Publisher: Curve Digital
• Reviewed on: PC
• Also Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
• Release Date: Later this year
The Little Acre is a story about Aidan and his daughter Lily, set in Ireland in 1950s. While on the search for his missing father, Aidan finds himself lost in the strange magical world. Lily, with an assistance of her dog Dougal, sets out to find and save him, but encounters some adventures of her on as well.
The story is incredibly touching even 20 minutes into the game. You can’t help but smile while playing with the Ghibli-style like characters, who are charming and humorous, without pushing for comedy. You smile watching Lily interact with Dougal, who always comes to save her, when the curiosity gets a better of her. You smile when see how Aidan uses the help of black cat on one level to get through the puzzle. You just keep smiling, because this game is all warm, fuzzy and absolutely cuddly.
However, it also is not afraid to show a slightly darker side too. There are so many details on each level, some of them not immediately obvious, that show that there are also sadder and even darker parts to the story. You might be too enamoured with the idyllic straw roof house, to notice a lonely stone grave next to it. But it is there, showing that the story is much deeper than you might have originally anticipated.
The Little Acre is all hand drawn 2D animation and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes it is too easy to forget that you are playing a game, rather than watching an animated film. It is immediately obvious how much love and care has been put into bringing this game to life. It is full of little touches like Aidan stepping into the teleporter, having a completely unique and humorous animation, that also gives hints at Aidan’s character.
Recently Charles Cecil, one of the designers behind the Broken Sword series joined The Little Acre as the executive producer. However, as Charles has said himself, when I was seeing the game, the art, story and the atmosphere were all lovingly crafted by the developers from Pewter Games, and he just wanted to offer his knowledge and expertise to the project, that deserves to be noticed. The game has a full Irish voice over cast, including Gaming Terroriser, a popular YouTuber.