The Little Acre is a Don Bluth, Disney and Ghibli-Inspired Adventure in Ireland

The Little Acre is a Don Bluth, Disney and Ghibli-Inspired Adventure in Ireland

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Richard Walker

A hand-animated adventure that draws inspiration from the likes of Don Bluth, Disney and Studio Ghibli, it's not hard to see why Broken Sword maestro Charles Cecil was drawn to The Little Acre. Like Broken Sword, it's a classic point-and-click adventure with an emphasis on story, and it looks great. “I loved the look of the game,” says Cecil of The Little Acre. “And the Broken Sword references didn't go unnoticed!”

Set in both the real world - with some environments based upon actual locations in Ireland – and a fantasy world inspired by 80s movies like Labyrinth and The Neverending Story, The Little Acre oozes charm in its quirky characters and vibrant animated art-style. But its point-and-click puzzles also recall the smart conundrums from adventure classics like Monkey Island, Full Throttle or (obviously) Broken Sword. One such puzzle involving a cat, a window and a locked door requires a little lateral thinking, but it's easily solved once you wrap your head around how it all works.

It's “not too complex”, says Pewter Games co-founder Ben Clavin, stating that The Little Acre has more of an emphasis on story rather than being intent on melting your brain with obtuse and overly-complicated puzzles. However, the developer has gone the extra mile for the console version of the game, enabling you to freely move your character and highlight points of interest, making for a more streamlined experience when using a controller.

Looking at The Little Acre, it's initially hard to see why Charles Cecil's contribution as Executive Producer was required, but it turns out that his experience has proved invaluable. Cecil says he came in and helped define the character's motivations, setting up situations to “foreshadow the drama beforehand” ensuring that there was also “something dramatic to follow”. This all helped in the conveyance and pacing of The Little Acre's story, Clavin's fellow co-founder Christopher Conlan echoes. “He helped with the details in how we're telling the story,” he adds.

That story sees Aidan and his daughter Lily moving between the game's real and fantasy worlds, the latter of which is viewed from an isometric perspective, the characters given smaller bodies and bigger heads, lending them a diddy, cutesy look. Having seen Aidan in the real world, Pewter then shows us Lily and her dog-like buddy, a so-called 'dogerpillar' named Bugsy, wandering through the fantasy land. And the personality in the game's handmade animation is fantastic, Bugsy and Lily both proving utterly endearing as they encounter weird creatures like the bat-squirrel.

Our first look at The Little Acre ends with Aidan and his friend Nina creating a gauntlet able to open an inter-dimensional portal between the real world and the fantasy realm, and we realise that this is just the beginning of what looks like an effortlessly charming adventure. With an achievement for completing a speedrun through the game, The Little Acre isn't going to be a massive adventure, but it possesses all of the right components to make it a memorable and engaging one.

The Little Acre will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this year.

Comments
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  • The world looks nice, but the characters just don't do it for me
  • @1 Agreed. The characters look dull and out of place when compared to the great-looking backgrounds.
  • drawn by a 5 year-old?
  • Looks not even close to Ghilbi levels.
  • That's how we all look here in Ireland!
  • @1 that's racist. Now I'm off to drink 8 pints Guinness for breakfast and go mind my pot o gold
  • This is too cute. I can't dig it.
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