The Tribez Game Review for the Kindle Fire HD
When it comes to free games for the Kindle Fire, there are tons of choices, no matter what kind of game you're looking for. I've found solitaire, word searches and crossword puzzles all the way up to more complicated stuff like Fruit Ninja and Stardom: Hollywood. One game that I really did miss from my days as an iPhone user was The Tribez.
Previously only available for iOS devices, this game is a step back in time where the player has to take charge of a prehistoric island where things have gone completely wonky. As in there are dinosaurs who eat the evil Murlods, tribesmen who spend a little too much time at the prehistoric Hooters and wanting to take baths all while you're investigating a wrecked airplane kind of wonky.
This game is published by Game Insight and has always been available for free for iPhones and their relatives, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that The Tribez became available for Android devices via Google Play. When I figured this out, I was a happy camper because I truly love this game.
The Tribez Official Launch Trailer Video
My Review for The Tribez on Kindle Fire
When I played The Tribez for iPhone, I had a blast. I referred to the game as my "prehistoric trailer park." In a nutshell, you start with one island, a handful of little dudes, a few buildings, some money and a huge "honey-do" list. Your goal is to build up your little island because it wants to be all it can be. You also will have to expand to other islands which all have their own little quirks.
I haven't played a lot of these types of games, so I really don't know what to compare it to, but each building has a purpose. Houses earn rent money and each new one you build will give you at least one new little dude to help out on your island. There are lumber mills, ancient bars, cafeterias, stone processing and marble plants, quarries, a tax collector and quite a few other things that play a large part in the success of failure of your island. Most of these buildings are upgraded which increase the profitability of the structure. For instance, upgrading the houses makes them pay more rent. If you upgrade your lumber mill, you will have the option to make more boards than before.
One of the things that makes this game so interesting (and addicting!) are the quests. You will be given orders, for the most part, that consist of things you need to do to advance your island. You might be ordered to upgrade a building or you might have to kill prehistoric bad guys (that look like a slightly less hairy version of Captain Caveman) to collect axes to unlock the next quest.
To perform an action, all you need to do is tap the building or item that you want one of your little dudes to use and then select from the options given - if you want him to grow food, choose between melons, pumpkins, corn and wheat. Each option gives more food than the last, but they will also cost more and take more time to complete.
This is one of the really frustrating parts of this game - the time that is required to complete actions. You will be able to build one of the smaller houses in just a few minutes, but the larger ones can take over four hours. Some of the other buildings have long completion times as do some of the actions that can be completed with them (it can take up to four hours to get stone from the quarry or twelve to perform a ritual at the little Stonehenge). This ties up little dudes that you could use to do other things.
There are two ways to get around that. Building more houses will gain you more little dudes or you can spend crystals to speed up the work. You are given one crystal for every level you advance in the game. You can also earn free crystals by "liking" the game on Facebook or Twitter. Otherwise, you will have to buy them with cold, hard cash.
They aren't just for speeding up the action, you can also buy buildings, supplies like food or stone, and even pretty accessories. If you have large amounts of crystals, you can even buy new territories or even new islands.
Although some people complain about the crystals, the folks who buy them keep the game free for those of us who don't. Thanks, folks who buy the crystals! I appreciate it!
All in all, The Tribez is a great game, as long as you are aware that it is not one that you can sit down and play for hours at a time - at least not consecutively! You will be spending LOTS of time on this game!
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The Tribez: Pros, Cons and Gameplay Tips
- Beautiful graphics
- Detailed gameplay that can potentially continue for a very long time
- Gameplay is fun and entertaining and will keep players interested
- Because of the way the quests are designed, players will have a real sense of achievement and a job well done
- Slow load time on the Kindle Fire
- All the really cool stuff takes crystals
- The order in which the quests become available is confusing. You may be ordered to build a stone processing plant, but the stone processing plant will not be available to build until you complete a different quest which hasn't yet been given to you.
- Build time or the time it takes for some actions to complete can be as long as 12 hours
Tips for folks new to playing The Tribez:
- Every time you level up and when you finish some quests, you will unlock new build-ables and other content. You may want to wait to build new buildings because a lot of the quests will require you to do so, and you'll just have to build them all over again when the quest unlocks.
- Don't just jump in and buy new areas on your island as soon as you have enough coins for them. Most of the more important areas (like the airplane or pirate ship) will have quests that require you to purchase them. If you do it before the quest becomes available, you may miss experience points or other rewards.
- Try to think ahead and survey what you need to do before you start a new "turn." If you have four things that will require lumber, for example, take a whole turn putting as many little dudes into making those boards as you can so that you will have enough to complete those other tasks on your next turns.
- Make good use of the zeppelins. One of the islands has a marble factory. To make the most of your little dudes on this island, try to only build the factories necessary to making marble. Don't build the forrester's hut, etc. Just ferry those things in from the other islands.
- If you purchase "upgradeable" structures or items like the trampoline that cost crystals, you will also most likely have to spend crystals to upgrade them.
- If you buy content with crystals and have to uninstall or reinstall the game, those items may be lost with your money along with them.
- Keep in mind that although you may want to buy pretty things - flowers, trees, statues - everything you place on your island is going to take up room with might be at a premium if you run out of space. Keep the pretties to a minimum. I'd suggest to only purchase what the quests require to, because you won't be able to store extras and you won't get any of their value back if you demolish them.
- Try to group like items together. Put all of your houses in one place and your berry bushes near your vegetable plots. Group your woodcutter's huts and lumber mills together and your stone quarries with the stone processing mills. This keeps your island a little more organized and makes it easier to find things as your territory grows.
Edit: August 2013
Well, I guess everything that glitters isn't gold. Upon reaching level 55 and opening up Murlod Island, the sixth island we have access to, I've run into some problems that apparently everybody else who is playing this game on the Kindle Fire is also having.
This level is corrupted. The images do not display. The houses, for example, are big black squares, so you have an entire island that you can't see. Everything is there - the Murlods still come along and try to burn your buildings down, you just can't see your houses and bars to put the flames out.
I sent an e-mail to Game Insight about this and they opened a support ticket. I sent them my screenshot and then went round and round with someone who (no offense) obviously did not have command of the English language. This person told me that I needed to update my game. I asked how I should go about doing that and they told me that I would need to get the update from Amazon.
So I emailed Amazon. Apparently, Game Insight has never updated this game and, if they had, I would have automatically updated because I have automatic updates enabled on my Kindle. At this point, Amazon refunded me the few dollars that I have spent on gems for this game and closed my support ticket.
I am still playing the game, accumulating money and opening up areas that I hadn't gotten to yet. I am hoping that GI will eventually update this game and I'll be able to continue to advance. All of the quests on my islands now need copper, which is only available on Murlod Island, so I hope they get this game fixed.