Tork Prehistoric Punk – XB – Review

In the hands of an adult, the game
may seem a bit silly, but give it to a young child, and they’ll think you are
the greatest.

And with that my dear friends, is
why this game is perfect for the younger set. Oh wait, I forgot to write the
review. Huh, I guess after playing this title with my four-year-old my mind
seems to be slipping. Ok, well, let me start again, and hopefully this time
I’ll make some sense.

Tork: Prehistoric Punk is an
action-style arcade game. Players take on the role of Tork, a miniature cave
kid who just happens to have inherited his father’s ability to change into
animals. Good thing too, since a sorcerer has kidnapped his father and
destroyed the village. Not a smart move since the last time I checked, cavemen
don’t posses any real social skills.


Tork is a nifty little squirt who
carries around bolas and uses them both like nunchuks and for their intended
throwing use. Dinosaurs, flying critters and even robots will feel Tork’s
wrath as he runs around the different levels ticking off mammoths, freeing
pterodactyls and generally causing all sorts of damage to Mother Nature. After
playing this game, it’s easy to understand why dinosaurs are extinct, it
wasn’t some large meteor, it was a 64-pound caveman whuppin’ some butt. It’s
true, by the third level, chances are you have destroyed at least 200
dinosaurs, including triceratops’, baby t-rexes and plenty of pterodactyls.

As you game along and you have a
child playing with you, you will learn that Tork can change into different
prehistoric-like creatures much to that child’s delight. Places in the game
are only accessible if Tork invokes these transformations. I’ll explain: as
you adventure through the levels smacking baddies around, Tork’s fury meter
gets fuller and fuller. When it is full, Tork yells out "FURY!" indicating to
you that if you so desire, you can change into either a Yeti (very strong), an
armadillo (very tough), and a flying squirrel (very fast). As you may have
already guessed, there is definitely a prehistoric look to these characters so
as to remain firmly rooted in the game’s premise. The game has an awful lot of
things to smash and objects to find, which does keep the pace set at frantic.
Tork has a health bar, as you would imagine, and controls fairly easily. I
know this because, again, my four-year old can play this game.

What there is to like about this
game is its kid-friendly controls; lively, cartoonish graphics that feature
strong use of sprites and level design’ and the fact that it sells for $20.00.
But (there’s always a but) the game will begin to wear on those players over
14 that have played similar titles. Which means that there is definitely that
deja vu feeling. Some of the levels reminded me of the Crash Bandicoot series
while others reminded of any number of others, Gex, Astal, and Super Mario

The sound effects were kind of a
mixed bag, as I sit here and think about it, there was nothing much that comes
to mind other then "FURY!" The little amount of voice work was done Ok – not
great, but Ok. The background music moved things along but again, nothing
about it made me get excited.



Review Scoring
Details for

Tork: Prehistoric Punk

Gameplay: 8.0
The controls are easy enough for, well, a four-year old. There are
some tricky jumps occasionally and sometimes getting the depth-perception type
leaps can frustrate you, but for the most part it’s solid. Tork has an
absolute ton of things to collect and items to smash and make extinct. The
game never slows and thankfully when you do run out of lives you can (provided
you made it to the correct point) pick up where you left off.

Graphics: 7.5
It has a good flow to the look. I
liked how some of the levels incorporated the environment as a tangible
adversary. The dinosaurs also looked pretty good. Some look goofy on purpose
since I do realize the target audience is about nine. Not a lot of camera slow
down, even when 30 little buggers were attacking. I didn’t like the fact that
you couldn’t rotate the camera in some areas since Tork is viewed in the
third-person perspective. Some blind jumps, which I think is poor developing.

Sound: 5.0
Smack dab in the middle. Tork has
a little "tough" guy voice and that was alright, but I just can’t find
anything above average here.

Difficulty: Easy/Med.
I burned through the first three
levels in my first sitting. I died several times, but it was never anything
that I couldn’t beat doing trial-and-error jumping. And for the most part I
died making silly mistakes in the jumping. But my son had some difficulty with
some of the scenarios, specifically the frozen level when the King Mammoth is
chasing after you and it’s viewed as Tork runs towards you reverse
perspective. But then, that’s the point, it should be challenging for the
target audience.

Concept: 5.0
Heavily borrowed from many other
games, and even I got mixed up between Tak and Tork. I liked the power to
change into other animals, and the time traveling was also enjoyable but
again, this is all things that have been done before many, many times. 

Overall: 6.9
If my son wouldn’t have had such a
good time playing it with me then I might have scored it lower, but since it
was a game for little ones, I only felt that I needed to get his qualified,
expert opinion. So I asked him as I wrote this very review, and he said "I
like it Dad." So it gets the full approval of my son. And so I’ll end this
review the same way I started it. And that my dear friends, is why this game
is perfect for the younger set.