My first thought when I found out the size of this game was "Oh gawd, here we go... another 80's type game with horrible graphics". Well, I was half right... but more on that later.
As I started installing the game, I noticed a number of .ocx's and .dll's commonly used in...
You guessed it:
"Joy of all joys!!!" Everyone knows visual basic is the language of top game programmers (*ahem*) but I was really getting a bad feeling about this game. I took a deep breath and double clicked the .exe........
The story is that you are a prehistoric tribe and for some reason you feel motivated to wipe out the 2 other tribes in existence at the time (hey genocide was a cool thing back then). By gaining control of numerous islands you build up your resources so that you can "trade" for weapons and armor and amass the deadliest army of oggs (gee that sounds dumb) ever to set foot on this prehistoric island paradise.
The game is presented in a top down type view, with little tiles representing islands and water. You can get access to your little mans stats by clicking on the ogg dot (how novel) which is just a little round dot next to an island. There you can check his attack and defense ratings, as well as harvesting modifiers for gaining more resources. Once you eventually do run into another tribe, the combat system is presented with little "baseball card" type areas for each warrior with your men on the left, his on the right.
Graphics are basically a combination of Bryce 3d rendered shots for the islands and paintshop type icons for the rest. The island shots are nice, but the thrill wears off after about the third island and leaves you wanting more. Menus and help files are your standard visual basic stuff: nothing flashy here. Dont' expect any 3dfx, D3D or colored lighting.
The sound effects are comprised of 3 midi files and a collection of wav's. It sounds like Age of Empires done Walmart style. The ambient sounds are suitable but just so low quality that they become annoying in a hurry.
Game control is painful to say the least. The "trading" system where you buy upgrades for your men takes about 6-10 mouse clicks just to buy something and give it to a guy. Now try doing that for an army of 12 guys and see how you like it. Also moving men between islands takes way more work than it should - these programmers need a few lessons in interface design.
The AI is basically r-e-t-a-r-d-e-d. In my first game I took over the whole map while 1 enemy tribe ended up with 2 guys, the other couldn't even figure out how to recruit a single man and just sat there in his starting position. There are supposed to be random acts of nature that can destroy unlucky caveman, but even that idea fizzles - the sea monster that patrols the seas will sit there while you go by "Honey, lets just go AROUND that nasty monster". There is no difficulty setting to speak of, in fact there is only 1 level... yeah you got - as soon as you finish the first level, you've beaten the game. I beat it in 1 sitting in about 10 minutes just to give you a reference point.
There is no multiplayer, there is no AI, there is no real point in downloading this game.
In all honesty this game reminds me of a grade 11 programming project for computers class. The only real reason to grab it is to use it as a guide for "how NOT to make a game".
Game players beware: if you hear the word "ogg", RUN!
The Good: Its only 1 level so just like pulling a band-aid off, it causes the least pain if you do it fast;
The Bad: Graphics, sound, gameplay, plot.... all sub-standard.
Rating: I think I am being more than generous with this rating...