To celebrate Caveman Week here at Antstream Arcade, we’ve come up with a list of our favourite cavemen from video game history. Rough around the edges, but all true gents at heart (kind of), here are the eight primitive men from prehistoric times who rocked our Jurassic World. If you enjoy this article, why not like our Facebook Page for more retro fun, or sign up to our mailing list, to find out more about Antstream Arcade, the new retro gaming streaming service that lets you play thousands of games, on multiple devices with just one account!
Caveman (1982) – Tomy/Grandstand
Caveman is one of a range of LED tabletop games released by Tomy and Grandstand, and they start ‘em young in this adventure from 1982. Jr. Caveman stands outside his cave, a lovely juicy dinosaur egg just a short distance from him. Only problem is, there’s a huge great fire-breathing dinosaur in the way, not to mention pesky pterodactyls overhead and an erupting volcano, spewing magma balls down on our poor lad. Fortunately the dino can be temporarily knocked out with a well-timed axe, but watch out for those pterodactyls stealing your carefully, erm, stolen, eggs.
UG! Factor: 3/5
B.C.’s Quest for Tires (1983) – Sierra On-Line/Software Projects
Strangely our primitive hero here is not named BC but Thor, and he’s especially adept at riding a stone unicycle. Unfortunately so many hazards lay in front of him that you’ll often wonder if it’s actually a lot safer, and quicker, just to walk. Thor’s friend, Cute Chick (the designers obviously couldn’t be bothered to give her a proper name) has gone and got herself captured by a hungry dinosaur, and it is up to you to help rescue her before she becomes dino food. The environment is more of a danger here, as Thor must jump over logs, navigate rivers and negotiate another spewing volcano. Out of all our favourite cavemen, Thor has the biggest nose. Not necessarily an advantage in this pre-deodorant age.
UG! Factor: 2/5
B.C. Bill (1984)– Imagine Software
Bill’s an old-fashioned sort of caveman (aren’t they all? – Ed) but he’s a romantic at heart. Glancing out across the desert plain from his literal man-cave, Bill spies several lovely cavewomen. Trained in the art of seduction, he grabs his club and sets about bashing them on the head so he can drag a select dozen or so back to his home. Thoroughly un-PC (even for 1984), Imagine’s B.C. Bill sees our primitive friend dashing back and forth trying to not only feed his inevitable brood, but also keep them safe from the perils of rampant dinosaurs. It’s not an easy job. But then who ever said the path to true love was easy?
UG! Factor: 3/5
Bonk’s Adventure (1989) – Hudson Soft
Meet an even younger caveman in Bonk, the little caveboy who despite his tender years, is on another rescue mission. This time it’s not some comely prehistoric lady, but a svelte piscine dinosaur named Princess Za, captured by King Drool, your regulation evil Tyrannosaurus Rex. Thanks to Bonk’s large, erm, bonk, he can dispose of enemies by bonking them. That’s right, here we essentially have a B.C. version of the classic head-butt, delivered to enemies with a satisfyingly springing sound. Originating on the PC Engine, Bonk was popular enough to spawn several sequels, and was sometimes known as B.C. Kid.
UG! Factor: 2/5
Chuck Rock (1991) – Virgin Games
Take a dash of Fred Flintstone, a dab of Freddie Flintoff and a whole salt-cellar worth of Nineties lad culture and you get Chuck Rock (UNGA BUNGA!), beer-bellied, wide-eyed inhabitant of one million years BC. Despite his less than wholesome appearance, Chuck (UNGA BUNGA!) is blessed with a blonde bass-playing wife (don’t ask) but there’s bad news! A local rival has kidnapped the lovely Ophelia, and Chuck (UNGA B- oh you get the idea) sets off to rescue her, with dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and more cavemen competitors awaiting our portly hero. Fortunately, some of the local wildlife is happy to lend a hand (or claw), and other than his powerful belly-butt, Chuck Rock can also chuck rocks. Who’d have guessed?
UG! Factor: 4/5
Joe & Mac (1991) – Data East
Short, tubby and with a wild look in their eyes, Joe and Mac are in a tizzy. Rival cavemen have sneaked in and stolen the women from their tribe. It’s time to get them back! As usual, it’s not that simple, as giant man-eating plants, enemy cavemen and, of course, dinosaurs, stand in their way. Fortunately Joe and Mac are agile fellows and have access to some formidable weaponry such as firebombs and boomerangs. Also known as Caveman Ninja, this colourful yet challenging arcade game is also one of the many games available on Antstream Arcade!
UG! Factor: 5/5
Prehistorik (1991) – Titus
What was it about 1991 and caveman games? Here’s another one, this time starring a bearded hairy fellow named ‘Rik (Geddit, geddit??). Unfortunately, he lacks a noble cause like Chuck; he’s just hungry. With the pantry looking conspicuously bare of dinosaur meat and chewy grubs, Rik has no choice but to venture out into the verdant world to swing his club at anything that looks vaguely edible. Dinosaurs, armour-plated rhinos, huge over-sized cavemen and – squirrels (?!) – all stand in the way of Rik and his next meal. Looks like it's time to go clubbin’.
UG! Factor: 3/5
The Flintstones: The Rescue Of Dino And Hoppy (1991) – Taito
We couldn’t leave the most famous caveman, Fred Flintstone off our list, could we? Suave, smart and funny (Really?!! – Ed), Fred is a sophisticated caveman compared to most of the others on this list, and starts this game outside his house, rather than a cave. There have been many Flintstones adaptations, from 1986’s Yabba Dabba Do to 2014’s mobile game, Bring Back Bedrock, yet the cartoon graphics of this NES game from 1991 endears us most at Antstream. And in case you missed the title, yes, it’s another rescue mission, with those loveable pets Dino and Hoppy abducted by a time-travelling zoo owner from the future. Isn’t it always the way? Cue lots of jumping and club bashing from Fred, as he attempts to locate the missing pieces of a time machine and then repair it. Told you he was sophisticated, didn’t we?
UG! Factor: 5/5