A review by Jeremy Hardin
– The Croods: Prehistoric Party
– Torus Games/D3 Publisher
– Wii U
– Review Copy courtesy of D3 Publisher/Torus Games
The Croods: Prehistoric Party tries, and not very hard, to be like Mario Party. Unfortunately, where it fails to meet that mark is in its presentation and the gameplay. Ouch! Really, do you expect anything better from this game?
Gameplay and Controls
Okay, in Prehistoric Party players take on the challenge of a board game (Wii/Wii U) that offers multiple boards spanning several locations from the movie. You can choose to player either single player (don’t waste your time) or multiplayer which is really the only shot you have at enjoying yourself. Players have two modes to choose from, Trailblazer which tasks you with reaching the goal line first, or Hunter-Gatherer which rewards the one who has the most eggs (obtained via mini-games) after a set number of turns or time has passed. Players take turns rolling dice on the board and moving along the spaces to reach their goal. Along the way, you’ll run into traps which can set you back along the path, give you items to help you out, open up a new area of the board, take a different path, and choose a 4 player mini-game. As you compete in these games, you’ll earn shells (which are for the most part irrelevant, as they don’t factor into your overall progress) and prehistoric points. The prehistoric points can be used to purchase collectibles, such as movie stills, concept art, and creature cards. I suppose that is good addition, but really, how often are you going to want to look at that?
On the DS/3DS side, you’ll get the collectibles, but that’s about it. In fact, all you get is the single-player option to engage in a quick play of just one mini-game, or you can participate in a tournament of mini-games, of which the length varies and you can set it.
Yes, there are a variety of games, and sure there are a few which are moderately entertaining, but for the most part they are dull and too lengthy. I found myself several times wishing that the timer would expire as I was completely bored with the mini-game. Since I brought it up, some of the games which provided some entertainment are bowling (but the potential is not reached), wall painting in which you fling paint at the wall trying to cover the highest area percentage, and the tron racing game is alright.
Unfortunately, the timing and collision detection in some of the games is off and it really hampers the overall experience, thus making the mini-games more a chore than a brief moment of fun.
Visuals and Sound
Well, on the Wii and Wii U side, the visuals are obviously decent, with the various locales being represented. The characters stay true to their movie origins, so that’s good. The music and audio fits the theme, but really I felt it leaves much to be desired. On the DS/3DS side of things, the audio is the same, but obviously the graphics take a hit, most especially on the DS side.
Final Score: 3 out of 10
The Croods: Prehistoric Party is certainly an enjoyable game, but unfortunately that enjoyment can wear off quickly, especially in the DS and 3DS versions of the game. Younger children are sure to enjoy the competitive, multiplayer nature of the game, plus the fact that it’s based off The Croods animated movie. The question is, for how long will they enjoy it?
As for me, I think it’s a lackluster attempt to leech off the popularity of the movie and while I’m disappointed, I’m not surprised.
+Multiple boards, branching paths
+Multiplayer (Wii/Wii U)
-No multiplayer (DS/3DS)
-Limited audio, repetitive