Rick’s been playing games since before he could walk. I went from an NES to a PS3 with nothing in between. We love to game together, but finding games we can both enjoy can be tough. Indie Game Date is our quest to find great indie games that both of us will love.
Let it be said that I’ve never let gore get in the way of a good time. I like horror movies and transgressive art. I have a weird sense of humour. One of my first dates with Rick involved making him watch this movie, an ordeal he is still recovering from.
But, I have to say, I was wholly unprepared for experience of watching Rick play Hotline Miami & The Binding of Isaac in the same evening. I will be writing about those games later, but for right now I’m going to focus of the game we decided to play together to help me recover: recent xblig port Little Acorns Deluxe.
In many ways, Little Acorns Deluxe was the perfect antidote to the strange, gory duo of Hotline & Binding. The game is so wholesome it almost hurts. An upgraded port of mobile platformer, Little Acorns, this version includes a cooperative mode, which is part of what had attracted me to the game. Xbox indie games with local multiplayer modes are few and far between and the fact that the gameplay seemed simple enough even for me meant that it was high on my list of games to try for an Indie Game Date.
In the 2 player mode you play as a squirrel couple, helping each other to collect acorns to survive the winter and wrangle your unruly brood of baby squirrels. Each level is timed, but between me and Rick we didn’t seem to have any trouble getting all the acorns with time to spare. Gameplay is relatively simple, but amps up naturally as you progress through the levels.
We only made it through one season before I had to call it a night, but I have a feeling it’ll be something we’ll be coming back to. The cooperative aspect of the game means that both players can have fun even if they are at different skill levels like me and Rick. I would especially recommend the game to parents who want to introduce their kids to playing games, since the stronger player can carry both players, but the score is cumulative so no one needs to know who did better.
The one aspect of the game that was a little odd, and obviously a result of tacking on the 2 player mode is that if player 2 dies, player 1 can continue playing until the level is complete. But, if player 1 dies, that’s it. You have to start the level over. Not that this was ever a problem for me and Rick, mind you, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Not exactly challenging, but with a good art style and cooperative play, Little Acorns Deluxe is a pretty great value at $1. I might even consider getting it on mobile, too.