Happy Squirrels by Chillingo Ltd icon

Happy Squirrels (Free) by Chillingo Ltd is a time management game that stars a tree full of adorable, furry, square-shaped squirrels. It reminds me of Little Acorns in appearance, but the gameplay is a lot closer to Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower.

Tiny Tower takes place in a building, but Happy Squirrels takes place in a tree. Other than that, the games are quite alike. You will begin with a little oak tree, which can be improved (and grown) by purchasing new rooms.

In each blank room, you can create a different building. There are four types of buildings: food, fun, community, and service. Food buildings are self explanatory, offering options like gardens and ice cream shops, while community allows you to create social spots like saunas and aquariums. Fun spots include playgrounds, arcades, and bumper cars, while service spots include bookstores and hairdressers.

Happy Squirrels by Chillingo Ltd screenshot

Each building that you create produces a certain number of acorns, which are used to purchase new floors and new buildings. These acorns build up over time and must be collected, so as in Tiny Tower, this is a time management game that you will play for a few minutes and then come back to multiple times a day.

Each building can be upgraded, which causes it to produce more acorns. Building new spots and upgrading existing locations takes time, up to several hours. You’re limited to how many new things you can build at once because you only have a few construction workers.

Purchasing additional workers requires potions, which are the game’s secondary currency. Potions are used to speed things up and purchase unobtainables. Since this is a freemium game, the developers want you to purchase this potions, and thus it is a rather slow game if you don’t intend to invest any money in it.

Happy Squirrels by Chillingo Ltd screenshot

Purchasing additional workers requires potions, which are the game’s secondary currency. Potions are used to speed things up and purchase unobtainables. Since this is a freemium game, the developers want you to purchase this potions, and thus it is a rather slow game if you don’t intend to invest any money in it.

While you wait for your buildings to be constructed, you can play a few different mini games, such as Nut Catcher, where you tilt your iDevice back and forth to catch nuts and fruit while avoiding bees. You can also earn extra acorns and potions by tapping on the acorns growing on the tree.

Graphically, this game is super cute, and it has decently fun (but repetitive) mini games, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve played this before. The gameplay is too similar Tiny Tower and frankly, progressing takes way too long. I’ve only played for twenty minutes and I’ve already maxed out what I can do for the next two hours.

There’s little incentive for me to keep playing and I have no desire to drop money into a game that I was only able to play for a few minutes. Of course, if you love adorable little squirrels and don’t mind only playing for a couple minutes every two hours, you might just enjoy this game.

For the rest of you, I’d take a pass on Happy Squirrels. It may be cute, but the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.