It’s hard to believe almost a year has passed since I took a look at the first Chop Chop “trilogy”. Of those games Chop Chop Runner was by far my favorite, and I honestly wasn’t a big fan of Tennis. Since then 4 new Chop Chop games have been released, so as you can tell I’m a bit behind. I want to get with the times, as it were, so I’m going to fast forward a bit to Chop Chop Caveman, the last game of the second “trilogy”. Now I’ll probably have to stop calling them that, since I don’t know that the games will always be released in groups of three, so it’s out of my system. Anyway, I haven’t had the chance to play Hockey yet, but of the Chop Chop games I’ve played thus far, Caveman is definitely the best. The game is the most polished of their 2D efforts, and the puzzle / platform genre for me is more interesting than sports games.
Chop Chop Ninja was an okay game, but I think Chop Chop Caveman is the game that Ninja wanted to be. You play a cute little caveman with a bad haircut that just wants to eat. In order to satisfy your hunger you’ll need to bash the denizens of your world into bite sized portions. Depending on the critter you can do this either by head butting them, slamming them on the descent of a jump, or throwing stuff at them. Once crushed they’ll turn into meat that you can eat which not only gets rid of them but has the added benefit of giving you a health point back if you’ve lost one. Some creatures will also eat the meat left over by other creatures, which I found to be a neat and amusing touch.
When you’re not busy feeding your face there are pebbles to collect, as well as three big jewels and a special food item on each level. You can beat the level without getting the jewels or food item, but I suspect it might be worth your while to collect everything if you can. In addition to collecting things and dispatching enemies there are also puzzles to solve. Along the way you’ll be able to pick up items that you can throw, and you can use these items to either collect hard to reach items or to knock over or destroy things in order to open up the path so you can continue your quest. None of the puzzles so far have been overly difficult, but sometimes you have to think about just the right place to hit something to cause the effect that you want.
To control your character you can either use a virtual d-pad or a method where your actions are based on the location you tap relative to the caveman. The relative positioning thing isn’t bad, but I much prefer the virtual d-pad. This gives you buttons for moving left and right, jumping, and bashing / headbutting when appropriate. To pick up the objects that you can throw you just walk into them, and to actually throw them you draw a path in the direction you want them to go. You do have to be careful that you’re not standing under an object you throw should it come back down, because it can actually hurt you.
There’s no question the game play is the best out of any Chop Chop game I’ve played so far, but I’d have to say that sentiment follows through to the graphics as well. The caveman looks great with his bowl haircut and lack of general facial features (except for a big mouth at the moment he eats something). The dinosaurs are quite amusing in their design, especially the Tyrannosaurus like one with the stubby legs. Each level set has a unique look while still retaining the overall feel of a platform game. All they need to do is transfer this level of style to their 3D engine and they’ll have some of the best looking 3D cartoon games around.
The sound effects are decent enough, though I wouldn’t in any way rave about them. What I do like is the little chomp every time the caveman eats something. What I find a bit disappointing is that none of the dinosaurs make any noise. What’s up with that? Anyway, the music makes up for any deficiencies in the sound effects. Each world has its own theme, and so far they’ve been pretty enjoyable. While I feel good music is important to any game, I remember spending lots of time with certain console games on pause, just listening to the music (especially in the 16 bit era).
Based on what I’ve played of Chop Chop Caveman so far, I’m looking forward to seeing what the franchise will have to offer moving forward. They’re definitely refining their work with each new installment in the Chop Chop Universe, and it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on over the coming months. In the mean time, if you haven’t already delved into the world of Chop Chop, or you just haven’t gotten Caveman yet, I wouldn’t wait any longer. The traditional platform game play blended with basic physics puzzles and whimsical prehistoric cartoon characters is certainly worth the asking price. Not to mention the fact the game is universal, and it runs really well on my “ancient” iPod Touch 2G with iOS 3.1.3.
Quick Looks link: [All About Quick Looks]