The Croods Review:If you have plans to meet The Croods this spring, you're better off getting to know them in the movie theatre.
The Croods is an animated family movie from Dreamworks. One of its main characters is Grug, a prehistoric patriarch who is terrified by the new world that's evolving beyond the mouth of his cave. Despite the bouts of paranoia he suffers through the film, Grug looks completely happy and at ease in Rovio's game adaptation of The Croods. That's because The Croods for iOS is as unimaginative and unchanging as a social farming sim gets.
The Croods opens up with Grug deciding that his family needs to learn how to hunt and gather. He begins to assemble traps so that he can catch and tame animals (which is more in the realm of agriculture, not hunting and gathering, but why nitpick about a family of cave-people that speak English). You help the Crood family do their thing by trapping animals, feeding them, taming them, and then feeding them some more so that they generate the resources that are necessary to build more elaborate traps for higher-level animals.
The Croods is essentially a run-of-the-mill monster taming/resource farming game, which is highly disappointing when you consider that it's a Rovio project based on what appears to be a pretty unique movie concept. Neither Dreamworks nor Rovio are hard-up for cash: Could neither studio come up with a more inspired idea than tapping on monsters? Even Grug lampshades the awkward game premise by pointing out how weird it is that taming and feeding animals makes them generate resources like rocks, carrots, and berries.
Worse, The Croods constantly thrusts its open palm out at the player. There is a great deal of waiting around for money and resources, but you can speed up almost any process with gems, the game's hard currency. You start with a healthy stash of gems, which is nice, but speeding up a process that takes longer than a few minutes can require forty gems or more. You'll burn through your cache in no time, and then it's time to take out Ol' Visa.