Happy Squirrels may be one of the cutest games out there, but it's going to cost you. Oh, you'll want to build saunas, parks and hospitals for your adorable little buddies, but the potions you find and the nuts you pick off the tree are going to get you about as much as an actual squirrel in terms of building.

The point of the newest game from Chillingo is to build a lovely community for the cute block-headed squirrels who seem to need drugs to finish their work faster. Well, we all drink coffee. This particular stimulant just appears in the form of purple potions in jars that you'll discover underneath the nuts you pick off the tree.

The graphics are squee-worthy. Tiny little guys running around, giving you suggestions in the form of thought bubbles, telling you they love the work you and your furry little friends have done with a cartoon heart. You can collect potions and nuts on the tree and play mini games to rack up points, but very soon after you start, you'll find that you'll need to purchase nuts and potions (which can be converted to nuts) to go very far with the game. Otherwise, you'll be waiting for a quarter of a day to see any results. Someone must have unionized the little tree rats. They also love the lottery. Once a day, you'll get to spin a wheel for extra nuts or potions.

For a game this small, there are a ton of cute little add-ons. You can spin the pinwheel on the tree, ring the doorbell and splash in the pond and make a cute little fish jump. Pull the screen down and you get rainbows and clouds. Pull it up and there are dinosaur bones buried in the earth. Your main little buddy can unlock outfits, including hats and flowers for their "hair." Despite the "Aw, it's only a dollar to help keep my little buddies happy for another hour!" hole-in-the-pocket scheme, you've got little mini-games to keep you happy, including one where you tilt the screen to collect nuts, fruit and other snacks while avoiding bees, and one where you fly around and smash up falling debris.

This is a free game, of course, so the added purchase incentives are hardly a surprise, but you could keep yourself happy picking nuts off the tree and checking out the outfits on the little buggers. For a tower-building game, you can't get much cuter. Just don't let your kids grab this one. It's easy to let the money flow. I've been unable to stop checking on the progress of my squirrel tavern every five minutes. What? You've never seen a drunk squirrel before? Why do you think they keep running out in front of your car?


App Store Link: Happy Squirrels for iPhone | By Chillingo | Price: Free | Version: 1.01 | 19.0 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating