Some Thoughts On Tribe: Primitive Builder (Demo)

Reunite the tribe or avoid it at all costs?

When I finally sat down to write a review of the time I spent in Tribe: Primitive Builder- both in the demo and the playtest shortly before- I realized that I really don't have all that much to say. Well, scratch that, I had shit to say, but I couldn't think of anything praiseworthy. So instead, the most significant positive for the game and what I experienced is an appreciation for getting the demo out to folks who have eagerly awaited the game since it was first announced in 2019.

(I'll refer to the game as TPB to save my fingers.)

If you've played Medieval Dynasty, you'll understand what you're in store for with TPB. Both titles are, to Hashtag Survival, defined as Lifestyle Survival titles. This subgenre typically focuses on the simulation of life in a specific period or place or as a particular person. They may have mechanics that feature in traditional survival games but are typically more about the general management of day-to-day life. That description outlines the gameplay loop of the game- accomplishing tasks & exploring to create a village for your fellow tribe members to live & work.

As presented thus far, there is good in the TPB demo. You won't be stuck in constant crashes; things worked for me just fine; you can follow the game's intended path to the end of the demo with no difficulty. They also allow you a fair amount of time & freedom to progress and experience a good amount of available content. (This is as opposed to Voidtrain, which cut off the demo precisely when I felt something was worth doing.)

There's a lot of nitpicking that can be made quality-wise, but it's easy to forgive at this juncture since the game is in development and this is a demo. The voiceovers are a bit cringe, and the sound effects oscillate between being bad and missing from specific animations/abilities entirely. The fishing was terrible and could be better executed. Dee described the game as "...a treadmill of tasks that have to be completed. They're just check marks on a list and don't feel engaging beyond that. It's a weird feeling of disconnect."

Maybe these issues only apply to this tutorial-ridden demo version of the game. It's hard to say. I don't think the game is complete shit or that you shouldn't try it if it becomes available. As always, enjoyment is in the eye of the beholder. You can pop into their Steam discussion boards or their official Discord server and see a ton of people praising the game as the best demo of Next Fest. I can see this being an excellent pick-up for folks who enjoy building, or want a more laid-back & exploration driven survival simulation experience.

After years of waiting and subsisting on inconsistent communication from the developers, I thought the game was dead several times. However, after spending a week with the demo during Next Fest, I can't say I find any signs of life.

Did you try Tribe: Primitive Builder during Steam Next Fest? I would love to hear your thoughts- so drop into the comments or our Discord!