We we’re given a complimentary review copy of Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad for the Wii U. You can purchase this game on the Wii U eShop.
From the moment I first played (for this review) Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad for the Wii U I was reminded of my own nostalgic childhood which was steeped in co-op beat em’ ups like Brawl Brothers (Jaleco) & Golden Axe. Any gamer who grew-up in the 80’s or 90’s probably remembers the brawler & beat em’ up genre of games. From Final Fight to Double Dragon, the retro genre had a golden age, which frankly hasn’t had as much weight in our current age of gaming. Many indie games for the eShop focus on some type of retro genre, but disappointingly arcade style action games are a rare treat. Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad caters to the gamer of yesteryear. For Wii U owners this provides an exclusive indie game that provides a decent mirror of what made brawlers & beat em’ up games so fun in the 80’s and 90’s.
Without spoiling anything, Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad is about a team of Squirrels who are out to defeat an evil Cat CEO. Believe it or not the story is well written, with story sequences before & after each level along with a consistent commentary on the players hud that keeps the dialogue between the Squirrels going. It can at times be difficult to read everything the characters are saying when playing the levels. There are some slightly cheesy moments within the story, but overall well suited for younger & older gamers alike.
Graphically Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad has decent graphics, making use of some well designed backgrounds and planned out staging. The characters and enemies can sometimes contrast with other level art, but overall the style, theme and design is well done. One of the best looking parts in the game actually come through the story, which contains well drawn art of the squirrel characters along with other elements of the story.
The gameplay in Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad is just like any other beat em’ up brawler. Players will take out enemies using punches & kicks while trying to reach each stages end. The Squirrels themselves make use of giant robots which they discover during the game’s opening story sequence. Each Squirrel has an Armored mode ability which can be accessed after defeating enough enemies. Each Armored mode is different, giving characters and the game extra replay value.
Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad is 1 – 4 players. For the review we played with up to 3 players. Most retro arcade brawlers are 1-2 players, but there are some exceptions. When comparing Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad to contemporary games it does play similarly to Castle Crashers- while being a little more family friendly.
The sound and music in Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad is a mixture of retro & techno music styles. I took special note of the opening sequence on the front menu, which started the game off with plenty of energy.
What Could Be Better
Like some games in this genre, Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad does suffer from simple control issues. One issue is hitting and taking down enemies. It can be hard to punch enemies at times, and adding additional players into the mix can make things even more chaotic. This isn’t a deal breaker, but is an issue nonetheless. Another issue is that the Wii U gamepad must be used to play. This makes sense for some of the game’s challenges & puzzles, but it is disappointing that these controls couldn’t be mapped to have the Gamepad as more of an option.
What is Awesome about Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad
Armored ACORNS: Action Squirrel Squad contains plenty of value and fun for the dollar. Not only does it offer 1 – 4 players, but contains a quality story and classic gameplay that reflects a game genre that definitely deserves a rebirth. Along with some good music and great / fun puzzles, I had a great time playing Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad for the Wii U.
In conclusion Nexcra Software did a great job developing Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad. The game is fun to play by yourself or with 3 other friends. The number of levels will provide hours of fun, while challenging players with its many enemies, puzzles and retro styled gameplay. Armored ACORNs: Action Squirrel Squad provides the Wii U with a solid beat em’ up that will delight older & younger gamers alike.
- Gameplay : 8 / 10
- Graphics : 7.5 / 10
- Music & Sound : 7 / 10
- Replay Value : 8 / 10
- Final Review Score : 7.6 / 10