Caveman Ransom Logo
Caveman Ransom Icon
Caveman Ransom

Developer: SEEP

Publisher: Ratalaika Games

  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Feb 16, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E10+ [Everyone 10+]
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    A perfectly fine and polished-looking budget platformer… that’s just dull

    One thing you can count on with any Nintendo system is that it will be loaded with platformers. Whether of the classic side-scrolling 2D or the more modern 3D adventure varieties, the system that Mario built is guaranteed to have some running and jumping action. The problem, then, for developers is that you can’t just show up to the eShop with something average if you’re going to want to get any attention at all. Unfortunately, though Caveman Ransom doesn’t look or play too badly, it feels pretty over-matched among its eShop brethren, some of which even share its budget price tag.

    Starting with the positive, in terms of the most basic elements of its look and general design, it isn’t too bad. It at least shows a bit more deliberate care in trying to change things up with different combinations of enemies to deal with, and some reasonably challenging jumping sections periodically. While perhaps the difficulty jumps rather quickly from the first set of stages to the second, it does at least have enough overall elements and variety to keep itself from being completely predictable.

    There are some challenges though, the first of which is the fact that the difficulty does seem to ramp up pretty quickly in bursts rather than there being a more smooth progression. Another issue is that though the art style is sort of cute and chunky, the hitboxes for your character and some enemies don’t always feel quite right. Then when you combine this with your character’s pretty floaty jumping that can be a frustration at times, especially in situations like boss fights that demand a bit more precision.

    In the end, this is a title where the issues are better understood in the context of where it places in the long list of platformers on the system, rather than on looking at it in a vacuum. If you weren’t aware of what else is out there you could perhaps walk away feeling like it’s good enough for the price, and leave it at that. The thing is, ignoring the competition, and the fact that it only fares so well against its peers, would be doing my fellow gamers a disservice. This is by no means a terrible or even a bad game, it’s just also not all that ambitious, and its skill curve also feels more uneven than the norm. If you like its visual style and are up for a budget experience that’s just decent though, knock yourself out.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.7]

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