Published on December 10th, 2022 | by Boouya
New Joe and Mac Caveman Ninjas #Switch
Summary: Overall The New Joe and Mac Caveman Ninjas is a hard to recommend for the average player because you really have to have the mindset that you are going to be frustrated and you will die a lot.
Swing and a miss
Now if you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s you were used to difficult arcade games, games so brutal your pocket money would be rinsed before you had a chance to blink. Whilst those experiences were fun in an arcade setting, it did not always copy over to home releases, so over the following decades games have become easier and more accessible but occasionally a game will come along and grab you by the nutsack and pull you back to the past and The New Joe and Mac Caveman Ninjas is just one of those games.
The story of this game is very simple, an evil group of Neanderthals has come to the village and taken all the woman hostage, now our intrepid heroes Joe and Mac must set out on a daring mission to rescue these damsels in distress whilst defeating various dinosaurs and neanderthals who stand in their way.
The gameplay in Joe and Mac is as simple as they come in an action platformer where learning enemy patterns is a must to survive. Not only that but you must also collect food to eat as it will slowly drain your health adding another layer of difficulty to an already punishing health system that gives you around three hits before you die. Do not expect checkpoints because once you lose all your lives it’s back to the beginning again for you.
This would be alright if there was a difficulty slider but the health drain due to not collecting food is something you can not disable. I understand that this is supposed to be a difficult and punishing game but Joe and Mac games on Super Nintendo were challenging but fair this just feels cheap and hellbent on being difficult for the sake of being difficult. At times playing these games I kept coming back to the same thought. “Was the game being this difficult masking the fact the game is not very deep gameplay wise” and after playing more this thought feels more and more true.
Whilst you have weapon upgrades you still follow the very similar pattern of move left to right hitting the same types of enemies with slightly different designs again and again rinse, die and repeat.
One of the things this game does well is its graphic design. Everything is beautiful and colorful with that Joe and Mac style cartoonish look. As soon as you start the game you know what you are playing just by the visuals. It really does do the series justice and it is Kudos to Microids who have smashed it out the park again with the visuals just like they have done previously with the Asterix and Obelix game last year.
Overall The New Joe and Mac Caveman Ninjas is a hard to recommend for the average player because you really have to have the mindset that you are going to be frustrated and you will die a lot. Most people will play this for 20 minutes or so and get bored and frustrated and I feel like this could have been avoided if they added a difficulty slider at least to make the game more accessible. Also the game is rather short but only feels longer due to the difficulty and it is really hard to justify the £26.99 price in the UK. I hope Microids come back to this game and add some more options to the game especially one that allows you to disable the health drain based on food consumption because that one mechanic really is the killer to this game.