Whether it was from history class, a documentary, or even your favorite movie, everyone has learned a bit about the French Revolution. Well, have you ever thought about adding squirrels into the mix? No? Neither did we, but somebody did and they made a game about it. Get ready to collect some nuts (uhh…acorns, you know what I mean).
Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution is a turn-based strategy title developed by High Tale Studios and tells the story of Charles Demontesquirrel, a revolution leader, on his path to dethrone King Louis for his ill ruling and mistreatment towards the people. This title contains five chapters with five levels each leading up to each boss. Each chapter has one boss but there really is not a boss fight. You fight the boss on each level of their specific chapter and they get more difficult as the chapter goes on. Each boss has a special ability that adds an annoying factor to their chapters and gives a challenge to completing some of the later levels. My least favorite ability would have to be the Tax Man’s, where he takes a certain amount of acorns away from you bank every turn. These acorns are used to purchase upgrades at the end of each turn. The three upgrades that you can purchase are attack damage, defense, and health and they last for one cycle. Each upgrade cost 200 acorns and you can purchase them up to four times per round with increasing effects. You can earn acorns two different ways. One way is by placing characters on top of piles of acorns that spawn randomly on the grid and the other way is by upgrading friendly combatants. Each character upgrades to a higher class when three of the same unit is placed beside each other either in a line or in an ‘L-shape’ formation. These acorns are essential to victory and that is the biggest reason that the Tax Man’s ability is such an annoyance. There is also a multiplayer feature in this game but is quite standard. It consists of the campaign levels, but you can face your friends in local multiplayer.
When looking at the visuals and audial aspects of this game, they are pretty bad. The game has the visual styles of early PlayStation 2 graphics, but do not provide any type of nostalgic feelings as the game just doesn’t look good. Even for a cartoon inspired design the game looks very basic and doesn’t have any gleaming qualities in the category for visuals. The sounds are no different, they are very bland and there aren't that many different sounds in the game. There is the background music that barely changes and then the sounds that the units make when they attack, and when there are only three different enemy types with one attack type each, the sounds get very repetitive fast.
This title was a rarity as it was one that I personally requested to work on, instead of being given it. I have requested it because I am very fond of the turn-based style in video games and I felt that the game had some potential to be a decent title that would be overlooked to due to the odd nature of the concept and the strange title. Unfortunately, I was disappointed on both aspects that I felt this game would shine with. While I had fun with the turn-based action and thought they implemented it well, the game was just extremely underwhelming and rudimentary in design. The title does not require you to purchase units and just randomly gives you a set of attacking characters and defenses and this random factor leans heavily in favor of the enemy. The title is extremely repetitive during the chapters as the opponents play style does not change at all. An unexpected aspect of the game that hit me was the difficulty of some of the levels. The randomness makes beating some of the levels challenging. This is one title that I figured would have potential and unfortunately, I was wrong.
Overall, Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution is an interesting concept that just didn’t work out well. The game is priced at $10 USD, which I feel is a fair price. However, unless you are in need of a turn-based strategy game about squirrels, I would steer clear of this title until it goes on sale. It is fun but gets very mundane quickly.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 4.5/10
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