Published on May 6th, 2013 | by Lucy Niess, Reviews Editor
Super Little Acorns: 3D Turbo Review
Developer: Pixel Toys
Platform: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: April 18, 2013
Review Notes: A code for the game was received for review purposes.
It is difficult to determine how entertaining a game about squirrels gathering nuts for the year for survival can be, especially with the word “turbo” in its name. How turbo can a game be where you play a little nerdy squirrel with glasses? Super Little Acorns: 3D Turbo is a simple, yet fun game that you may not be grabbing it every day, because you just have to beat the next level, but you may carry it around just to kill time, like the DMV or the bathroom.
The story (yes, there is one) is as follows: In the beginning, a family of squirrels return to their big oak tree where they stored all of the nuts for the winter only to find that it has been ransacked by a bunch of animals who stole their food. Spiders, bats, raccoons, all of these creatures just had to get a piece of these squirrels’ nuts. With the family in tears, one of the nerdy brother squirrels (assuming it is a guy for the lack of girly eyelashes and nerdy for the glasses) sets out to help get his family their nuts back.
The select screen is very simple. You have the standard options of a new game and game options, but the ones that are unique to Super Little Acorns: 3D Turbo are the acorn counter, challenges, achievements, costumes and turbo. The acorn counter shows how many acorns you have collected and the percentage completed. You are shown your progress in the game so far with bosses beaten, acorns acquired, challenge completed, fruity finish, speedy squirrel and enemies eliminated that I will go over in a bit. In challenges, there are different ones you can take on and earn even more acorns.
Like any game nowadays, achievements can be earned that range from the typical first steps to the more advanced like Pinball Wizard (bounce between three different springs). Why not dress your squirrel up a bit? In costumes, you can select items to place on your squirrel’s head, face, body, and its rope (which I will explain its purpose later). You unlock different items throughout the game by collecting all five fruits in each level and earning the award. And then there is turbo mode. What puts the “turbo” in Super Little Acorns: 3D Turbo is the ability to make him move slightly faster, giving the game a bit of challenge. Turning on the turbo will open another set of levels (exactly the same as in non-turbo mode), but you go fast.
The levels are broken down by year and season, so you start out in year one during Spring. In order to save your family from starvation, you need to collect all of the nuts and reach a certain line. These lines in the tree are turbo, year two, and year three. Simply collect enough the nuts in the levels to reach that line and continue on with the game.
In each level, there are obstacles to overcome and enemies that are trying to hurt you. You cannot die in this game by getting hit by enemies; only by falling in water or down a hole. But the enemies slow you down, so if you are trying to get that Speedy Squirrel award, you may be out of luck.
Speaking of awards, every level (sans the first one) has four awards that are available to earn: Acorns, Fruity Finish, Speedy Squirrel and Enemies Eliminated. To get the Acorns award, you simply complete the level and get all the acorns. To get Fruity Finish, you have to collect all five fruits in the level. Getting this award also unlocks costume items ranging from a little red tie to a tuxedo. To get Speedy Squirrel, you must complete the level before you reach the predetermined challenge time. Getting hit by enemies or missing a jump can really set you back, so this award is the toughest to earn. To get Enemies Eliminated you simply kill all the enemies in the level. You do this by jumping on them in a very Mario-esque kind of way. You may not collect all of these awards in one go, so multiple attempts at the levels are in your future. At the end of each year, there is a boss to “defeat,” which doesn’t require a lot of intense cognitive ability to do.
As you advance in the game, the levels get progressively tougher. But have no fear, because there are items that are made available to help you through this tough time. Power-ups like “toughnut” (killing enemies without jumping on them), “super jump” (jump extra high), or “super speed” (gotta go fast!) appear in various levels where they make sense and help you achieve your goal easier. Aside from these power-ups, you are introduced to the mechanic of rope swinging (which you can customize in the costumes option). Why a squirrel swings on a rope like Tarzan to get nuts, I don’t know, but it’s alot of fun.
Other than that, not a whole lot can be said about Super Little Acorns: 3D Turbo. There are other challenges to overcome like babies in a level and plowing through a wall with your tough head, but other than that the levels are pretty much the same. You swing on your rope to collect your nuts to feed your family for the year. Mess up and you failed your family and they most likely died (Ed: bummer). In terms of the graphics, there wasn’t a whole lot of the 3D aspect going on. When you take a look at your progress, there is some depth in the forest behind the main tree, but that’s it. This game really didn’t need to be in 3D to be enjoyable. But, hey, it’s the technological age, so why not make it 3D if we can?
Super Little Acorns: 3D Turbo is a fun game to play when you are waiting in line at the grocery store or going into the bathroom when you know you are going to be a while. While the 3D aspect of the game was not necessary, the game was simplistic in nature and did not attempt to do anything too outrageous. This game would be the same as those flash games we all know and love. Other than that, it’s just your average platformer.
+ Cute costume customization
– Not a whole lot of replay value once the game is completed
– Really didn’t need to be in 3D