3DS

North America

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo

by Neal Ronaghan - April 18, 2013, 9:46 am PDT
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8

No need to wait for the Championship Edition.

Platformers are usually a hard genre to get right. A character's jump, the way they feel, and the way physics affect them can make or break an experience. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo, an enhanced 3DS version of a mobile game, more or less nails the tight control that most platformers require. Mr. Nibbles, the square-ish squirrel protagonist, jumps and moves the way he should through 90 levels packed with acorns, enemies, and fruit.

The primary mode consists of three “years” with 20 levels each. Those years are broken up into four seasons, with a boss race closing out each year. The goal of each level is to collect all the acorns, which opens up the exit. You're up against a strict time limit, but if you just go for the basic goal, the time isn't very restrictive. However, three optional goals, which focus on speed running, enemy destruction, and fruit collecting, give you more variety in each stage. Because of the nature of those goals, unless you're a total wunderkind, you have to play each level at least twice for 100% completion. Basically, you're not going to be able to defeat every enemy and collect every item while successfully completing the level in a short amount of time. Fortunately, Little Acorns is really fun and the levels are short and focused, so replaying stages does not feel laborious.

In the beginning of the game, Mr. Nibbles can only jump, which can be used to defeat enemies if he lands on their heads. Soon, the ability to grapple becomes a major focus. By hooking up to designated points, you can swing around, building up momentum and reaching new heights. Additionally, a variety of power-ups litter the stages, ranging from invincibility to super speed. The difficulty curve in the game is excellent, as it starts off very easy but ramps up the challenge so that, by year two, you might start having to figure out entertaining tricks to complete the goals.

Outside of the main mode, 30 challenge stages deliver straightforward, difficult segments that are somewhat reminiscent of New Super Mario Bros. U's challenges. In one of them, you will be outrunning rising water, while in another, you have to break through walls as quickly as you can. Since the focus is more on completion than completing secondary goals, these levels are a nice change of pace. However, they still have most of the optional goals that the main levels include.

As you complete different goals in every part of the game, you add to an overall pool of acorns that unlocks content. Most of the unlocked content is comprised of different costumes, so you can make your squirrel look like a dignified gentleman with a top hat and a mustache, among other outfits. The unlockable “Turbo” mode, which is a silly reference to old Street Fighter games, speeds up the entire game. That wasn't compelling enough to warrant a second playthrough, as it is nothing more than the same game, but faster. You also have a laundry list of achievements to complete.

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is a fun 3DS eShop title. It's not quite the cream of the crop on the download platforms, but as a platformer, it is fantastic and worth checking out. It is a polished, amusing title from start to finish.

Summary

Pros
  • Constant stream of unlockables
  • Fun mechanics
  • Nice difficulty curve
Cons
  • Forced replaying of levels for completion
  • Turbo mode is repetitive

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Genre Action
Developer Pixel Toys
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo
Release Apr 18, 2013
PublisherPixel Toys
RatingEveryone
jpn: Super Little Risu 3D
Release Jun 26, 2013
PublisherTeyon
RatingAll Ages
eu: Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo
Release Apr 18, 2013
PublisherPixel Toys
Rating3+
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