A review by Jeremy Hardin
The story of SLA3DT, while inconsequential, is short and cute, just like Mr. Nibbles and the rest of the characters in the game. Returning home to their tree, Mr. Nibbles and his family are caught by surprise as several woodland creatures scurry away with their precious supply of acorns! Mr. Nibbles, the protagonist provider of his Sciuridae clan immediately sets off to recover the stolen acorns and fill up his tree once again. I’m pretty sure if he comes home successful, there will be even more squirrel pups to feed (nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Know what I mean?)
Gameplay and Controls
Players take control of Mr. Nibbles as he runs, jumps, swings, and flips through the air collecting acorns, fruit, taking down those roaming robbers of the forest, all within a set amount of time. You’ll start off the first few levels, just learning the basics behind your goals and how to achieve them. Then, after a few levels, you’ll gain access to your rope, which allows you to grapple to certain points and swing around with reckless abandon! Overall, the gameplay is incredibly and delightfully simple. In an effort to be transparent and fair, I’d like to point out that there is a very minor learning curve while adjusting to the slightly loose controls of Mr. Nibbles and his rope, but I assure you it will not impede your progress or your fun.
The main goal in each level is to collect all the acorns and make your way to the exit, before time runs out. Now, you might be thinking, “Okay, so I collect acorns and race to the finish…is that it?” Thankfully, the answer is a resounding, “NO!” See, in addition to your primary goal, you have three optional goals you can try and achieve – Fruity Finish, Speedy Squirrel, and Enemies Eliminated, but there is no way to complete all three in one try. Did I just hear someone say, “Replay Value!” Oh yeah, it was me. I actually said “Replay Value!” out loud as I typed that sentence. Yeah, it’s that good.
Four goals. Four icons on the bottom screen…. coincidence? I think not!
Fruity Finish is achieved upon collecting all five of the fruit pieces scattered throughout the level. The catch is, these pieces only appear once you collect all the acorns, so be quick! Speedy Squirrel is obviously achieved upon exiting the level in a set amount of time, indicated by a gold star icon displayed on the timer. The final goal is Enemies Eliminated, which is achieved when you defeat all the enemies. At first, defeating the enemies is fairly easy. You just jump on their heads, swing off a grapple point and flip into them, or just run into them when you have a super power-up, rendering you invincible for a brief period of time. If you happen to get hit by an enemy, you’ll turn green and your speed and jump will be lowered for a few seconds. Other than that, you can’t actually die, unless you fall in the water. Okay, so far the enemies don’t sound too tough, but you’ll soon come upon enemies that can only be defeated by using the aforementioned power-up (I don’t know if you can grapple and flip into these enemies, haven’t had the chance to try it out), and it can be quite challenging at times.
In terms of levels, there are a 180 in all. The levels are broken down into years and then into seasons. There are three years and four seasons. Each season has five levels. Wait, that only adds up to 60 levels. Oh right, there are also 10 Challenges you can attempt, each of which have a Bronze, Silver, and Gold level. So that gives us 30 more levels. Okay, so that’s only 90 levels. Where are the other 90 levels? Well, you do remember the name of the game, right? It’s called Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo for a reason. Early on in the game, you’ll unlock a Turbo mode that increases the speed of Mr. Nibbles, as well as the enemies. Your progress in Turbo mode is kept separate from the standard mode, so in effect, the game is doubled. Alright, let’s break out the Abacus here…do some arithmetic….yep, now we’ve got 180 levels! In all seriousness, Pixel Toys crafted a game loaded with content and it doesn’t just stop at levels. Keep reading!
In addition to the 180 levels, you’ll also be rewarded with character costumes for every Fruity Finish you complete. These costumes are for dressing up Mr. Nibbles and his handy rope. You can change his head, face, body, and rope using over 50 custom skins and it makes collecting the fruit well worth it. Currently, I am sporting a zombie face, a fez hat, a tuxedo, and a gold chain (bling swing) for my rope. There are also 45 achievements to achieve. Yeah, I know these things aren’t terribly important, but it’s fun to play around with the costumes and try to earn the achievements. Thanks everyone at Pixel Toys for including this!
Graphics and Sound
Visually, Mr. Nibbles, his woodland world, and all the creatures within it are cute and charming. All the characters, and most of the objects have a block style, which looks really good. It’s simple, but effective. There is a good use of the 3D effect, which never gets old and is never too much. Visually, I was drawn into the game and I have enjoyed every moment of my time playing. There are two little things about how much detail the developers went into when creating the game. First, I already mentioned the costumes, which are used in-game, but they are also used on the title screen. The title screen is active with baby squirrels running and jumping, while your customized Mr. Nibbles, hangs from a rope and swings back and forth. The second neat little addition is when you turn turbo mode on, the word “Turbo” on the title screen starts to sparkle. It’s the little things like this that gamers like myself enjoy and appreciate.
The audio, which is this catchy piece of funk and sounds good, ultimately becomes repetitive as it isn’t that varied. I never tired from listening to it, as it is enjoyable, but I would have liked to heard some different tunes played throughout.
Final Score: 9.5 out of 10
Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is the first venture for game studio Pixel Toys, but you’d never know it. Obviously, they know what they are doing. In creating Mr. Nibbles and his world, we’re privy to a platformer that excels in every area of gaming (save for the repetitive music, which is totally cool, but not varied enough.) Super Little Acorns 3D is so much fun to play and with all the content it is easily worth the $8 price tag. After reading all this, if you still don’t want the game, then you’re nuts (or acorns, that is!)
+Excellent gameplay mechanics (rope)
+Fun and challenging
+Loads and loads of unlockables
-Not enough variety to music.