Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo

Go nuts with squirrels on ropes.

By Daavpuke, Posted 27 Apr 2013


Super Little Acorns, 3D Turbo,Review, Platformer

It should be handed to Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo that it at least tries to differentiate itself from the large pool of side-scrolling platform games. It may not do it in a necessarily captivating way, but it tries. This cute, cartoony title has squirrels on a rope, attempting to make their way through perilous seasons of nut gathering and insect killing. It’s still not much more than a collecting spree, but that part works well enough to keep going. Rather, the controls are the real damper on the repetitive fun.

As mentioned, players get handed a squirrely friend whose job it is to collect nuts for the hungry family of wife and kid squirrel. They’re squirreling nuts, if you will. That’s all that needed for this game to present a series of stages throughout seasonal themes with bright colors and rounded visuals. Summery plains are painted a fresh green, while autumn levels still retain some colorful tones in their brown state. Our squirrel protagonist is a singular rectangular shape that bounces as it advances and even bees are a mere striped square. This game won’t scare even the most squeamish infant with its dainty art.

Super Little Acorns, 3D Turbo,Review, Platformer

There’s more than just mushiness to this feature though. Lest the family perish, there are acorns to hoard. Each stage stashes a certain amount of nuts that need to be collected to open the door to the next level. These scattered nutrients will need to be acquired by jumping on moving platforms, dodging rotating enemies or by swinging a rope on precisely placed points. Once the gate is opened, fruits can also be gotten for additional bonus points and to unlock new costumes that diversify our squirrel or rope into more than just a mere rodent. From gentlemen outfits, complete with bowler hat, to punk hairdos and tattoos; there are many a way to customize our critter.

Fruits aren’t even the only added incentive. Skilled players can also go for gold by killing every enemy in stages or do a speed run. That last one; that’s a tricky one. Each stage is designed in such a way that completing it before the speed timer runs out becomes a work of fine precision. Certainly in later, linear levels, bouncing exactly in cadence will be the only way to acquire all objectives and that will require many a retry.

Super Little Acorns, 3D Turbo,Review, Platformer

However, more so than just map recognition, it’s trying to master the controls that will provoke this repetition. Due to a rather slippery momentum, precision often falls short, which can be aggravating when certain sections have instant death traps. It’s even stranger when considering how hindered physics otherwise are. Floating jumps take just an increment too much time to complete, while hitting enemies will purposely slow down squirrely pants even more. That last one is to prevent players from bagging the speed medal when making errors, but other instances feel weighted for less reason. However, when swinging on a rope, this slowness is partially forgotten as nifty tricks can be performed. Like a real climber monkey, it’s possible to shoot from point to point, do full rotation spins or even flip violently through enemies and walls. It’s such liberating bliss when compared to the sluggish footwork. On a rope, on a rope; got me hanging on a rope!

One more notable addition can be found with the boss fights at the end of each year that don’t necessarily require collecting anything. These are more of a test of skill than a free run and as such offer a nice change of pace. Those interested can even find a sense of accomplishment in a set of achievements.

Super Little Acorns, 3D Turbo,Review, Platformer

While certainly not perfect in execution, Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is at the very least a serviceable platform title with a twist. Its repetitiveness is offset enough by differing level designs and its faltering controls have a pleasing, swinging counterpart to them. It could’ve been better without a set of strange choices, but it did try to not be the same platform game as the rest. No idea why the 3D is in there though; this 3DS version adds next to nothing in depth.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): Pixel Toys
Developer(s): Pixel Toys
Genres: Platform
Themes: Squirrels, I guess.
Release Date: 2013-04-18

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