Animated films are easy subjects to develop licensed videogames around. The genre lends itself to cute, non-threatening, fun-for-all-ages games on different platforms.
The Croods is art of this genre of simplistic games based on animation films. It is based upon the DreamWorks animated film, obviously named The Croods, which tells the story of a prehistoric family which sets out to explore a world beyond its familiar surroundings. The movie is well animated and features great voice acting. Sadly, the game based upon the movie is thoroughly uninspired. Even mobile gaming rock stars Rovio Games weren’t able to turn this franchise into something fun.
The Croods is basically a farming simulator which is linked to your social networks, much like Farmville. The Smurfs recently made a similar game based upon the movie, but it was slightly more fun to play than this one.
You start the game playing as Grug – who is the head of the Crood family. Grug is notoriously skeptical of wandering off beyond the environs familiar to him in the movie. In the game, he shows no such inhibitions as he joyfully tills his land, hunts and gathers and goes off on adventures. The premise of the game is that Grug has decided it is time the rest of the family learns how to fend for themselves. He starts creating traps so he can herd animals and live off their produce. You trap said animals, feed them, take care of them, and in turn, they provide you with resources. You then use these resources to build bigger traps for bigger animals and repeat the aforementioned process.
The bland gameplay is not the only thing that is lacking in The Croods. The game will blatantly ask you to spend real money at every conceivable opportunity. Basically, as is the norm with all simulation and farming games, resources pile up at a slow pace. If you want to expedite this process, you will have to spend gems, which are rare items in the game. To buy more gems, you will have to spend money. You will be surprised how often you find yourself running out of gems and having to wait an hour or more to perform menial tasks. When you take into consideration that the target audience for this game is basically children who are fans of the film, this cash grabbing seems even more bizzare. Parents who have enabled in-app purchases won’t be thrilled when they revisit their phones after a while only to find that their children spend $20 on buying gems.
The Croods has one thing going for it – its art style. The movie has a very unique look and Rovio has made sure that the game stays true to the look and feel of the movie. In addition, there are a few interesting monsters in the world for players to catch.
In summation, The Croods is an uninspired farming simulator that doesn’t require much player interaction other than the occasional tap on the screen. The team of DreamWorks and Rovio should have come up with something much better; especially considering the source material is so rich.
This is a game that only hardcore fans should take a look at, and even they might not spend much time in hitting the ‘uninstall’ button.