A Tribe War mixes cartoon like graphics and voluminous amounts of violence with mixed results.
The standing objective in Tribe Wars is to kill all incoming enemy tribesman in order to preserve the lives of your own three valiant defenders. Enemies will run directly towards your tree which is apparently home to your keebler-esque tribe. As the foes advance, the player drags a finger in order to aim an arrow, then another, and so on and so forth. At first, hitting the targets can present a challenge, but once the level wears on the repetition of this single action means the user will eventually reach proficiency.
What becomes immediately apparent is that A Tribe War does not extend much farther past this basic concept. The three maps included add very little in terms of variety, because essentially maps two and three can only be distinguished from map one by their inclusion of one or two extra platforms for enemies to walk on. Upgrades can be purchased with the in game currency whose uses range from added protection, damage boosters and the revival of one of your three warriors. These small bits of depth do little to flesh out the experience, and one is ultimately engaged in a basic game with the single goal of getting a high score.
If there is one thing that can pull a mediocre high score game out of the fire on the iPhone, it is an online leaderboard. Since the mechanics alone are not enough to make one want to improve on their score, some sort of competition is the only possibility to add replay value for the majority of players. This feature (online leaderboards) was advertised as being in A Tribe War at the time of my downloading it, and yet despite my best efforts I could not find it. Some time after shooting an email to the support contact I received a reply notifying me that the feature had been pulled from the game. Only then was the bullet point of “online leaderboards” taken off of the game’s description. I am not sure what kind of developer actually pulls features out of a game, and I am left wondering if they ever existed. Regardless of whether it was an innocent mistake or a deep rooted conspiracy, advertising features that aren’t actually in your game is not cool.
When it comes down to it, online leaderboards really are what this game needs to even be passable. Take them out (they did) and all you are left with is a sub par points rush game that requires little to no thinking or coordination. There is some small amount of fun to be had in A Tribe War when one gets on a roll, but once the repetition and lack of consequence sink in most players will check out. A Tribe War is available for .99 cents on the app store, but I would most definitely try the free version before spending.
The game is colorful, but the animations and sprites are nothing to write home about. The game’s graphics and presentation look geared towards children, one will no doubt be surprised by just how violent the game is while playing it.
Some of the most disgusting death noises I have heard are played ad nauseum and this alone is sometimes enough to get me to put the game down.
The core gameplay of shooting wave upon wave of enemies works, but that doesn’t make it entertaining.
I am sure the people that bought the game expecting online leaderboards (because it was advertised) are disappointed. I quickly got sick of the game, so the poor gamelife is not simply a result of lack of leaderboards.