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Totem Tribe Gold (Mac) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: Mac
 
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Final Score
8.0
8/ 10


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It's like all your favorite casual games rolled into one package.

Not so much?


Lack of a hint feature may cause frustration.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Overall, Totem Tribe Gold is a really fun mix of different types of games that keeps casual gaming fresh. With aspects of time management, hidden objects, city building, and battle, you won’t be bored. And with many islands to explore, and explore some more, you’ll get hours of fun that your whole family can enjoy.

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Posted February 7, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Let’s get tribal!

Totem Tribe Gold is G5 Entertainment’s newest addition to the Mac App Store, and it brings a tribal feel to your casual gaming. It’s a little bit time management, a little bit city building, a little bit hidden object adventure, and a lot of fun. You play as Aruku, the chieftain of the Hawk tribe. And ancient artifact, the Tears of Heaven, has fallen from the sky, and your once peaceful world has lost its balance. After collecting the Tears if Heaven, you discover you must travel around a cluster of islands to find the six sacred totems hidden among them in order to restore peace to your world.

Each island counts as a chapter in the game, and each has a specific goal you must accomplish in order to advance to the next level. However, there are many things to uncover on each island, so once you have accomplished the goal, you are given the option to either continue on to the next level or finish the one you are on. Whatever you choose, you are able to go back and visit completed islands whenever you like.

While the islands themselves are not terribly large, most of them are shrouded in shadow when you begin. In order to explore the area, you need to construct buildings that will house and train your workers. You have unlimited supplies, and you aren’t actually timed (though at times you will need to hurry due to approaching enemies), so it may seem easy at first. As you start to add more and more buildings to your repertoire though, you’ll realize how difficult it is to fit all the buildings you need onto a small plot of land (you can’t build too close, or on top of obstacles).

You need huts to train your workers – these are the tribesmen who will construct your buildings for you. They can only work on one at a time, but they will be faster in larger numbers, so multiple huts is a good thing. You need to build a scout’s lodge if you want to explore the island, you need a barrack’s to train fighters, a workshop to learn new skills, and so on. Each of these takes up space, and they all take time to build, so your strategy for which buildings to build and where and when to build them is an important aspect of the game.

When buildings are being constructed, you kind of just have to wait before doing anything else, which can feel a bit tedious at times. However, Totem Tribe Gold throws in a hidden object feature that helps to pass the time while you wait on construction. Of course, you aren’t able to search in darkened areas until they’ve been scouted, but you can get a head start on the objects hidden in the open areas while you wait. Every level has little shiny jewels hidden all around them, and a lot of the areas also have specific items hidden that must be found to advance in the game.
The first example of this you’ll come across is finding smooth stones to make a path across the water. The items are often hidden amongst the landscape, behind bushes, etc., and can be quite challenging to find. With the larger screen for the Mac, it was not as frustrating as the mobile version in this regard, but I was still disappointed in the lack of any hint feature. You cannot advance in the game if you don’t find all of the objects, and that can be frustrating for younger or less skilled gamers (my kids love to play these kinds of games).

Overall, Totem Tribe Gold is a really fun mix of different types of games that keeps casual gaming fresh. With aspects of time management, hidden objects, city building, and battle, you won’t be bored. And with many islands to explore, and explore some more, you’ll get hours of fun that your whole family can enjoy.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)