This year has been full of good games so far. Not only did I get caught playing Eternal Eden; on a whim I decided to try out Totem Tribe by Enkord as well. And boy do I regret that. Not because the game is bad, but because it’s too darn addictive!
After reading the description I didn’t have very high expectations on the game:
“High adventure, real time strategy and hidden object gameplay come together for the first time in Totem Tribe.”
Hidden object gameplay. Meh.
Still, eager to broaden my horizon, I decided to give the game a go – and I was pleasantly surprised. The game is divided into different islands on which you have to perform various tasks ranging from finding objects strewn all over the island, to building your village and defeating various kinds of enemies á la classical real-time strategy games. It’s easy to suspect that a casual real-time strategy game would fall into a single type of RTS. Tower defense style, or build-stuff-and-overwhelm-your-opponent style, for example. The beauty of Totem Tribe is that both these gameplay styles are included – and many more as well, as there’s great variety between the tasks given.
The RTS part is in general fairly simple but surprisingly fun despite that. There are lots of units, lots of different tasks, and lots of things to see and do. And most importantly – for a game I play as a diversion, for relaxation – it’s hard to lose. Not impossible, though. So don’t get too cocky, thinking that you’ll breeze through every single island of the game. Especially not the last stage of the game. Sweet mercy, the difficulty ramps up incredibly for that one!
In fact, that’s one of the game’s negative sides. I dislike backtracking or redoing things in casual games – I want to see steady progress. I really hated having to restart an island in Totem Tribe, the few times it happened. It’s hard to balance loss/gain/challenge/boredom but I have a suspicion that it could have been done a bit better.
Another annoying thing is the hidden object parts. Trust me, I was pleasantly surprised by those too, but I still found myself grinding my teeth now and then as I found myself missing an orange, or a single bleeding turtle shell that was nowhere to be found. I really really really hated the fact that I didn’t even have a hint button, or some way to purchase (maybe with some in-game currency) hints, or anything at all to guide me toward the missing items.
On a final note I have to mention that the game is gorgeous and sounds very nice indeed, and that I’m very pleased with my gaming experience – despite a few irritating moments.
Good graphics, nice sprites. Really, there’s nothing that I feel that I have to complain about.
To be honest I can’t recall the music at the time of this writing…but I think that it serves as evidence that it is integrated properly and works quite well.
Build stuff! Explore! Battle! Find hidden things! There’s a lot to do here, and I like it.
I was seriously debating with myself what grade this game should get. It’s very addictive, but also annoying at times. Either way, the game is highly recommended.
The only annoyance was the usual problem with dual displays and fullscreen mode. Running the game in fullscreen messes up the display on the other screen. One of these days I’m going to have to look into the reason for that – many games I try display the same behaviour.