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Games That Defined Me -- Caveman Games


Maybe you've heard of this game under a different name on a different system (Caveman Ugh-lympics) but to me, it has always been and will forever be Caveman Games. The premise is pretty simple, all games back them were pretty much that way. This game falls into the category of the old Epyx Olympic Games series that was mad popular on the Commodore 64.

A few of you should remember this screen fondly

The game revolves around six different athletes (all six could be used if you were playing multiplayer on the NES) competing in six different events, which I'll get to in a little bit.

The Athletes


The girly one.


The smart one.


The ugly one.


The cool one.


The best one.


The quiet one.

The Events


The name should say it all, but I'll spell it out for you anyways. Its one caveman versus another in an American Gladiator style battle. The object, hit the other person until they either fall off the stage or suffer enough damage to lose.

At the beginning of the match there is the "intimidation phase" where your caveman flails about like an unstrapped convict in the electric chair (all from you wailing on the controller). The point to this is to try and push your opponent as far into their side of the screen as possible so its that much easier to have them fall off.

When the match starts the "clubbing phase" its game on bitches! You could do one of 3 attacks, a small jab attack that could dizzy your opponent, a overhead smash that did massive damage but left you wide open if you missed, and a low hit where you smash the opponent in the shins and cause them to hop in pain to the edge of the screen. Best part about Caveman Games, is that you can cheat in almost ANY game, or as in Russia, the game cheats YOU! It's the latter on this game thanks to the ledges breaking and falling from underneath you if you get too close. Don't forget that you can also try to psyke the opponent out by pointing and doing the whole "what's that?!?" thing, and they'll sometimes fall for it!!!

Dino Race

The caveman equivalent of hurdles. You start the level mounted on your dinosaur. When its time to start running you coax your dinosaur to start running the right way, and as he gains a decent speed, attempt to hurdle the rocks that are in the way, if not, the dinosaur falls flat on his face with all of his limbs splayed out and you fall off (ala Excitebike). Better get back on and get back to the race!

You are permitted the ability to smack your dinosaur in the head (just like hitting the nitrous), though don't do it too often cause all of those blows to the head make the dino confused and it will cause him to shift directions without you wanting him to.

Dino Vault

Haha, the best thing about this event is the way you raise and lower the height for the vault. This is accomplished by holding a steak on a pole over the T-Rex's head and teasing him with it until the desired height is reached.

There's no cheating on this event, though sometimes you'd find yourself fucking up on purpose to see what punishment awaits you for doing so. The consequences are dire if you miss right over the T-Rex's head...damn this was a fun event.

Fire Start

The second best event in the whole game, though it did take a while to get used to the whole control scheme. The goal is simple, be the first to start a fire.

You are given two sticks that you have to rub together to produce the sparks to catch the kindling on fire. That's not all to the event, you have to blow on the sparks when they hit the kindling in order to make the fire grow, too shallow of breaths with an extended exhale = hyperventilation. That's not all though, the opponent in this level and you are allowed at any time to reach over with one of your sticks and whack the fuck out of the other player. This generally allows you a good 5 seconds of uninhibited fire starting.

Mate Toss

The best fucking concept in a game, ever! This event starts off with you grabbing your "mate" and dragging them across the ground until you reach the staging area. Much like the hammer toss in the olympics spin speed and angle are your best friends. This event is responsible for many of my D-Pad callouses on my thumb thanks to the unforgiving NES D-Pad and the fact you have to actually make circles with your thumb to build up speed.

Once you have the proper speed to send your mate flying, you have to then select the angle before letting go. Upon letting loose your mate proceeds to sail across the screen in slow motion in a nice ballistic arc. Upon landing, your mate then will size up how good you did and proceed to either give you a thumbs up or be pissed at you. I especially love how the person you toss bounces when they hit the ground. Also, Destructoid exclusive!!! Crudla was the first video game lesbian! Her mate was a woman, do the math!!!

Saber Race

Great concept, but a little too much like the dino race. Starting the race, the point is to not finish as a snack for the hungry saber-toothed tiger just a few feet behind you. Running along, you have to avoid the puddles of water on the ground from slowing you down or from stepping on the various cacti lying about. Best part of this race is being slightly behind your opponent and shoving him behind you into the waiting maw of the beast slightly to your rear. Good event, but not my favorite.

Graphics & Gameplay

The graphics were surprisingly well done considering that this was a port of a computer game. The animations are really well done, but what can you say, it's an NES game so there's bound to be some really grainy sprites and crude looking backgrounds, but its not bad enough to draw any points away from what mattered...the gameplay.

This game was just so simple to learn and so damn fun to play when you had friends over to the house. Did I mention the 6 player alternating tournaments you could do? That was unheard of in the old NES days. It's controls were typical of your Track 'N Field type of button mashing game, but it was still fun...damn I miss the old days, don't you?

Well, regardless of whether or not you can fondly remember playing this game, you have to give it credit for having an original idea. Sure, caveman games such as Joe & Mac, Bonk's Adventure, Big Nose the Caveman, may be in the same genre we're just lucky that this wasn't another of the run-of-the-mill platformers that caveman games became synonymous with. Thanks for taking a trip down retro-lane with me this evening. I hope you all enjoyed reading. Let me know what you all think.
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About Excrementoone of us since 5:39 PM on 07.11.2007

Hey robots, I'm Excremento, but you cool and old skool Dtoiders know that already. I've been a videogamer for as long as I can remember. I have well over 27 years of video game experience that I rely on daily, and a near encyclopedic memory of gaming starting with the Commodore 64 and ending with whatever is the current hotness.

Author of The Ten Commandments for Community Bloggers

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