Video games today have moved to the extremes. You have the Angry Birds of the world. Short, inexpensive phone and tablet based games that are easy to learn and can easily be played in 60 second blocks. At the other extreme you have $60 Xbox 360 and PS3 games that have amazing graphics, deep gameplay and are so complicated only a teenager could figure out how to play it. Luckily there are still games like The Time Tribe, an adventure game that looks to buck the extremes and provide a fun, inexpensive and deep story line.
The Time Tribe is a time-travel adventure game that is point-and-click, free-to-play (premium features involve a monthly fee), browser-based and works on any computer. The Time Tribe is a mix of exploration gaming, puzzle-solving, and real-world history events that makes it perfect for children ages 8-12.
The Time Tribe (by Thundersnow Media Inc) follows the story of four children who learn they are members of a secretive group of time-travellers called the Time Tribe. It is an episodic point-and-click adventure game that leads players on a quest through a virtual world filled with quirky characters, places to explore, collectible artifacts, a gallery to customize, mysteries to solve, puzzles to crack, and mini-games to play. E-comics and mini fiction build on the overarching quest narrative that keeps players engaged with the story, its settings, and characters as new episodes are released.
No, We Will Not Be Spoiling The Time Tribe For You!
Pet peeve, I hate video game reviews that tell you everything that you will discover while playing the game. One of the best things about The Time Tribe is that you don’t know what is going on when you start and as you play, more and more is revealed. We love being surprised and watching a story unfold in a game, so we are not going to giveaway the details of the game. I will say we have been playing the Beta for the past few weeks and we are impressed. In this review we will focus on how the gameplay works and let you discover the storyline of the game when you try it out…which you should definitely do, because it is free to play.
Everything Old Is New Again
When you first start The Time Tribe you may feel like you have time traveled back about 20 years, because it uses the classic adventure game interface. You click on things to learn more about them. You click on people to interact with them and pick various canned responses. You have an inventory and you use items to get past certain puzzles. So, The Time Tribe has a very classic adventure game interface to it. What is very new is the beautiful graphics and feel to the game.
As you move further along in The Time Tribe and have to do quests and solve puzzles, you start to see some of the new twists to the classic adventure game. One of the neat features of the premium package ($14.95/month) is bringing online action offline with printed material that is mailed to you each month such as –
As you can see, the documents vary from letters to recipes to entries from a diary. All the paperwork is very well done and really does a great job in adding a real dimension to the game. This “welcome package” of information is something that is available at the premium level.
Understanding Gilders, Ingots and Pricing Levels
First the good news – The Time Tribe is free to play and can be played on any computer from a standard web browser. Of course, Thundersnow Media does need to make money, so there are a number of pay for enhanced play options. In the game you earn Gilders (the standard in-game virtual currency) just by playing the game. Gilders can be used to to buy virtual goods to customize your Keep and to create a personal Coat of Arms for your player Profile Page.
There are also Ingots in The Time Tribe and Ingots must be purchases with real cash, either from the in game store or via a monthly membership fee. What do you get for these Ingots? Ingots may be used to unlock special content in the form of certain game options, bonus quests, and upgrades to your characters and Keep, or for charity donations at the Charity Portal in the Keep Gift Shop.
Stay with us, we are almost done here… If you do a Basic Membership ($6.95/month) you get 75 Ingots each month, in addition to bonus content, sidequests and storylines. If you are really into the game you can do the Premium Membership ($14.95/month) which gets you everything in the Basic but bumps you up to 150 Ingots and all types of bonus content and quests. In addition you get tons of printed material mailed to you each month and lots of other goodies!
Confused by all this? So were we. Our advice, just try the free version of the game and see how you the kids like it. For the most part, you will have a very full experience in the free version, although you occasionally have limited options like this…
It may be a little hard to see, but one of the choices, accepting a quest, requires Ingots, so you could not pick this option if you were playing in the free mode. As a parent I am a big fan of games that let the kids play and have a good experience before deciding if you want to pay any monthly fees.
Conclusion: The Time Tribe Is New Fangled Good Old Fashioned Fun
A successful adventure video game, like a great movie or book, must have a strong and interesting story. The Time Tribe provides a very deep, compelling and interesting story. Simply put, there is plenty to like about The Time Tribe. Play as four different characters, play on any computer, interesting story line, beautiful images, cool in game comic, time travel, learn some history and fun quests and puzzles to keep you playing and engaged. Should you give The Time Tribe a try? At a cost of $0…of course! Let the kids explore around and see if they take to the storyline and then you can decide if you want to go with one of the membership options. Who knows, your kids might discover there is more to video games than flinging birds at pigs!
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