I want me some mushroom soup.
In Totem Tribe each mission start with a small settlement, and an otherwise black map. The tribe has to start by building some huts to house more builders. After that the type of task determines what to build. If under attack you build a barrack to train soldiers, and if you first need to explore you build a hut for a scout. At first I had some The Settlers feelings going on, but the management is on a more casual level in Totem Tribe. There is no micromanagement, and battles are less about planning than having the numbers. Despite being quite shallow, as both a management simulation and strategy game this is a quite enjoyable experience.
When waiting for a building to be completed you can send a scout out to see more of the map. There are gems, and objective items that can be found and tapped. Collecting loot might not be vital to the mission, but it is kind of a fun distraction. Often you have to build watchtowers to be able to see across water where important objects can be found. There is also the odd puzzle scattered across the game where you can solve it to gain more gems. Not vital either, but being a casual game it fits right in.
The controls are indirect with you placing markers for your warriors, and scouts. They walk to that point, and don’t really do any good on their own. Warriors can stand just a house away without interfering when a hut gets demolished. AI is not that great, and the enemy suffers from being predictable just going straight for your settlement.
There is a story to be found, but I found it slightly confusing to follow. The tribe keeps progressing from island to island without stopping to take a breather. If I had just battled giant mushrooms I would definitely stop to have a bit of a rest, and promise myself never to drink or do drugs again.
The presentation is nice with a lot of little details, and movement on the island. The current version lacks support for the iPhone 5 screen, which is a bit of a bummer. Other than that the story is told in typical G5 style with stills between levels. The music is casual in nature, and leaves nothing left when I quit the game.
Totem Tribe is a nice casual strategy game allowing you to follow a tribe across islands. Simplified with hidden object aspects, and puzzles it is a pushover if you are looking for any kind of strategic challenge. As a time-waster it works marvels though, and it is quite fun to slay mushrooms.