Side scrolling platformers are a rare entity these days, and a genre I loved when I was a kid. Super Mario being my all time favourite. As time has moved on I've begun to prefer other genres more, and having Caveman Warriors sent to me was nostalgic as it reignited my passion for the genre almost immediately. So it begun, a journey back in time to the era of the cave man and woman, as I hunted down the aliens that kidnapped the children.
Caveman Warriors is a mix of influences that range from Super Mario to Metal Slug, and several others. I'll let you look out for them. It also boasts up to 4 player cooperative gameplay where you can drop in and out at will. Which makes level progression far easier than playing solo. Especially against the boss fights. Each caveman and women has a different ability and weapon with which to benefit the team. Jack has his axe, Liliana has her spear which can also be used as a platform for the hard to reach areas, Brienne has a huge leg of meat for some reason, but it can be used as either a shield or to smack enemies far away. Then there's Moe, with his pet monkey? Yes, it is a useful ability, but I'll leave that for you to discover.
Playing solo never restricted me to just one of the Warriors, as you can swap them on the fly, as you will quickly find your favourite to play as. I did find that if you took damage as one, then the rest suffered damage too, which was a minor annoyance, due to how frustrating some sections of the game were. Level 3 boss fight, I'm staring right at you. I was able to beat it solo, but for this fight I'd say that having partners to assist you is recommended. The platforming wasn't too shabby, except when it came to the super jump, where I was required to hold up on my analogue stick and jump at the same time, which felt awkward and wrong, instead of opting for the tried and tested double jump that many games offer. Many a time I came a cropper because of this.
The art style favours a cartoon style, with rich colours spread throughout the game, and plenty of prehistoric enemies and animals blocking your path, each with way of proving a nuisance as you hunt down the aliens and your children. The end of each level provides a boss fight, and they soon become increasingly frustrating to overcome. I felt that they were a bit one sided towards the end, especially when you consider the huge robot you encounter after you fight an army of Nazi soldiers. Although, there is no actual symbolism of the party, but it's distinct look will be highly noticeable.
To say it's a generic game would be doing the developers a disservice, as Caveman Warriors is a fun romp, and more so with friends for some cooperative mayhem, but at the same time it's not a groundbreaking idea either. It relies on familiar tropes found with the genre, and plays it safe by not changing it up too much. It's a tough game to play at times, and others it's easy. A good balance for the most part, although later boss fights will leave you almost rage quitting. Get in the mood, grab a friend or two, and tackle the challenge ahead, then you will fare better than a solo attempt.
I'd say it's a decent effort from Jandusoft, and they certainly have a good idea with Caveman Warriors, although I would liked to have seen more levels available. But what they have done with the game is impressive, from the audio, to the art style and the not so serious nature of it all. Far from a mature and serious attitude towards the story, it is a fun and enjoyable romp through from start to end.
I'd recommend it for platforming fans, and especially those who have friends and spare controllers. Gaming is always better with friends, and Caveman Warriors is no exception to that rule. Sure it could benefit from a few improvements, but it's not the end of the world.
Release Date: 22nd September 2017
Value for Money: 7