Acorn Assault Rodent Revolution Review

By Cindy Minguez,
Developer High Tale Studios has released its debut title for the Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program -- a tale of injustice, tyranny, and villainy in a world gone nuts, er...acorns, that is. Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution is a game based on the French Revolution and relates the story of hero Charles DeMontesquirrel as he leads his rabble rebellion, starting with the rapacious Taxman and finishing with the king of squirrels himself, mad King Louis. So, how does the new title stack up?

En garde!En garde!

Acorn Assault Rodent Revolution is a simple strategy game that suits both young and old alike. Your adventure begins as the Taxman tries to squeeze one more acorn out of our hero, Charles DeMontesquirrel, but Charles decides he's had enough and takes on the greedy rodent. The revolution has begun. As the fight begins, a playing field appears that's set up on a grid similar to a checker board. The player and CPU each have a health bar, and when a bar hits zero, the match is over. Gameplay is easy to learn with the first section serving as a tutorial.

The player receives a combined total of five soldiers and barrels each turn. These must be placed on the grid with an eye toward both offense and defense. Three of the lowliest soldiers grouped together will merge into a single stronger soldier. Three stronger soldiers will merge into the magnificent bombardier, the strongest attacker in the game. Similarly, three barrels will get you a set of sandbags, and three sandbags will create a fortified wall. Merging like items will earn the player acorns, which can be traded for power-ups each turn. Power-ups are limited to three and last a single turn; you can choose to strengthen your attack or defense, or replenish health points.

Gate Keeper has extra defense.Gate Keeper has extra defense.

The easy game mechanic makes the game very easy to pick up, but on the flip side, it also makes for a good bit of monotony since there's so little variety from beginning to end. The game has five chapters, and each chapter has five stages. Each character has a different strength that must be taken into account with your strategy if you want to win; for example, the Taxman steals your acorns to use himself, while the Gate Keeper has extra defensive units that automatically re-spawn every round. However, how you fight the very last stage of the game isn't hugely different than how you fight the first. While some adjustments must be made for different skills that you meet, it's basically the same all the way through.

If playing multiplayer mode, only Charles is available in the beginning. As you beat each boss in the campaign, he or she is unlocked in multiplayer and will have the same skills you faced in your campaign matches. While the Steam version has online multiplayer, this has been omitted from the Xbox One version, which has couch co-op only. The multiplayer aspect of the game is very straightforward and limited. There are no extra scenes and nothing earned from playing. You and a friend each pick a character, you battle, you return to the multiplayer screen when someone wins. That's it. There isn't even any end-game dialogue -- nothing.

Multiplayer is very limited.Multiplayer is very limited.

The graphics and music, while pleasant enough, are simple as well. There's very little moving animation except for lifting a gun to shoot. "Cutscenes" are static images with dialogue printed across the bottom. It's nothing exciting and can seem underwhelming, but it suits the game.

Finally, the achievements are like the rest of the game: they're simple and straightforward. With only 11 in total, achievements are earned by beating each chapter, by maxing out skills, and for hoarding acorns. Those that are not received during the natural progression of the game are very easily earned by storing up nuts and spending them all at once on each of the three possible power-ups. The only two achievements that take some watching are creating a bomber and a fortified defensive unit; this can be interrupted by the opposing side but isn't terribly difficult if one is paying attention.

Summary

High Tale Studios' Acorn Assault Rodent Revolution is a strategy game based on the French Revolution but told in the world of squirrels in a game appropriate for young and old alike. The game is slow-paced and simple, a strategy title much in keeping with checkers. Although not the same game, it's fun in the same way; it's simple yet surprisingly hard from time to time as you adjust to new opposing skills. Unfortunately the campaign can become monotonous, while multiplayer lacks online capability and much purpose. Overall, the game is no more than average in any way.
3 / 5
Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution
Positives
  • Easy to learn
  • Simply strategy fun
  • Couch co-op
Negatives
  • Lack of variety
  • No online multiplayer
  • Underwhelming graphics and music
Ethics
The reviewer spent roughly seven hours fighting the tyrannical Louis and his minions, earning all of the game's 11 achievements along the way. An Xbox One game code was provided by the ID@Xbox team for the purpose of this review.
Cindy Minguez
Written by Cindy Minguez
Cindy has been writing for TA/TT for three years now and is the Assistant Manager of the Newshounds at TrueTrophies. She's an English instructor at a small college and considered a remarkably cool teacher for knowing all about Mass Effect, Skyrim, and Diablo III.