Caveman Warriors is a side-scrolling platformer by Spanish developer JanduSoft and publisher eastasiasoft. It’s available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Caveman Warriors starts with an alien spaceship stealing some caveman babies. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and the player could figure that out from the cool cartoon aesthetic it has. Every level starts with a brief comic book style intro with no dialogue (they are cavemen after all). The game is old-school, but it doesn’t use the retro 16-bit graphics that has become popular for the genre these days. Instead, it boasts more of a Saturday morning cartoon look that gives it a lot of character. The music has a cool surf music feel that will get stuck in your head all day.
There are 4 playable characters that each have their own unique abilities. One of the most creative special abilities was throwing one of Moe’s monkeys to cause the enemies on the map to suddenly bust into a dance making them prime targets for a killing blow. For the most part, the player will only be using the abilities to take out enemies, but every now and then you may have to use one to solve an environmental puzzle. For example, Liliana has a spear she throws that will stick into certain walls. This spear can then be used as a temporary platform to reach higher places. These puzzles help flesh out the levels so they aren’t just the typical jump your way through everything, and of course they are used to hide unlockable secrets as well.
The game is designed with co-op in mind, and it pulls it off rather well. If you don’t have friends then you can still play solo by switching between characters with the push of a button. This is necessary because of the different puzzles the player will face. It does help with getting rid of enemies as well. Switching between Moe’s monkey to distract enemies, and Brienne’s huge dinosaur leg to pummel through them is satisfying when it’s done right. Co-op shines the most in the 3rd level of the game, which is arguably the best level. The 3rd level has the players taking control of a chariot being pulled by a triceratops with cannons attached. One player controlling the speed, another shooting cannons at a boss riding a T-Rex felt like Mad Max with dinosaurs.
The difficulty is rather high even with more than one person playing. There are health bars that can be filled up by reaching a checkpoint or picking up dropped items by dead enemies. The checkpoints are spaced out well enough, but with limited respawns you can easily find yourself starting the level over several times before finishing it especially when trying to figure out how to take out the boss at the end of every level. These boss battles are by far the highlight of the game (besides, of course, the entire 3rd level). Each one is unique in appearance and strategy, making it difficult to finish each level on the first go.
Caveman Warriors isn’t just another boring platformer. It takes what is good about the genre and turns it up to 11. It’s challenging, unique, and co-op experiences make it well worth picking up for fans of the genre and people who just like fun games. Overall, Caveman Warriors is a 9 out of 10.