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Prehistorik Review - iPhone

Prehistorik Review

Posted by Mehar Gill at Sat, Dec 18 2010 06:21:14 CST 2252 views

The classic caveman platformer reborn, but not entirely without its flaws.

Prehistorik was originally published and developed by Titus Software in the early 90s for various platforms. The Titus catalog was eventually acquired by Interplay who has been relatively calm with their re-releases. Prehistorik for those unaware is a 2D platformer featuring a caveman protagonist; the original was by no means perfect yet still garners a cult following to this very day. The additions that were made to the iOS release work very well, but still leave much to be desired.

The concept behind the game is simple, go through seven levels and get as much food as required to fill a food meter to progress. Each even numbered level is a boss fight while the odd ones are traditional platforming segments. A 200 second time limit is also in place, reaching 0 results in the loss of a life, power ups to extend your time limit can be found throughout a level. You fight various enemies along the way from dinosaurs to polar bears depending on the level. You'll find various pickups along the way ranging from weapon upgrades, health, and even temporary power ups.

Prehistorik isn't a ROM emulation and it isn't 1:1 faithful to the original either, but that doesn't mean it was given a modern makeover in terms of graphics, sound, and even game design. Certain levels were altered design wise as well as visually but that's about it. There's something visually appealing about playing a retro game on an iPhone screen which certainly helps. The retro design is kept intact with newer assets including those featured on the title screen. The animations hold up surprisingly well and are pretty indepth, such as climbing a ladder and being able to attack while you're still on it. The sound was largely preserved; the music still holds up pretty well after all this time as do the sound effects.

The only iOS related additions are the touch controls and a very barebones "menu". You are able to zoom in and out of the game by making swiping motions on the screen. The controls work surprisingly well, a d-pad is on the left side of the screen while two buttons indicating "attack" and "jump" are on the right. There were instances where my thumb was blocking something on the screen but this was rare overall. The menu is accessed via an "X" icon in the top right hand side of the screen, clicking it simply brings up a bar asking you if you want to quit. It's also worth mentioning  that the game is very easy on a device's battery life, I've had hour long sittings with the game and it wasn't an issue I had to deal with.

Prehistorik runs smoother than its Amiga and Atari ST counterparts, load times are instant and the "scroll" issue with previous releases no longer exists. Essentially, a level would be divided into different sections with a fixed camera, moving too far to the left or right would load a different section within that level. The iOS port offers a dynamic camera that moves with the players as one has become accustomed to with platformers.

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