(3DS eShop)

Game Review

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Just a squirrel trying to get a nut

In early 2012, Little Acorns was released for iOS. It was a simple but charming title in which bespectacled squirrel Mr. Nibbles sought out acorns to prevent his family from starving. When we spell it out that way we realize it sounds rather morbid, but in practice it was a fun and addictive experience that we were excited to hear was coming to the 3DS eShop. Now that it's here, we're glad to report that it's superior in every way to the original.

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo retains everything that made the iOS game great, while introducing button controls and a whole smattering of additional features, including the titular Turbo Mode which effectively doubles the length of the game. If you've come to this review simply to find out if it's worth downloading, we'll save you precious nut-gathering time: it is.

The introductory sequence sees Mr. Nibbles watching his precious acorns being carted off by some of the baddies in the game and, ever the devoted patriarch, it's up to him to get them back. You move the loveable little guy with the circle pad, and jump with either A or B. You can use either, and that will be the only button you need, as it also deploys a rope that allows Mr. Nibbles to swing around certain parts of the stage.

If it sounds simple, that's because it is. You maneuver around each level, all of which are very small, and collect every acorn. Once you do that the exit opens, you step through it, and the acorns you collected tumble charmingly into the hollow of the tree you call home. Completion percentages are marked on the inside wall, making that 100% mark that much more tantalizing to reach.

The difficulty in Super Little Acorns 2D Turbo is entirely up to you. If all you're interested in is some fast, time-wasting fun on the go, then you can collect the acorns, exit the stage, and move on. However if you want to invest a little more effort into the game, you're rewarded greatly with a whole host of optional objectives. These include killing every enemy, collecting the fruit that appears after the acorns are collected, and speed-running the stage. Achieving each of these objectives nabs you another badge for that level, and a bonus handful of additional acorns, meaning those seeking a true challenge will be playing through these stages several times each at least.

On top of that there are an assortment of achievements to unlock, a challenge mode containing 30 themed stages to push your skills to the limit, and a Turbo Mode that gives you a second — and more difficult — run through of the entire game. When all is said and done, that's 180 levels by our count, and getting every possible acorn is going to require a lot of attempts.

And, yes, there's more, as you can also unlock costume components for Mr. Nibbles, allowing you to dress him up however you see fit. This is integrated nicely, and the items of clothing pair up very well — and often amusingly — with the simplistic art style of the game. (Incidentally, if you'd like Mr. Nibbles to uncannily resemble this reviewer, choose the Super Toupee, the Beatnik Shades and the Hawaiian Shirt. You're welcome.)

If there are any negative aspects of the game, they're minor. The physics, for instance, feel a little loose, especially at first. We got used to them before long, but it took a while to get the hang of stomping enemies and clearing gaps. We do feel they could do with some tightening up, but we ultimately didn't have much of a problem. Additionally the soundtrack is a lot of fun, containing pieces that are alternately bouncy and brooding — depending upon the in-game season — but the number of tracks feels very small, and it would have been nice having more songs to break up the experience.

We're very happy with the way Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo turned out, and we'll never get tired of saying the game's full title. It stands alongside Gunman Clive as conclusive evidence that buttons will always be superior to touch-screen approximations, and we do think this is worth a buy even for those who already have the iOS original. It really does play that much better.

Conclusion

Super Little Acorns 3D is a lot of fun. Its tiny levels are perfect for on-the-go play, and it's got enough challenge for every kind of gamer. Some loose physics and repetitive soundtrack hold the game back somewhat, but not much. It's a great improved port of an addictive mobile game, and one we're glad to have on the eShop. If you pass on this one...you must be nuts.

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User Comments (43)

luminalace

#1

luminalace said:

Hmm wasn't really on my radar but that's an impressive review. Maybe I need to take a look.

Jollykarp

#2

Jollykarp said:

This actually looks like a lot of fun. I really enjoy these mini-stage style challenge platformers.

6ch6ris6

#3

6ch6ris6 said:

oh i thought this would be like that 2fast4gnomz but this looks way slower and more like a traditional platformer. but it also has that super turbo mode right? maybe i will pick this up. 2fast4gnomz demo was very cool but maybe the full version would be too hard for me

DazzaAdmin

#5

Dazza said:

@Rizsparky shame you have to choose, both are excellent. This game has a much faster pace and is more forgiving than Mutant Mudds. If you want a fun game to play in short blasts then you could do a lot worse than downloading this.

Bobhobob

#8

Bobhobob said:

Sweet!
Because Animal Crossing is 35 dollars, I might have enough money left over from 2 eShop cards to buy this.

RupeeClock

#9

RupeeClock said:

I spotted the video on the eShop and was pleasantly surprised, I'll keep an eye on it.

Spoony_Tech

#10

Spoony_Tech said:

This game did look like it could be fun! I guess it will go on my wish list for now as funds are just not there.

Spoony_Tech

#11

Spoony_Tech said:

@Rizsparky Mutant Mudds sucks if you ask me just from the video i can tell this game is more fun! I didnt like Mudds from the video but bought it because of the review.

