Jack of All Tribes Review

Jack of All Tribes is a bit cliché in its premise, but that’s okay. Clichés are clichés for a reason, and it suits this game well. In Jack of All Tribes, you play as a modern fellow named Jack who goes on an unusual amusement park ride which somehow manages to transport him to the past.

Jack must then use his superior organizational skills to guide the tribesmen of this world as they attempt to build some semblance of civilization. Plus, Jack must also excavate ancient artifacts, which will help him return to his own time, as destiny foretold.

The game is of the time management variety, so you’ll instruct the tribesmen to perform different functions by simply touching different spots on the screen. Building and improving houses, planting crops, putting out fires, collecting gold, and permitting them to eat, drink, and be merry are among the many things these primitives do under your watchful eye. You’ll be helped out along the way by Rainbow, who appears to be the sole woman inhabiting the land, and the only one in the game with something resembling brains and independent thought.

Why does she keep going out with Neanderthals?

In addition to the time management portion of the game, there are also occasional hidden object puzzles to break up the action. You can collect artifacts in these segments, as the wreckage of airplanes or the ruins of pirate ships are uncovered. In each scene, there are three items you must find and collect by touching them (along with any additional gold pieces you find lying around). These portions are timed, with each item having its own time limit, and the objects can be tricky to spot. As a bonus, some items even improve your tribe’s skills.

The setting and characters all possess a certain cartoon charm, though after a while, Jack himself began to get on our nerves by being yet another cliché. He’s a man out of his own time, sure– the button-up shirt, jacket, and goatee tipped us off. He doesn’t need to act like a complete doofus by asking for shampoo and making other modern-day references which seem to indicate that he has no idea that there was a world before he was born. The frequency of the references make it seem a little forced.

Did you guys watch Survivor last night?

Despite this, Jack’s “I’m Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference” bit didn’t get in the way of our enjoyment of the game. Jack of All Tribes looks good, has a fun theme, and for the most part, it controls well. The small iPhone screen and the small size of some of the objects make it a little tricky to touch precisely where you want. If this is a concern of yours, check out the iPad version instead.

Jack of All Tribes is a good, fun little game, and it can suck you in for longer than you planned on spending. It’s one of the best time management and puzzle games we’ve played on the iPhone.

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