Totem Tribe Game review John Michael Koroloff
Game Review = 2/5
Totem Tribe is a flashy strategy game filled with colourful island maps and a decent story, but unfortunately that sometimes isn’t enough to save games like this from the junkyard of monotony.
The introduction is well-put and lays the foundation of what this game is going to be about without causing any confusion. You begin the game as a young chieftain named Aruku of the Hawk tribe. The goal of the game is to discover and obtain the totems that have been spread throughout the islands in order for the Hawk tribe to achieve eternal bliss and prosperity. Its straightforward narrative and descriptive dialogue help this game’s story move at a quick pace. The plot isn’t the most original but it manages to deliver and gives you a goal to save your tribe and restore peace among the island.
The main issue with Totem Tribe was the shoddy game play, which didn’t entice me to want to keep playing past the trial. The inability to train who you wanted by clicking on a building (ex. Fighters from barracks) created some rather redundant game play, forcing you to build architecture that had a set number of people come out of it every time. Another problem was not being able to highlight over certain characters to allow faster building production, which really limited how much you could do at one time. The island exploration is slow moving but considering the minimal map sizes it’s not detrimental to game play. The battling system can be somewhat of a confusing task considering they are given tiny health bars underneath each character, but when fighting the island’s creatures you can’t really tell whether you’re winning or losing because the bars meld together and become undistinguishable. After completing a chapter mission you have the option of discovering objects on the island before continuing on, but this option really offers nothing to the player.
The graphics were vivid and imaginative with cute islander sprites and detailed architecture. The island is decorated with sea shells, bright gems, and many distinct animals (ex. Turtles, crabs, etc.) wandering the landscape. Considering the light-heartedness of Totem Tribes even the monsters are designed with adorable details such as the mushroom people. The cinematic story introduces beautifully drawn characters with bright colours and an over-all cheery atmosphere. Totem Tribe’s graphics are among the best feature in this game and drive the interest of the story wonderfully.
Totem Tribe’s soundtrack is light and flowing befitting of the islander theme. Its cheerfulness and catchy tunes match the experience and the events that transpire through the story. Surprisingly the sprites don’t make any noises when clicked on or ordered to do something, which takes away from the realism of the characters.
From the sparkling gems that layer the island to the evil creatures that roam around them it seeps creativity. It’s a cute idea and as much as the game play was lacking the imagination behind it is inspired with effort.
We’ve seen this before, but worst of all, we’ve seen it done better. These types of over-top strategy games are not a dying breed and will be around for a long time, but Totem Tribe does nothing to bring innovation into this genre and does even less then what this genre has offered before.
Over-all, it’s a cute idea but that’s all it is. If the game play could be fixed up then it’d be worth the try but for what it is, Totem Tribe is not worth the money.