Developer: BonusXP
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.9
Device Reviewed On: iPad3, iPhone5, iPod5

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Cavemania. Billed as a match-3 puzzle game wrapped in a multi-genre pelt of turn-based combat, resource management, and mad task completion. The goal – help the tribal Chieftain reunite his warriors and pet baby mammoth. Along the way players fight sabertooth cats, build granaries, clear deserts, master special powers, and more.

photophoto 1Gameplay consists of matching at least three food (carrots and cherries), wood (trees), stone (boulders), or gold (nuggets). Each match of four or more earns a crystal, which increases character slash power (i.e. makes it easier to make kills). As levels progress, limited turns make it even more important to make wise matches. If players get stuck, no worries; it’s possible to buy an escape. Just as it’s possible to buy upgrades and consumables, of course.

This game might appeal to those for whom Candy Crush Saga does not. Warriors, tribal cavemen, prehistoric animals, major multitasking, and a viable storyline might entice a fresh audience. Making matches has meaning, and strategy is important in several ways. For example, by earning 15 food points an extra warrior can be brought onto the field. Accumulating 20 wood points allows a granary to be built. Granaries provide food, but are targets for vicious sabertooths. Get the gist? Choices need to be made, and with limited turns per level players should make them the right ones.

photo 4photo 2Cavemania isn’t just a puzzle game; it can be a bit puzzling to play. The rules and tasks layer. The nuances, such as life bars and the point systems, are not straightforward. It seems the game keeps throwing more out there when it’s already hard enough to keep it all straight. As each level commences, a new rule or task is assigned and it becomes difficult to keep track of all the information: gather food, train warriors, increase slash power, look out for enemy loot, build and protect granaries, kill rats and sabertooths, etc. This can be a positive, perhaps, for those needing a little more than the average match-3 game.

WHat’s definitely worth a mention is how on all three devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) the touch interface seemed a little sticky. Items didn’t always respond at first. In a nutshell, Cavemania is a decent game, but won’t be everyone’s bowl of cherries.


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