29th Sep2020

Digital Shorts: ‘Country Tales’ & ‘Cavemen Tales’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at not one but TWO new indie strategy games now on the Nintendo Switch from publisher Ocean Media: Country Tales and Cavemen Tales.

COUNTRY TALES

Ted used to be a simple farmer. But he just couldn’t see himself being a farmer his whole life. He always wanted more out of his life. So Ted decided to leave for the big city and finish school there. Once he was done with his education, he decided it’s finally time to find a job. And he found one in a small town called Sunset Hills. He got a job as an assistant in the mayor’s office. This is how Ted and Catherine met! Even though he tried to hide it, he was smitten the first time he laid eyes on her. Unfortunately for Ted, the mayor himself was Catherine’s fiance. And the mayor… well, the mayor had some very ambitious plans for Sunset Hills. Or better said, some very ambitious plans for himself…

CAVEMEN TALES

Long time ago, in a land before time, there was a forest. For as long as you can remember, a tribe of humans lived safely there. Their village was small but the tribe was happy. But then, everything changed! For mother nature is unpredictable sometimes…. Will you help Sam and Crystal and their family to find a new place for the entire tribe? In this fun and colorful time-management game you will explore, guide the tribe, build, gather resources, overcome obstacles along the way and enjoy the tale of family, friendship and courage!

My Thoughts:

There’s a very good reason this review is for both Country Tales AND Caveman Tales – they’re essentially the exact same game just under two different skins! Both games are construction and management simulation – you build homes, harvest food, collect “taxes” (in the case of Country Tales its momney and in Cavemen Tales it’s nuggets of gold), and repeat. Each level increasing the amount of gold and buildings you need to collect.

There’s also the added aspect of time limits – unless you decide to play in the relaxed mode, which removes time limits and opens the game up somewhat to less experienced strategy game players, who can concentrate on just progressing through the levels rather than worrying about the in and outs of how to build and collect as efficiently as possible within the alotted time. Surprisingly, the REMOVAL of those limits is what makes both Country Tales and Caveman Tales a lot more fun to play than similar-style games.

Both games are best suited to being played in handheld mode, the touchscreen controls working much better than the use of the right Joy-con (the only other control option) to move a mouse around the screen. It is possible to play this way but I never quite felt as in control as I did using the touchscreen. And if you are playing on a time-limited level you really need that extra control.

Graphically both Country Tales and Caveman Tales look good when you’re playing, however I did note that the cutscenes in both titles looked a tad blurry, as if they’d been upscaled to fit the Switch’s wider screen and thus lost some resolution. But that didn’t effect my enjoyment of the game itself; after all, you don’t really need to sit through the cutscenes to competely enjoy these titles – they just add that extra story element to keep you invested in the games. Though both are so addictive that you won’t need ANY story to keep you coming back for more – especially if you’re playing in the timed modes, where completed levels are rewarded with stars: bronze, silver and gold. And I have zero doubt that you, like me, will aim for gold stars each and every time.

A pair of fun, if basic, strategy games, Country Tales and Caveman Tales are available on the Nintendo eShop now from Cateia Games/Ocean Media.

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