Dpullam

#13

Dpullam said:

This game turned out better than I thought it would. I'll consider getting this game in the future.

Zodiak13

#14

Zodiak13 said:

I may get this for my son's 3ds, I know he will enjoy it. Plus I can give it a whirl myself when he is asleep, mwuhaha.

Faruko

#15

Faruko said:

Need to decide if i should put 40 dollars on my "online wallet" or get Luigis Mansion 2 >_>

idork99

#17

idork99 said:

"It stands alongside Gunman Clive as conclusive evidence that buttons will always be superior to touch-screen approximations..."

Very well said! This would be an automatic purchase for me if it weren't for the many games left to play. I'm still playing MH3U, and have yet to touch LM2 or HarmoKnight! I still may get this though. Just to compare and show proof that iOS games will always play better on a dedicative video game system! And on that note, I'll leave you with an Iwata quote from 2009:

"The Nintendo DS brand offers an experience that mobile phones—no matter how smart the phone—can't match."

RR529

#20

RR529 said:

Sounds interesting, but I don't have much money for games right now, and will probably save for stuff I'm more interested in (that, and the art style doesn't really click for me).

Windy

#24

Windy said:

Played this last night and it's real good. Good review Phil. I actually spent more time playing Witch and Hero last night. I will get to more of this tonight. I really like the Depth of the 3d and the gameplay is ultra smooth. It kinda feels like playing Angry Birds a bit. Not the same play mechanic at all but an angry birds feel to it

DRLAdmin

#25

DRL said:

Great review, Phil. I'm about halfway through this one and I think everything you stated is spot on.

Captain_Balko

#27

Captain_Balko said:

Well written review. I didn't really give it a close look when I saw it originally, but I'll be sure to take a closer look now.

@Tech101 You didn't like Mutant Mudds? What's not to like? Yeah, it's hard, but that's all a part of the allure. The music of MM is simply fantastic, the graphics are delightfully retro, the stage design is (as I already mentioned) challenging, yet still very well done and never feels too cheap. I simply adore Mutant Mudds, and I don't think it's fair to judge it as 'worse' than this game simply on the basis of a video.

Ras

#28

Ras said:

Wow. You really came at us with an Oran "Juice" Jones reference? You must be older than I thought, because I'm not sure that made it too far out of the '80s (and, yes, I love it). ;)

flowerchild

#31

flowerchild said:

Great review! Heard on a gaming forum that it was well-worth the money. Just have to check out the iOS version first, because that just may be enough for this gaming "chicken." Thank you for the great review.

Spoony_Tech

#32

Spoony_Tech said:

@Captain_Balko I though the game was to bland and boring tbh. You move like a snail's pace and just wasn't fun for me at all. Way to repetitive for me as well.

Captain_Balko

#33

Captain_Balko said:

@Tech101 The idea is that Mutant Mudds is a throwback to 8 and 16 bit games of yonder. Some might consider it bland, boring, and repetitive, but those same people would likely consider a majority of NES and SNES games the same thing. And you move along about as fast as most video game characters from the 80's and 90's. Yes, it's simplistic, but it's meant to be, and some fantastic level design more than makes up for it. I suppose it's all a matter of nostalgia. I probably would have bought the game just for it's amazing chiptune music even if I disliked the gameplay.

RR529

#34

RR529 said:

@Captain_Balko, TBH I didn't think Mudds was that great, either.

It didn't look convincingly retro (it looked too "plastic" to me, and didn't capture the vibe as well as Cave Story, Mighty Switch Force!, and VVVVVV, IMO). The difficulty did take the cheap route later on (numerous off screen enemy attacks, and leaps of faith. Issues VVVVVV, MSF!, and Cave Story avoided, while still being challenging). It was wholly unoriginal in both gameplay, and theme (mud monsters, really?).

It's certainly not a bad game, though. The music was great (although VVVVVV, MSF!, and Cave Story have soundtracks just as great), it has one of the best uses of stereoscopic 3D, and the gameplay is very polished. It's a good game for sure, but it is also one of the most overrated titles on eShop, IMO.

This is off topic though, so this is all I'll say on the matter.

Ralizah

#35

Ralizah said:

I might get this if there is a sale sometime. I'm not paying $8 for a slightly upgraded smartphone game.

daggdroppen

#36

daggdroppen said:

i love this game! the 8/10 is well deserved!

would rank it equally as Mighty Switch Force. But not as good as Mutant Mudds.

and you cant compare to play these games on a smartphone to the 3DS perfect d-pad and buttons! its not even close ^^

well worth 5 Euros!! =)

Lobster

#37

Lobster said:

I am so, so interested in this game! Only thing I am worried about is if my reflexes are up to it. I'd hate for such a gem to end up going to waste on my 3DS. If I had any kids or a boyfriend, it would be an insta-buy.

Joygame51

#39

Joygame51 said:

Cute really cute: and thats a compliment! I like cute. Not sure if I want to drop 7.99 on it but CUTE...none the less.

rdenton85

#43

rdenton85 said:

I really liked this on Windows Phone. Getting all the achievements was so hard but it was held back by not having a proper control scheme. This should be the best version of any Little Acorns game :)

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