Review: Little Acorns

Posted by on August 7th, 2013 | 14 Comments | Tags:

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a squirrel with a grappling hook then look no further than Little Acorns. Mr. Nibbles is on a mission to collect as many acorns as possible to feed his growing family. The game takes you through all four seasons and three years of acorn hoarding as the Nibbles family grows larger and larger.

Little Acorns is a pretty basic platformer that originally released last year on other mobile devices. With its arrival on PSM the most noticeable addition of course is that it now features button controls. You can move with the Analog Stick or D-Pad and you’ll jump and swing with the X Button. It’s pretty simple and the platforming feels good. You’ll mostly jump or swing from platform to platform while collecting acorns in order to unlock the door to the next stage. Enemies that get in your way can be taken out by jumping on their head or with the use of a special invincible power-up. Other power-ups grant you with a much higher jump as well as super speed for a short period of time. Power-ups are positioned at specific points in certain stages and usually aren’t required but rather make the stage a little easier. After collecting every acorn in a stage you can go ahead through the door to finish the stage or you can quickly collect five fruits scattered throughout the stage and unlock a piece of an outfit.

Each year is split into the four seasons with each season lasting five stages. The fifth stage of each season requires you to also round up baby squirrels that are on the loose in addition to the acorns. The final stage in each year is a boss chase where you need to reach the end of the level before the boss. These are fun as they feel quite different from the normal stages and typically show off just how fun the swinging mechanic can be.

As mentioned before you’ll unlock outfits throughout the game by collecting fruit. There are head, face, and body pieces as well as customization options for your grapple chain. My personal favorite was the dinosaur costume. Aside from outfits, completionists can look to filling up your tree home with 100% of the acorns. There’s 3000 acorns in the game that you’ll earn from completing stages, collecting fruit, and for fast completion times. By the end of the game I had nearly all of the acorns with just a few levels to replay. The game isn’t particularly challenging but collecting all of the acorns is still fun nonetheless. There isn’t much of a penalty when you’re hit by an enemy as you just slow down for a few seconds and continue onward. You can die by falling into water but you can continuously get hit by enemies and remain totally fine with the only penalty resulting in a slow completion time. In a way it takes away from feeling like you need to be good at the game to complete it.

Little Acorns is a good looking game. The cartoon-like graphics fit well and I quite enjoyed the silly outfits that I unlocked throughout the game. The music isn’t half bad and the overall presentation is just really nice. That said it should be noted that the touch menu option to scroll through levels for each year doesn’t work. No matter how many times you tap that specific option it won’t scroll through years. Luckily you can just use the L and R buttons to switch but not having that one thing working correctly seems a little weird.

Little Acorns is $1.49 which is stupid cheap for the amount of game that you’re getting. There are some micro-transactions that can be purchased to unlock all levels or to unlock all outfits. As mentioned before the game is pretty easy so there’s really no need to spend any extra money. I had a good deal of fun with the game and fits well on PSM. I would have liked to see maybe a few more boss stages and something a little more difficult but for the price you really can’t go wrong.

A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.

General Info

  • Players:
  • Not much of a challenge
  • Touch screen level select not working is weird.

  • Chris

    I have a feeling the no damage from enemies is do to it originally being a mobile game with crap on-screen controls.

    • PSPenguin

      Yeah, probably.

  • Josh Read

    I agree with the review. However, I’m really disappointed in the performance of the game (probably more the fault of PSM than the Vita or Chillingo). It seems like the game doesn’t even run at a steady 30fps, when this type of game should have been an EASY 60fps. The 3DS version runs at a constant 60fps whether in 2D or with 3D enabled.

    That is my main problem with the game, and it’s a big one. That being said, it’s still a great little game. It’s just more my problem with PSM. Sony needs to get their poop sorted out.

    • I think PSM is somewhat limited by the fact that it has to run on the Xperia Play and other sluggish android devices with the same speed it runs on the Vita, thus it can’t fully utilize the Vita’s more modern processor/gpu.

    • Freelance

      I had no problems playing the game and didn’t see other issues. Why does it even need 60fps? 30 is just fine for it.

    • Josh Read

      We shouldn’t be so content with everything. Yes, it’s still playable. That doesn’t make it any less disappointing. I have the game on PSM and 3DS and it’s more responsive and fun on 3DS with its 60fps.

      The problem is that the Vita, and every device under the PSM umbrella, is capable of running this game at 60fps. You may be fine with 30fps, but there’s no doubting that 60fps is better, and, if Vita and every other PSM device is CAPABLE of running a game like this at 60fps, why should we be fine with it when it’s not? I’ll still play the game, and it’s still good, but if you never bring up your dissatisfaction with something, nothing will ever change.

    • Guest

      I think you’re the same guy who was complaining about this on the PSN Blog. I don’t agree with your statement.

    • If it’s not showing up as “Kazriko” then it’s not me. This is the name I use everywhere on the net. My PSN id is also Kazriko.

    • Josh Read

      Why is that not an issue on Android, iOS, and PCs? If I play a game on my Xperia Play, the graphics on a certain Android game may not be great, but then I go and play the same game on my Galaxy S3 and there are more effects, a higher res and a faster framerate. Many games on iPhone 4 aren’t as impressive as they are on iPhone 5. Why can’t it be like this on PSM?

    • Because those systems operate as fast as the system will allow them to. They aren’t trying to build a stable platform with the same performance across many devices. Sony’s a console maker, so they’re trying to use console ideas on their platforms. Consoles have one design spec that you build to, not a bunch of different ones like Android/iOS/PC/Mac.

    • Josh Read

      So they want to have games that don’t run well because they support devices that aren’t capable of running games well? How is that a good idea? They can’t use a console approach to a multi-spec service. It’s illogical.

    • *shrug* It’s what makes it so that PSMini titles work identically well on the PSP, PSVita, or PS3, where the power level is completely different, but the game still plays identically. They just moved the idea onto many other devices.

    • Josh Read

      The minis program was fine because the games ran well on even the low-spec PSP. Many PSM titles don’t run well on the low-spec devices, AND doesn’t even run well on the powerful ones! The saddest part is that minis seem to be capable of better graphics than PSM allows. And that’s just kind of pathetic. Minis actually got NOVA from Gameloft. We haven’t even got anything remotely close to that on PSM, and its a much newer service!

      I was so hyped for this service and it has been such an utter disappointment.

    • That’s probably the fault of the person porting to the system rather than the system itself. The PSMobile spec is much higher than the PSMini’s spec, but more people are bringing things over that were meant for even higher specs than that. They should instead be bringing those higher spec games to PSVita native.

      There’s plenty of games out there that run quite fast. Super Crate Box, Rebel, AquaKitty, Ascent of Kings/Quiet Please, Rymdkapsel, and Yu-Nama puzzle are all games that look good and run well on PS Mobile. There’s also Sword of Rapier, that definitely couldn’t run on PSMini. (I can’t say it looks good though, because it’s ugly 3d.)