Bite Sized Double Bill: Night Before Christmas

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Bite Sized Double Bill: Night Before Christmas

We’re approaching that time of year again! The month of Christmas trees, eating a ton of food, and all those Game of the Year award ceremonies. Oh, and the weather gets too cold for my liking. Congrats to Baldurs Gate 3 for sweeping most of the Golden Joystick awards!

I originally planned on stopping my Bite-Sized reviews until the New Year. I’m hard at work writing up my GOTY series for the end of the year. Between that and managing my health, it has been pretty exhausting. When going through recent releases, I got access to a couple of cool games that otherwise would not be featured for several weeks, and I did not want that.

So for today, I’m covering two games! Hopefully, this acts as a little palette cleanser, because my upcoming articles will be long reads. Still, grab a snack and some drinks, and enjoy the rambles of a thirty-something British guy about the games he plays.

Tribe: Primitive Builder

This game crept up on me, to the point I forgot it was even coming out. It wasn’t until I got a review request by the developer that I realized. Oops! I need to up my game. Thanks to the developer and Keymailer for the review code.

While all these crafting and survival games are common, it is rare for the primitive era of history to be shown in a video game. While a few games exist like Sapiens and Roots of Pacha, we don’t see many games on the market that tackle the primitive era. Tribe: Primitive Builder is a tribe management sim set on a beautiful, ancient island, where players must manage their village and resources to survive. It might not be unique, but it’s a competent game that should intrigue fans of this genre.

What sets Tribe apart from similar games like it is, of course, the setting. Set in the times of hairy folks wearing cool masks and cave paintings, the world is surprisingly gorgeous to the eyes. After an intriguing opening cinematic with dramatic voice acting and music, the player is washed up on a beach, picked up by a stranger tribe. Left at first to prove themselves to the clan through the usual survival and building tutorials (hurray for hard labour), the player will be given the task of leading this new group of happy locals to salvation and greatness. Ya know, rituals and god appeasement, the usual fun times!

While I joke about the setting, Tribe: Primitive Builder has all the makings of an impressive management simulator. No stamina meter and quick resource collection are nice quality-of-life features, and the building system is fairly intuitive. This is a sizable open world to explore, and you are only able to fast travel after performing rituals at select sites. Therefore, being able to run long distances without managing annoying stamina mechanics is a nice compromise. There are other bars to manage like food, sleep, and hydration, but these are fairly generous. While you have to think about them, you aren’t running around trying to eat every five minutes to stay alive. Thank god for that. You can also save at any time — one of my biggest pet peeves of simulator games is a saving system that only triggers at the end of the day.

While grinding resources can be tedious, you can automate members of the tribe to collect certain resources for you at a later date. There are quite a few different buildings and things to unlock, so it’s not short on content. The skill management system is also intuitive. Like Valheim, you gain experience the more you do a certain thing, so the skills will level up the more you chop trees, for instance. Now, the grind in this game can get frustrating. With few to zero enemies to contend with, it’s all about growing the tribe. With all the backtracking to locate resources alongside the overall lack of challenge, this might not be a game for everyone. I would like to see gameplay modifiers like more aggressive weather conditions, sickness and dangerous animals. This is more of a chill survival sim — not a bad thing at all, but I would like to see more options.

The developer has been working hard on Tribe: Primitive Builder since launch, fixing bugs and adding new features tirelessly. It might lack some challenge, but this is a comfortable survival sim with a unique setting. It is worth checking out!

A fresh take on the simulator genre that favours a slow pace and casual designThe grind can get tedious
Cool setting: rarely shown in gamingLack of enemies make this game fairly easy
Some nice quality of life features


One of the games I used to play when I was a wee lad was Microsoft Flight Simulator. My dad is not a gamer (believe me, I have tried to get him into it but he’s been hopeless) but back then he dabbled a bit in the flight simulators. I probably burned him off gaming for life when I kept crashing his planes!

Whoops. Lesson Learned.

AirportSim is an interesting game. Launching last month by MS Games, it bucks the trend on the usual simulators. While players can drive cars and airport management vehicles, it’s all about managing the flights at airports by ground handling staff. I can’t think of another game that has focused on this side of the aviation gaming industry, so it’s a cool concept. I’m surprised it has not been done before. While I struggled with the game’s performance as well as the questionable design choices, there is a reasonably paced game in here. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to play this game much due to technical problems, so this is a bare first impression.

To start, it does not lack content. With several tutorials to start players off, I was treated to several different modes. AirportSim uses real-life settings and a ton of research into how airports operate, so it manages the realistic side of things rather well. With twenty scenarios across four maps, free play, and challenge mode, there is a lot of content to dig into. There are even scenario editor tools and Steam Workshop support. Mod support is always a tick in the positive section, in my eyes. The graphics are decent too, and I felt like I was a member of staff on my days in the office. Overall, there’s some solid stuff here.

Performance was a big letdown. I first tested this on my laptop — it meets the recommended specifications. However, it ran into some steep frame drops frequently, and some mission-stopping bugs. Patches have been frequent since the launch and a lot of this has improved, but it still feels sluggish. I turned to Geforce Now — Nvidia’s cloud streaming software — to test AirportSim on there, but I ran into an error on boot. Hopefully, that gets solved soon. There’s also no direct save feature. Some of these missions can last a while, so having to complete them in one go with no break sounds a little unreasonable. I would like a save feature.

It’s things like that which drag down an otherwise decent experience. The game has received a lot of updates since its launch, but it did not release in the best way. Hopefully, they continue to improve things. We don’t get many airport job simulators, so it was a bit of a shame for a rocky start. Still, if this goes on sale and receives more bugs and quality-of-life features, it’s worth a glance.

We don’t get many airport work simulators, and this is a decent oneI ran into some nasty performance problems: this game could use some optimization patches although progress has been made
A lot of content with some great tutorialsNo save feature
Mod support

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TheThousandScarAuthor/Blogger/Cartographer/Streamer/Narrative Game Writer/I play far too many games. |

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