Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #123: Caveman Games

Title : Caveman Games

Publisher : Data East

Developer : Data East

Genre : Track 'N' Field (sort of?)

Players : 1-4 Players

Release Date : 1990

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $7-$10

It's been awhile since we've reviewed a track 'n' field type game, and I'll be honest when I say I'm not looking forward to doing another one. Until I saw what I was reviewing. This game is bad, I'll admit. But I actually have fond memories of it from when I was a kid. I was obsessed with Cavemen and dinosaurs, and seriously considered being an archaeologist for a time. It soon faded, but the game entertained me nonetheless.

The Caveman premise was something I couldn't resist. I wouldn't be surprised if 8 year old me was thinking that millions of years ago, Cavemen were taking part in the same games, and this must be an accurate representation of the sort of competitions the Cavemen undertook in order to take over their tribes.

I'm kidding, I wasn't that dumb. But it would be hilarious if this was like some discovery channel documentary on the history of Caveman Sports. Although, I do prefer the alternate title to this game rather than "CAVEMAN GAMES". The other version out for the Commodore was called CAVEMAN UGHLYMPICS.

LET THE HILARITY ENSUE!!! This game is filled with campy caveman humor! Seriously, one of the things this game has going for it is its humor elements. It's actually quite funny.
Alright, enough with the jokes. Well, I can't say that because this game is all about jokes (and pretty much is one). Listen, I get what you're trying to do. You're trying to provide a bit of a twist to a genre that's been done over and over and over again. I'm sorry, but it's not working. Dinosaurs, and Cavemen aside, this is probably one of the worst button smashing track 'n' field games I have ever played.

Can I go back to playing Castlevania? Please? No? *sighs* fine....

I first played this game back in the day at a friends house. I didn't like this friend. I used him for video games. His family was loaded and he always seemed to have a new game every single week I went over. He would invite me over and want to play outside or something, but I was like "hell no, you take me to your video games." It looked as if he got his revenge on me the day he made me play this horror.

You select from 1-4 players, and you'll each get to choose your own Caveman who might be better at some events (think of it like a bonus). The real difference is their hideous appearances. I'd really suggest playing with more than one. The game is at least somewhat entertaining when you can laugh at your friend failing miserably at the events. Speaking of events, let's talk about what they are....a large variety of button mashing games...

Saber Race - Did you know there is no such thing as a Saber tooth Tiger? It's just a Saber tooth Cat. So stop calling it that. Anyway, in this event, you and your opposing cavemen are fleeing from a Saber tooth Cat who is trying to maul you. Fear not! If your friend gets in your way, just bash him over the head so he gets eaten! You button mash your way to the finish line, aka - you live! Probably one of the more entertaining events...

Clubbing - This is the closest you're going to get to the American Gladiators Joust. You're hanging on some rocky ledge, facing off against your opposing Caveman with a giant wooden clubs. Button smash your way to victory, crack their skull, and watch them fall to their doom. Epic! It really is hilarious watching their reactions as they get hit. 

Matetoss - It's the hammer throw...but this time you're throwing your wife.....I mean...come on....seriously? It's quite hysterical. I wonder if my wife would let me do this to her. Probably not. Just look how happy that cave-woman looks!

Firemaking - This might be the worst even on Caveman Games. You button smash until your fingers snap in two trying to build a fire before your opponent. There's nothing to it. If you see your opponent getting close to lighting the fire, you can bonk em on the head to slow em down. There's a lot of clubbing in this game, isn't there? Well, they are cavemen.

Dino Race - This is like the Saber Race, but you're riding a dinosaur and avoiding obstacles. Not sure why they put two race games in here, but whatever. Looks like you're riding a know, the dino that crashes it's head into another? Dome head! Go watch Lost World...geez.

Dino Vault - Alright, this one is a doozy. I also feel like it's the best animated out of all the events in the game. Too bad its the most gimicky with the button mashing. Your goal is to vault over a T-Rex's gaping maw. Come on, how do you beat that? Of course, it's more fun to watch your caveman fail miserably......

So, those are all the events. They're all boring, and require little skill. So the gameplay in this so called "Caveman Games" is sorely lacking. The only thing this game really has going for it is the humor and the character designs. It really is quite hilarious, and surprisingly well done for an NES game.

It's a shame, because this game could have been far better if the developers just worked a bit on actually making the gameplay interesting. Button smasher track 'n' field game, are just no fun. Since when is a game that causes pain fun? Not sure..despite that, I'll give it bonus points just for the clever design, although it does get boring fast.

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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