Review: Acron: Attack of the Squirrels

Everyone likes a good party game to build some atmosphere – who wants to just sit around a talk nowadays? – and there are a few choice virtual reality (VR) titles available which fit the bill. Resolution Games is a VR developer which has generally stuck to single-player experiences (Bait!, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs) until now, creating what could well be one of the best social VR videogames in Acron: Attack of the Squirrels.

What we have here are frantic three-minute rounds of absolute mayhem involving a pack of squirrels and a tree. Sounds completely normal right? Resolution Games has created a 1 vs 2-8 player brawl using a VR headset and mobile phones that’s all about teamwork for the squirrels and a lot of arm (branch) waving for the tree.

As you may have guessed the player in VR takes the role of the rather defensive tree, which is looking to protect its golden acorns. Armed with three different projectiles all you need to do is stop the mobile players running off with your prized possessions. As the squirrels, the mobile players will need to team up, select their preferred character and aim to get four acorns back to home base within the allotted time.

Playing as the tree offered the most exciting aspect of the gameplay due to the fact there’s so much going on and you’re on your own. With up to eight players to monitor as well as their own unique abilities aiding their squirrel cause, anyone who dons the headset is in for a fight. The projectiles on offer can slow opponents down or knock them out completely, making them drop an acorn. Subsequent hits draw the acorns back to base. You can also grab the squirrels if you’re quick enough when they come into range and throw them out of the level – for some reason that’s particularly satisfying, especially in sudden death.

On the squirrel side, there are four characters classes to choose from, offering the usual mix of strategies – one is really fast, one can build tunnels while the big tough squirrel can help defend the others. The great thing is because players can join in using a mobile phone it means pretty much anyone can play. Death is irrelevant as you can keep respawning, trying each character in turn to find a favourite. Create a strategy to win or simply go full bore and see what happens, that’s what so enjoyable about Acron: Attack of the Squirrels the fast, think on your feet gameplay.

Ideally, Acron: Attack of the Squirrels is best enjoyed as a local party experience with a few friends and family together. Everyone may be looking at their phones which doesn’t seem social but you’d be surprised the amount of talking and cheering going on with every success and failure. When no one is on hand then Acron: Attack of the Squirrels does have an online mode. It works well with no issues but lacks the group ambience. Plus you can’t keep swapping the headset which is a big part of the overall experience.

With the matches being so short and sharp it does quickly become apparent that overall content is a little lacking. After a half-hour play session you’ve soon seen everything Acron: Attack of the Squirrels has to offer like the six locations to play in and the four squirrel characters. Which means longevity could become an issue if you do play the videogame solidly.  If you’re just playing for a couple of hours on a Sunday then most will be too engrossed to notice.

There really isn’t much to dislike about Acron: Attack of the Squirrels as its such an amusing videogame. Resolution Games has stuck with its tried and tested playful design, whilst bringing some multiplayer mayhem to the table, making it an ideal choice for Oculus Quest owners who like to take their headset out and about. When it comes to VR party games, Acron: Attack of the Squirrels should be top of your list.

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