Constructing With Cavemen
Neanderthals Add Fun Twist To Theme Park Genre
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Gear Games' Prehistoric Park builder opens with an empty grassy park, and asks players to build amusement park attractions to delight the local Neanderthals. The attractions are Flintstone-ish twists on theme park attractions, like a bungee-jumping tower built of bones and sticks or a trampoline mode out of a woolly mammoth skin.
(The game currently has a small bug, so it defaults to Russian text. As a game developer and games writer, though, I'm more amused than otherwise when I encounter a bug that I've never seen before! It's also easy enough to switch the language to English.)
Each new attraction must be placed with entrance and exit on a path, and all paths must be connected, because amusement park visitors can't step on grass. Only the most considerate Neanderthals visit the park! There is, of course, the obligatory prompting to spend premium currency to speed construction along, a pretty standard mechanic in freemium games. Choose rides and attractions, add amenities like a water fountain and a resting bench for tired cave people, and design a charming prehistoric theme park for little cave people to enjoy!
From there, it is a fairly typical round of upgrading attractions, repairing attractions and adding new attractions, while being prompted to spend premium currency to do these things.
The top left shows the park's happiness score, with both a smiley face and numerical score. but it isn't made entirely clear what factors go into that score. Are my little cavepeople bored and looking for more upgrades to their rides? Or are they cranky because a ride is closed for construction during upgrading? This was a bizarrely confusing part of a very standard build-collect-repeat casual game.
Overall, the art in Prehistoric Park Builder is the strongest part of the game. Adorable, neon-haired Neanderthals hop on and off funny Flintstones versions of amusement park rides. Sometimes a caveman will get dizzy on a ride and stumble around with cartoon confusion over his head. Watching such cute cavepeople on silly amusement park rides is the best part of a mediocre casual builder.