Review: The Croods: Prehistoric Party (Nintendo 3DS)
by Matt Yeager on April 19, 2013

ShittyBoxArtThe Croods: Prehistoric Party
Genre: Pointless Movie Tie-In
Developer: Torus Games
Publisher: D3 Publishing
Release Date: 03/19/2013

The Croods is a recent animated movie about a prehistoric family that, according to IMDB, is about the family losing their cave and having to go on an adventure to find a new cave or something. I like animated movies so I’ll probably watch it at home at some point, but a movie theater full of children is not something that I enjoy.

The game is based on a movie about the past, which feels appropriate because The Croods: Prehistoric Party is a game that belongs in the past. Like it belongs back in the NES days when many publishers would just put out a licensed game with little work or thought into the final product. The Croods: Prehistoric Party feels as though Dreamworks figured they needed something that looked like a video game to go along with their big children’s movie, but didn’t care much what the final product looked like.

When you turn on The Croods: Prehistoric Party you get treated to an interesting interactive menu. There’s something that with a little imagination looks like a polygonal caveman. There’s a small area you can knuckle drag this mess of pixels in, a cave where you can unlock items like character art and descriptions of things from the movie if you feel so inclined. There’s a Macawnivore puppet that you interact with to play the mini-games, and an area where you can go and view the credits. The menu hub is a different method of having a menu, but when there are only three options and two of those options don’t involve playing the game, just give me a normal menu so I don’t have to mess around every time I start the game.

WasteofFuckingTime

Like pretty much any game with the word Party in the title, this game is mostly just a bunch of competitive mini-games. You can choose between playing one mini-game at a time or in a tournament style, where you play multiple mini-games and earn points for how you place in each individual game. Before I played the mini-games I was looking for the multiplayer options, to see if this game could be played online, or single cart download play, or if it required all the players with a 3DS to also own a copy of the game. Turns out none of the above. There’s no multiplayer in the 3DS game period.

It’s a party game with only one guest.

I don’t think the developer understands what the word party means, but typically the reason these mini-game collections are called party games are because you play with other people. A couple people + fun = party.

Single person – Fun = The Croods: Prehistoric Party.

The mini-games are about what you’d expect if you’ve played a similar mini-game collection in the past. You get to choose your favorite Crood character if you have one and the computer controls three other characters. There are a variety of mini-games, ranging from the ones that feel familiar if you’ve played other party games, to the ones based off of classic games like Memory or Simon. There are 30 in all that can be unlocked.

The graphics look like hot garbage. Going from Monster Hunter and Luigi’s Mansion to this was jarring. It’s ugly, with dull colors, flat looking textures, and everything looks blocky. The 3D doesn’t provide much of a feeling of depth. There’s clipping with character models in some of the mini-games, as well as hit detection issues and sense of lag between button input and animation which can affect playing some of the games that require finer reaction times.

CrapGame1

There are no difficulty levels to choose from for the AI and depending on the mini-game it can go from brain dead to pretty damn good at the game. Most of the time the AI will be brain dead, though. There’s a mini-game that’s a lot like a four person lightcycle game, where the character have trails behind them and the goal is to trap or trick the other characters into running into your trail. I’ve seen the computer AI run into its own trail in the first couple of moments of the game. There’s a mini-game where you ride a ram and have to knock the other players who are riding rams off of the top of a cliff. In the first second of the game the computer AI character managed to knock me and the other AI characters off of the cliff, and then it walked right off after us. But at Memory? It is an ace at it. Tapping Bear Pears? It can tap a Bear Pears faster than you can ask “What is a Bear Pear?” (A: E-Rated Drop Bears)

I’m typically forgiving of party game because I can try and force a friend to play them, plus they make perfect drinking games, and the worse they are the better drinking games they end up being. But I can’t even inflict this onto unsuspecting friends due to lack of multiplayer.

The game looks bad and the simple mini-games are at best functional. The game fails on every level and mainly exists to try and capitalize on kids who might’ve actually enjoyed the movie and their unsuspecting parents.

Short Attention Span Summary:
I think I saw this game in Zero Dark Thirty being used in the background to break a person’s will.



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