The time-traveling rollercoaster is always my favorite ride.
Jack of all Tribes is a casual time management game developed by DivoGames that revolves around Jack, who decides one day to take a ride on a rollercoaster at the local carnival, which then transports him back in time. He finds himself in a strange and primitive land and soon discovers that his objective is to bring peace to this world and restore civilization. During his journey, he is supported and guided by a young girl called Rainbow, who offers him comfort and advice throughout his travels.
The basic gameplay revolves around taking care of the local villagers, while trying to construct a selection of buildings. The gameplay is easy and simply tapping an area will send your villager to see to his duties. The buildings will earn you buckets of gold with which you can construct other buildings to meet certain criteria and objectives. Food needs to be gathered and this is achieved by sending the villagers to gather berries from the bushes, or by collecting the food from the mills and farms. It is important to remember to feed your villagers, otherwise they won’t get their work done. Symbols above their heads will give you an idea of different things, including when to feed them.
Once you’ve constructed the various types of buildings, you will be rewarded with gold with which you can go forth and upgrade buildings to progress through the game. The game offers a selection of entertainment buildings to amuse your villagers when they are not busy doing your bidding. These range from a theatre in which they can sit and be entertained, to a bar where they can share the odd cocktail or two. Throughout the constructing stage, you’ll also be met with a variety of obstacles that will inevitably try and stop your progress. These can be in the form of other tribesman that come wandering onto your village, who are usually on fire. Simply tapping those villagers repeatedly is enough to send them packing on their way, otherwise you may find that one of your buildings catches on fire and you will have to start sending your men in with buckets of water.
There are many treasures, artifacts and discoveries that you will come across along the way, such as a dinosaur egg or ancient statue. Once you’ve received the dinosaur egg, you just simply wait for it to hatch and you’ll have your very own dinosaur who stomps back and forth across the village. Your villagers can take a ride on his back or he can even scare off those wandering tribesman that happen to make their way onto your land. The game also offers some hidden object gameplay, in which you have to find a selection of items from a static environment. This gives the game a nice and welcomed break from the normal gameplay.
Jack of all Tribes contains 39 timed levels in total. Each level has multiple objectives to accomplish, which keeps the player busy. The only real downside is that with only one mode the game doesn’t last long enough at roughly four hours for a competent gamer.
But perhaps the real highlight of the game is the way it looks. The visuals are bright and colourful, with everything clear and easy to see. Looking down upon the village and seeing the little people go about their business is a joy to watch.
Jack of all Tribes is an enjoyable experience that manages to excel at almost everything it does. But the limited replayability and rather short playing time may well leave a lot of players feeling short-changed. If you need to indulge your god-complex and order little people around on your iPad, then this may well be the game for you.
Jack of All Tribes is available for free on the App Store. In game purchases are needed to unlock the full game however, costing £0.69 on iPhone and £1.99 on iPad.