Jack Of All Tribes in Review – The Master Of Most?

Well they’ve managed to do it again.  Every time I get a game from G5 Entertainment to review I’m just a bit concerned that it’s going to fall into the “been there, done that” category.  So far it has been needless worry, however, and Jack of All Tribes is no exception to that rule.  This TM game takes a little different approach to the subject, where instead of having one central focus to work on, you’re jumping from one part of the island to the next, building up everything in your path.  It’s just different enough to feel fresh, and the overall atmosphere is fun and playful in a way that really sucks you in.

You’re name is Jack, and in an 80’s D&D cartoon sort of way you get teleported to a different world thanks to a freak roller coaster.  In this case, though, you end up in an ancient civilization.  Your ultimate goal is to make your way home, but along the way you need to help the poor folks rebuild the once proud villages.  You’ll have 40 levels with which to prove your otherworldly prowess, and so far each level has had something to offer that’s different than the last.  The amount of things to do almost gets a bit overwhelming at times, but thankfully you manage the activity and not the people.  When something needs to be done an indicator will be displayed above the task, and you simply tap on the task to bring the citizens to it.

So what sorts of activities must you engage in on your journey?  You’ll get to plant and harvest pumpkins, construct and upgrade buildings, search caves and put out fires, just to name a few.  You’ll even have the opportunity to fight off rival tribes by repeatedly tapping on invaders.  And, in a move that surprised me, you have at least one chance to search for items “hidden object” style.  That was quite a welcome surprise.  Some activities are simply for the survival of the clan, while others will earn you resources and more importantly, help complete the goals for a given level.  Some goals are spelled out through dialogs, while others are simply designated by little pictures at the bottom of the screen.  If you complete the goals in a certain amount of time you will earn a gold star, but you can always finish a level simply by completing the goals at all.

There’s not a ton of replay value, since it’s not real exciting to walk through a level again once you’ve beaten it.  However, there’s always the chance of earning that gold star if you don’t get it the first time around.  There are also 12 trophies to earn, so that might be incentive to play through some levels multiple times.  Still, we’re not talking about levels that only take a minute or two to complete, so even if you don’t have the desire to play them all ten times apiece, 40 levels should get you a sufficient amount of play time.

The graphics are wonderful.  Everything is well drawn and fluidly animated.  It’s very easy to tell when there’s a task that needs to be handled.  And once you’ve successfully completed a level, the villagers will even clap for you.  The sounds are a great compliment to the atmosphere of the game.  It would be nice to hear from the dinosaur (or if it does make noise it needs to be louder), and voices for the dialogs would be cool.  The music is nice, though it does kind of get lost in the shuffle with everything going on.

Jack Of All Tribes just goes to show that there’s still some life to be had in the time management genre.  The silly premise and fun characters will draw you in, while the challenging objectives will keep you playing.  Just make sure you have all your ducks in a row when the screen starts getting cluttered.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Jack of All Tribes Deluxe Developer: G5 Entertainment
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 161 MB
  • Plenty to do
  • Goofy characters
  • Wonderful visuals
  • Complimentary audio
  • Real estate can get crowded


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