Tribal action on tropical islands.
Resource gathering games are a genre that I quite enjoy playing. I don’t know if it is my God complex or simply that I find the games relaxing after spending too much time playing games that involve bullets and blood, but games of this type have a special place in my heart. For this reason I was quite looking forward to playing Cateia Games’ Shaman Odyssey: Tropic Adventure. A peaceful bit of Tribal action on a tropical island could be just what the doctor ordered.
As the Tribal Shaman, the player is tasked by the ancestral spirit to reunite the tribe, which is spread across various islands, and relocate them to a safer, more permanent home. In order to achieve this, the player must work through more than 20 missions of resource gathering fun.
Whilst the games’ tutorial may leave something to be desired, it is pretty simple to pick up the controls and how to play the game. The player can assign certain buildings to be constructed on specific building sites on any given island. before this is possible, however, the player must gather resources and, more importantly, the seashells that are needed to buy the blueprints for the buildings.
Each of the buildings has a function, be it providing wood, food, stone or simplyÂ a place for your tribespeople to live. Each of teh buildings can also be upgraded, providing the player has purchased the appropriate blueprint, making them more effecient. The resources required to construct the buildings can be found lying around the island, or are provided by the buildings themselves once constructed. For example, build a wood cutters hut and a helpful tribesman will come along and fulfill the role of woodcutter, providing wood for further buildings.
Aside from the blueprints, the player will also have to buy recipes for various potions. Your tribespeople are a whiny lot and are constantly suffering from headaches, mystery illnesses or other such maladies. Curing them, which is unfortunately necessary, involves buying the recipe for the correct potion, which must be paid for with seashells, then gathering the correct herbs from around the island. These are thrown into a pot and a potion is made, all of which must be done within a time limit. There are also potions that can banish ghosts that may be hanging around on the island, scare away the dangerous sharks that make travel between islands so dangerous, and even potions that increase the happiness of a tribesperson, making them more likely to produce offspring.
So, each level has a given objective that must be achieved before the player can progress. For the most part, these objectives are reasonably simple and will involve nothing more than gathering enough resources to buy a certain otion or build a certain level of building. They really are that simple. The majority of the levels have no time limit, allowing the player to take a relaxed view of the game and trundle through the requirements at a leisurely pace.
That pretty much sums up the gameplay. The player will have pretty much seen all that the game has to offer within the first handful of levels. I am not saying this is a bad thing for players, like myself, who turn to this style of game for a more casual reason. But I can also understand that gamers looking for an exciting experience may well be disappointed.
The same cannot be said for the graphics and presentation within the game. Shaman Odyssey is bright, colourful and presented in glorious 3D. The camera controls may be a wee bit fiddly, but not so much that they cause any great problems. The sprites for the villagers and the shaman are fun to watch as they go about their business, and life on the islands looks really good. The presentation too is finished to a high standard, although the font chosen for within the game is slightly annoying, with “1″ and “2″ looking the same, making objectives a touch confusing.
Shaman Odyssey is far too easy and offers very little challenge. It is also repetitive and can be very slow at times. For this reason, the game will not appeal to all, even amongst those who regularly play this genre of game. But it is also good looking, very easy to pick up and, above all, relaxing. If these are the sort of features that you want out of a game, give Shaman Odyssey: Tropic Adventure a try.
Shaman Odyssey: Tropic Adventure is available from GamersGate.