Prehistorik Review – Introduction
Prehistorik, when it was originally released back in 1992, got decent enough reviews and something of a following. What’s interesting is how quickly it aged, though. Reviews from 1994 spoke of it as if it was an old fashioned retro game, a game that had aged beyond playability.
Several re-releases and over two decades later, a spruced up Prehistorik has joined the Joystick Replay brand. Has it been lovingly preserved from time, or is this one that’s better left to history?
A Neanderthal’s Needs
You play as a Neanderthal desperate to find food. Across each of Prehistorik’s levels, you’ll need to find at least 50% of the grub on offer, by collecting anything that might just be hanging around. Along the way you’ll run and jump from platform to platform as things become gradually more complicated.
Prehistorik is a standard platform game. It does little more than you’d expect (except for some Flintstones-esque takes on modern conveniences and, of course, flashers). If you remember this sort of game from the early nineties, the mid-tier platformers that didn’t dare take on the mascots but which were fun for their own sakes, maybe you’ll be able to see through just how dated it feels.
Let me be very clear though. It feels dated because, frankly, it’s a twenty year old game and the developers have presented it exactly how it was. It’s meant as a nostalgia trip, and on that level – so long as you go in without too many fond memories – it works completely.
If you’re new to Prehistorik, you’re probably better giving it a miss entirely unless you have a specific preference towards traditional platformers.
A Lot of Old, Not Enough New
My issues with Prehistorik begin in 1992, but they definitely don’t stop there. The issues aren’t that it’s an old, dated game – that is part of its charm, for those that would choose to buy it – but that it’s an old, dated game that the developers have done very little to polish up.
You can play with a controller, but it takes a bit of messing around. If you weren’t to actually play around with the settings, controller in hand, you probably wouldn’t realize there was controller support at all. You can’t play around with resolution or any other graphical settings either.
Graphically, the game has been much improved, although that’s not saying much. By today’s standards, it’s stylized, but not stunning. Like much else within Prehistorik, it’s enough to add a charming edge to the nostalgia, but that’s where it ends. With that said, the main character looking a little like those little paper dolls with the pins in the arm and legs does little to cement the visuals together.
Prehistorik is one to return to if you thought it was decent back in the day, or if you’re feeling especially under-catered for in the modern world of pretentious artsy platformers. One of the first things you’ll do in Prehistorik is save a fly from a fresh pile of goat dung. This is a game for people that might like that sort of thing.
It’s not fantastic, you could even argue that it isn’t even very good. It does exactly what you know it will, even twenty years on, and that in itself will appeal to a certain sort of game.
- It does exactly what you’d expect it to do
- The graphical update was just passable, but only that
- There really isn’t anything else going for it
- It feels its age