Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo

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Somewhere in the title of this game you will see a reference to the actual game theme – acorns. You play as a squirrel, you collect acorns. The acorns are little, the squirrel is pretty super. There is a turbo mode and you play in “3D”, which means bits of the stage are a little raised from the background. So no one is lying in the title of Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo, but with so many adjectives things become meaningless quite quickly, and, well, the game itself is not as grandiose as its title suggests. Perhaps that’s the point they’re trying to make.

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo Screenshot 1

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is a really basic game. Each stage is the size of a few screens, you control a little square shaped critter that is supposed to be a squirrel, you collect little acorns scattered about the stage and then exit the stage once you’ve collected them all. There are enemies which pretty much just follow a path, so there’s no real AI to speak of. The platforming can require some precision which the D-Pad is more than suitable for. Each stage has multiple goals to complete – there is a time to beat, the acorns to collect, some fruit to collect which appear after you collect all the acorns, and some enemies to defeat.

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo Screenshot 2

You can do any of the four goals in each attempt of the level, although you always have to collect the acorns and reach the exit door within a specific time limit for it to be a successful attempt. Generally you would do the collection run – acorns, fruit and enemies – followed by a speed run. Then you go to the next level. There are 60 levels, broken up into three years, each broken up into four seasons. Unlocking years requires collecting enough acorns, and unlocking levels in each year just requires getting to the end of the level.

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo Screenshot 3

There are a couple of wrinkles added over the course of the levels, such as breakable blocks, falling platforms, swinging points and some new enemies. There are also a set of 30 challenge levels to complete, which test your skills at, for example, jumping with precision or swinging accurately. There is also a Turbo mode, which I implore you to enable from the start because the non-Turbo mode is more like Super-Slow mode and Turbo mode is far more enjoyable.

Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo Screenshot 4

If you’re looking for a minute-waster Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo is a pretty good one. Play for a minute or five, close the 3DS and move on. Come back later and carry on. Any longer than 10 or 15 minutes and you’ll be aching to play something else. The difficulty just doesn’t ramp up fast enough, the platforming and level design is just not interesting enough. The sense of progression is reasonably created but isn’t very satisfying because the levels don’t have identities of their own. Replaying levels just to complete different goals can be frustrating, especially in early stages where it’s just going through the motions.

If there were no other options in the genre I might recommend Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo, but there are other options. You’re better off getting one of the Wario World, Mario Bros or Kirby Virtual Console titles, or paying three or four times the amount and getting one of the superb full-price platformers available on the 3DS. Unless you’re just looking to pass five minutes. It’ll do that passably well. Or maybe you’re a platforming nut; it might scratch that itch for an hour or two.

(Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS, downloaded from the Nintendo e-Shop)