Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Price: $6.99 (£4.99)
Description: A Soothing and Casual Tribal Sim
Pros: Stunning visuals and sound, very addicting and satisfying, easy to pick-up-and-play.
Cons: Will be a little too easy for hardcore players (take a look a Virtual City instead), restrictive.
Advised Control Method: All (mouse preferred)
Jack of All Tribes is set in a utopian world. No, not just because of the cool sea breeze, fine, white sand or the luscious palm trees everywhere. The tribes have such a sustainable, resourceful and efficient development cycle that even a 3 year old could make a happy village out of nothing. Construction gives you money rather than taking it, the workers are vigilant and don’t file law suits against you every other day or request leave, and the tribal committee aren’t the sort that suffer from lack of government funding or financial debt. If you’re feeling grim about the bleak economic times then Jack of All Tribes offers a fun, yet casual and not-so-challenging tribe simulation where your job is to develop and maintain a village of happy natives.
You play as Jack, a normal human being who suddenly gets transported to this tropical paradise. But even in paradise, there’s always someone who wants to ruin it. This time, it’s a caveman-like creature named Menhir. Your job is to travel from tribe to tribe sorting out their problems and redeveloping each one. The story doesn’t go any further than that aside from using it as an excuse for the disaster that has happened in each tribe.
However, it’s not all about rebuilding. You may be tasked to build a bridge across to a trapped villager or removing debris from a landslide. There are enemies in Jack of All Tribes in the form of Menhir’s caveman minions but they are easy to swat away with a fee clicks.
The main aim in each level is to build your population – which you do by building houses, earning money and making everyone happy. In doing that you need to cater for everyone’s needs, whether it be a bite to eat, entertainment at the theatre or warm bath. You will need to collect resources like food and wood to complete your objectives but these are normally easily accessible and in abundance.
One of the main issues that you might have if you’re used to playing advanced city simulators is that you can’t place buildings. In fact, you never have any control about what you want the tribes to consist of. There will always be some wooden pegs on the ground to mark out where you can build a house or a farm. Therefore there is only one way to complete each level and some people may find that very restricting. Plus the levels aren’t challenging at all. It’s only starting that can be a problem as you are building your resources but once you get past that stage you’re off.
The graphics are outstanding. The buildings, the people and the environment look vibrant and extremely detailed. Seeing the cute little native pluck out each individual pumpkin as big as his head out of the pumpkin patch with a satisfying pop is brilliant. This coupled with the excellent sound design is a joy for all senses and this is partly why Jack of All Tribes is so enjoyable and doesn’t get boring quickly.
The game includes 40 levels which is a lot, but because each one is relatively easy you’ll be zipping through them in no time. It’s fair to say that Jack of All Tribes is aimed at a more casual or younger market, with less appeal for hardcore gamers. Even so, if a calming and feel-good tribal sim sounds like your cup of tea then this is definitely a recommended buy.