The Chop Chop series is becoming one of the iPhone’s most interesting original franchises. These instantly-recognizable, oval-headed characters with stubby arms and legs have recently branched out into tennis, soccer, and hockey games, but Chop Chop Caveman moves the series back a bit. Specifically, to the Stone Age.
You play as a caveman who dreams of meat– it’s nice when characters in games have simple, relatable goals. Your quest for meat takes you through jungle, boneyard, and volcano levels, with 20 in total. Through running, jumping, and a bit of light combat, you have to survive to the end and pick up as many brightly-colored pebbles along the way for a high score on OpenFeint.
Chop Chop Caveman starts to fall apart when it runs into the Chop Chop series’ trademark control scheme. Instead of using an onscreen D-pad, Chop Chop Caveman requires taps to dash and jump. Like in Chop Chop Ninja, holding down on the bottom of the screen moves you forward or backward, and tapping anywhere higher up will jump. You can also double-tap to dash, and ground pound or charge enemies to turn them into delicious meat.
We found that through the course of the game, we could never really make our caveman respond consistently. We often died because he’d dash when we wanted him to walk or jump. Asking Gamerizon to change their Chop Chop control scheme is like pestering Apple to add buttons to the iPhone: It’s not going to happen. As a result, Chop Chop Caveman isn’t nearly as good as it could be.
We loved Chop Chop Caveman’s visuals, which are bright and expressive. A large cast of dinosaur bad guys fills the game with a fun personality. And the occasional environmental puzzles were a treat, even if they didn’t stump us for long.
If Chop Chop Caveman had a better control scheme, we could easily recommend picking it up for a few hours of breezy platforming. But with its clumsy controls, Chop Chop Caveman just feels primitive, and we’re not able to endorse a 2D platformer that trips over its own feet.