The side-scrolling adventure/beat-em-up/platformer “Caveman Warriors” does some things right and some things very wrong. So in this review of mine we will be exploring it all.  So, as I was saying. “Caveman warriors” kicks-off with a very a simple story. You see, alien steals two children from the caveman era, and it is up to four brave warriors to rescue them (in other words, you).

Yes, I know, it’s a simple story indeed. Nevertheless, that is all that is needed as “Caveman Warriors” is a call back to games of old, difficulty and all. Bringing forth all kinds of nostalgia in enemy design like fighting an abominable King Kong, and pickups like game boys. So keeping track of what scores that have been achieved give you a call back to the old arcade days of feeding in one-quarter after another.

caveman warriors death from above

“Caveman warriors” art style is really amazing I have to say.

As for the playable characters of the game, well, each of the four warriors has their own attacks, specials, and obstacles where the player can switch between any of them at will. For example, one character can throw a spear to reach greater heights; one can use a monkey to distract enemies, and another one can use a meat shield to block attacks and so much more.

caveman warriors half-broken controls

“Caveman warriors” initial key bindings are very bad. So much so that you have to change them from the very start to have a chance in hell of getting anywhere in the game…

These things have been pulled out in such perfect ways, and playing co-op is always a plus to me. How “Caveman Warriors” is animated. I have to admit that I absolutely love the direction that the developers took. Cartooney, over the top, not taking itself seriously, it just focuses on being a fun game. With the exceptions, of course, is a number of problems that I found while playing the game.

For starter, the keyboard defaults are absolutely horrible…So much so that the player who decides to play the game will instantly want to change the key bindings. So instead of using W, S, A, D for movement it is on attacks and movement is placed on the arrow keys. I mean, this in itself wouldn’t be much of a problem except that when the screen pops up to save changes, because there is no highlight showing what the player is hitting….So after several hours of playing in the way opposite of every other key binding in existence. I was able to change things around into a more comfortable style of playing.

caveman warriors dino run

You can really tell that “Caveman warriors” has been inspired by games such as “New Super Mario bros.”, “Joe & Mac”, “Metal Slug” and “Trine”, because that’s the vibes that you get from the game’s looks and feel.

Furthermore, controls on a controller did suffer a bit from this as well, namely. I let me 8-year-old co-pilot have my working controller. Not much of a complaint here other than the accept and cancel buttons had been switched from what had become the standard. Making it so we kept going back to the character select screen where he would remove his character from play before realizing that he was pressing the wrong button.

So if key bindings had been my only complaint when it comes to gameplay, then I would mostly let the whole thing slide. However, that’s not the case…Because my next complaint has to do with knock back, and how insane of a knock back “Caveman Warriors” has. A good portion of my deaths is a result of this, getting hit and getting bounced back a good quarter of the screen every single time. Sometimes my (or my sons) character would get bounced back and forth between two enemies, or just going into a pit of water with nothing that can be done about it.

caveman warriors meat shield

“Caveman Warriors” platforming is fun, but the game’s cons hold it back from being a great beat-em-up/platformer (cons such as the unskippable cutscenes that you find at the end of every level, and the insane knockbacks when you get hit).

Other than that, backtracking is something that mostly doesn’t exist; this too is a problem. Either allow backtracking or don’t, there are a few sections where the game is forced to let the player move backward. I am fine with either choice, just decide which the game will do and keep with that.

However, there are some gameplay decisions made that were interesting. For example, instead of having a double jump, there are two jump buttons. One is a standard jump where the character can attack while moving up or down, and also a high jump where an attack can only happen while on the downward arc. Now, this isn’t a complaint, just a note on an interesting gameplay decision that does, in fact, work.

caveman warriors solo gameplay

You can play solo, with one, two or three friends. However, it’s worth pointing out that when a player dies, there is no coming back. Well, at least not until either all others are dead, or if they reach a checkpoint.

What will also get to people is that there are some levels that seem to be best done running solo, and others were running solo is almost a suicide march. Even so, in the levels where it is incredibly difficult to play solo, it becomes far too easy when another player is added in (the dino cart is my example here). My final complaint would be how player’s lives are handled in co-op.

So what do I mean by that? Well, when a player dies, there is no coming back until either all others are dead, or they reach a checkpoint. As simply as that might sound though, lives themselves do work very differently to go with this. Solo the player has three lives in two players they have five (I don’t have more people at home to play on PC to know how this continues to increase), when a checkpoint is hit all players come back to life, health is restored, and all lives are returned.

caveman warriors the crazy monkey has been set loose

There is a handful of different characters that you can play as, and you can switch back and forth between them at anytime.

This last point is key, because the game is intended to be a hard game, and it is even if my complaints are fixed. What also has to be stated in the few levels that are there well because of course, they are type levels, and I love that. Simply put, if you don’t mind the cons that I have pointed out, and the fact that “Caveman warriors” is a rather hard game, then this is the beat-em-up/platformer for you with no doubt.

Pros:
+ Platforming is fun
+ Art style is amazing
+ Each character is important
+ Switch between characters is effortless
+ Several collectible items to unlock levels
+ Nostalgia item pickups and enemies

Cons:
– Initial key bindings are very bad
– Knockback is a bit insane
– Unskippable cutscenes at every level
– Co-op players stay dead and can’t return

Gameplay: 2/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound/music: 3.5/5
Controls: 2/5
Replay Value: 3/5
Story: 3/5

tgg grade 3 out of 5

Verdict: 3/5
Caveman Warriors can be a fun game, and the things that I complained about are the only things holding the game back from being an amazing title. I mean, don’t get me wrong, because I don’t hate the game. So with a bit more polish, I think Caveman Warriors will be an IP to pay attention to, and I do want to see a sequel.

Title: Caveman warriors
Developer: JanduSoft S.L.
Format: PC
Genre: Beat-em-up/platformer
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2017-09-22
Difficulty: Normal
Spent time: +6 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating: +12
Price: 14,99 Euros via Steam

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

P Albert
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @ThatDamnedGamer

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