Jack of all Tribes is a time management game developed by Divo Games. On each stage you have to reach a number of goals while keeping your villagers happy and fed.
Once you reach said goals, the stage ends, you get some points based on how long it took you to finish said stage, and you move on. While there are other games with a very similar premise, Jack of all Tribes sets itself apart with humor and whacky scenarios.
The jokes start with the name of the game itself; a play on the phrase Jack of all Trades, you take the role of Jack and you have to manage Tribes. The rather "out there" premise is that Jack was minding his own business in a theme park, when he decides to hop on a ride themed around cavemen and dinosaurs.
Little did he know that the ride would end with him traveling to a place filled with real cavemen and dinosaurs (it is unclear if this is the past, a parallel dimension or a fever dream), all waiting for him to lead them.
From there on the levels will be regularly interrupted by Rainbow, a local woman, trying to give tutorials while being interrupted by Jack making jokes and pop culture references.
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To keep with the light hearted mood, the art style is very colorful and filled with funny and even cute animations. Other than colorful, the game is also very detailed, particularly when you first make a building and you see its different parts being built.
The expressions of the cavemen are very well realized, which is important since this is how they show how they feel and what they want. There are also small portions of the game that are about item finding, and the art for these is some of the best the game has to offer. In the visual department, the game more than delivers.
The heart and soul of the gameplay revolve around managing your villagers, instructing them to either construct structures or gather resources like in free tycoon games. It's here that the game takes on an almost Sims-like quality: The real challenge lies in handling these villagers.
Keeping a close watch on their activities is crucial as they have a tendency to abandon their produce once they're done with the task. They don't bother taking it to your city hall. Thus, you find yourself constantly issuing new orders for them to pick up their produce. While this isn't exactly a hassle since you can queue multiple orders at once, it certainly keeps you alert and engaged.
These cavemen also have needs that they want fulfilled, and they grow in number as time passes. At first, it is simply food, although it is odd that the villagers don’t simply eat the prepared food, you have to click on it as if issuing another order. Same goes for all their wishes, be it taking a bath or having some margaritas.
Yes, these cavemen love margaritas.
While organizing and managing the villagers might be the core gameplay, it is not the only challenge. At times, you will be invaded by other hairy and highly aggressive cavemen that want to destroy what you have built.
Not to worry, a few clicks will keep them at bay, and you can even have your own personal dino bodyguard to take care of that for you. Something a dinosaur can’t help you with, is the constant houses on fire that you have to manage.
The logic behind it is never explained; are your villagers setting the fires by accident, are they spontaneously combusting or is it an act of God? Nevertheless, only your very own villagers can douse the flames, as long as they aren’t on fire themselves.
Another game mode that appears at times is that of item finding in a picture. While not exactly challenging, it is a nice change of pace and you can even unlock upgrades through it for your city building gameplay. So it is more than a welcome addition.
Jack of all trades has the exterior of a typical time management game, but it finds its place among them with its unique humor and charm, and it is well worth your time.
If you enjoy these free games, you will love this list of our 10 Best Time Management Games!