The Croods: Prehistoric Party

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
The Croods: Prehistoric Party Game Poster Image
Lifeless party game with mild cartoon shenanigans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

The Croods: Prehistoric Party wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive Messages

This game attempts to create a friendly social gaming experience for up to four players who compete against one another in quick mini-games. Mild cartoonish violence plays a small role in the action.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Aside from the occasional exclamation of happiness or shout of dejection, theses Stone Age stars say very little. They simply want to win the game. The lightly violent competitive activities in which they engage are largely impossible to emulate in the real world.

Ease of Play

Mini-games are simple to figure out and come with brief, one- or two-sentence instructions should you need them. However, there's no opportunity to practice first, as is found in many other party games.

Violence & Scariness

Mild cartoon antics result in characters being pushed off ledges, falling into lava, getting hit by "punch monkeys," and being rammed or chomped by strange creatures and plants. No characters ever appear seriously injured and none die.

Language
Consumerism

This game is directly tied to the film of the same name.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Croods: Prehistoric Party is a simple party game based on a film release of the same name. It's best experienced in groups of up to four players so that kids can exploit its potential for social gaming. There is some cartoonish violence, but it is very mild: plants making chomping motions near skittering players, and characters pushing each other around or bopping one another to make them fall down. As with most movie and game tie-ins, there's a chance that kids who play the game may end up pestering their parents to see the film and vice versa.

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What's it about?

THE CROODS: PREHISTORIC PARTY puts players in the shoes of various members of a Stone Age family as they compete with one another in simple Mario Party-style mini-games. The main mode has players selecting a theme –- such as jungle or desert –- before embarking on a short jaunt around simple game boards, rolling a die to move their character forward. Depending on the space you land on, you may collect or lose shells (which act as currency), earn a special single-use item that might let you switch places with another character or cause them to move backward, or initiate one of about 30 little mini-games. A second game board mode lets players set a game timer or number of turns and then compete with one another to collect the most eggs (earned by playing mini-games) along the journey. After finishing the game, players can spend the virtual currency they've earned on unlockable images and creature descriptions in the game store.

Is it any good?

Functional but utterly lacking in style or innovation, The Croods: Prehistoric Party is the sort of game young children may find mildly addictive for a few hours, but which most older players would rather skip. The game design is lifted straight from deeper party games with more personality and superior polish. Fans of the genre will soon realize they've already played plenty of better mini-games in which they've done the same things, such as pushing friends off platforms, flying through rings, splattering paint on walls, and trying to remember and copy simple melodies.

That everything more or less works will likely serve only to exacerbate your frustration: The designers clearly know how to make a decent game but either didn't have the ambition or freedom to turn this one into something interesting. Save your money.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about social gaming. How is playing with others different than playing alone? Does it make a difference if they're in the same room versus if you're connected by the Internet?

  • Families can also discuss the Stone Age. What do you think life was like for an average family tens of thousands of years ago? What were their top concerns?

Game details

For kids who love social games

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