Due to a couple of technical issues, this is a repost of my coverage of Tribe: Primitive Builder. Tribe is a competent survival sim with a cool setting, and while it lacks a certain challenge, fans of the genre should find plenty to enjoy!
GOTY 2023: Best of Early Access (Part 1)
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Bite Sized Reviews: Tribe: Primitive Builder
This will look like a repost from my article on Monday! Unfortunately, it seems that Keymailer will only count one article per game review and no more, so I was unable to track my coverage of Tribe: Primitive Builder and AirportSim together. Keeping up a good reputation is important for future opportunities, so I wanted to be transparent about this! I don’t get any monetary value from these, so hopefully this will be alright.
My GOTY series is making good progress, and I will be organizing the first article to go live in a couple of weeks. Enjoy!
Tribe: Primitive Builder 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 design