YOU get to go back in time and lead a prehistoric tribe to a new homeland in The Lost Tribe.
When the volcano that your tribe has always called "home" explodes and molten lava engulfs your village at its base, you have little choice but to assume command of your frightened tribe and seek out a different place to live. This means providing for your tribe's food, shelter, safety, and general happiness all along the way.
Six different scenarios provide a variety of challenges for players of various skill levels. Since this is an "edu-tainment" game, expect to learn much about prehistoric cultures, artifacts, and mythology while still having fun.
There were times long gone, when people lived in tribes. It was before the dawning of the first civilization. In order to keep warm, they wanted to stay close to volcanoes, which seemed like a good idea until one of such volcanoes decided to erupt. Still the tribe believed they are dependent upon a volcano and wanted to find another one before the winter begins.
It's your duty and privilege to lead the tribe over the as of yet undiscovered valleys and mountain passes, through wild growth and over rivers, until you all successfully reach another volcano. You are the leader of The Lost Tribe.
That's basically the background story behind this great and somewhat funny game.
The icons and meters are very easy to understand and you'll only have a limited number of options, so the game won't seem overwhelming. Still if you wish to successfully lead your tribe, you'll have to be very careful and you'll need to build up your own leadership skills.
Apart from leading the tribe, scheduling daily chores (practice hunting and making spears; going hunting; making statues; pushing further along the trail), you'll also need to sort some differences between other tribe's members and even your own leadership will be questioned. You'll find ruined of other intelligent settlers and you'll find heaps of things somebody else left behind. It's usually a good idea to explore them.
Whenever a special even occurs you'll see some change in graphics and you'll get up to 4 options to choose from. Choose wisely, as the mood of your tribesmen depends upon it. You should always take care of their mood (represented by the orange meter and the smiley face), because if they're too annoyed with you, you'll witness a prehistoric rebellion and you'll loose the control of your tribe.
Graphically the game is well made. There's a good combination of digitalized photos making up a story and of animated inserts of hunts or practice (usually quite humorous). The main map view however is a classical hexagonal map you'd expect with some strategy games.
The sounds are present only if something is happening and they support the action in a way, but they aren't needed. Still they won't go on your nerves and they do add that little extra.
At the very beginning you get to choose different scenarios, which are basically different difficulty levels as the game is more or less the same. So I suggest you start with the first one and get acquainted with the game first and they start to experiment with more challenging tasks.
There's also some sort of in game help. Clicking on the book icon you'll get to see different statistics and gather info. You'll get to find out things about other members of the tribe, you'll learn about the territory you can walk on, about the animals you can hunt and so forth.
All in all it's a game you can easily fall in love with, because it has a certain na´ve charm, yet it's still deep and challenging enough so you won't get bored. At least not until you've finished all the levels and even then the game might draw you back, to discover all the hidden events that you might have missed the first few times around.
One of the best and most unique edutainment titles ever made, The Lost Tribe is a fun survival simulation that is reminiscent of MECC's Oregon Trail, but with much more sophisticated gameplay. The premise: a tribal village is recently destroyed as a result of a violent volcanic eruption. The only course of action is to find your ancestral seat, a place rumored to be many weeks away and a paradise on Earth. After the tribe's leader was killed, you are elected to lead the tribe to the promised land. Your objective is to keep your tribesmen happy and well fed, and find your ancestors' home before winter sets in. Otherwise, your tribe will simply revolt against you and leave you to your own fate.
After you start a new game, you can choose between six different routes to lead your tribe to safety, each successive one more difficult than the last. The game uses a very user-friendly interface, and it doesn't take to long to understand what each icon represents. In the middle of the screen is the map, comprising hexagonal tiles similar to turn-based wargames. Your position is marked by the hexagon icon marked with two tribesmen, and the yellow areas are the places you can travel to (you can only travel one square at a time). The left menu column shows your tribe's status, including how many days you have left until winter, the contentment level of the tribe, the amount of food supplies, number of spears, and spear/hunting ability. The right menu column is where you choose what to do during that turn, e.g. hunting, practice spear throwing, rest, and worship (religious) idol. Clicking on the last icon brings up an excellent on-line survival guide, which is packed with information regarding everything you'll need to know including the profiles of the tribe, hunting instructions, and the landscape and its conditions. The action icons also change according to what you are doing. Click on one of the yellow hexagons, for example, and you can choose whether to travel slowly or quickly, or to send a scout party ahead. You will also face random events, which require you to make a decision from several possibilities, similar to the multiple-choice questions in Interplay's Castles.
What makes The Lost Tribe a lot of fun is the excellent balance between education and gameplay. You will always learn something new about survival skils (even if the tribe in the game is a nondescript, generic "tribe" that does not represent any real-life tribal culture), and success relies much more on careful planning than random luck (as Oregon Trail seems to be the case).
With solid gameplay, fascinating concepts, and excellent graphics (the game mixes cartoon-style animations and humorous digitized film clips to good effect), The Lost Tribe deserves to be your choice!
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