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1 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

May 1997

Setting the Scene

Welcome oh weary game players to the dawn of man. Tail of the Sun places you in a post Jurassic setting some several hundred thousands of years ago. Your mission as tribal leader is to explore this wild Earth, hunting for food, collecting Mammoth tusks, feeding your village, discovering all types of mysterious artifacts and just plain surviving.

Your goal is to ultimately construct a "Tower of Babel" with the Mammoth tusks in an effort to catch the Tail of the Sun. Of course life back then can be considered rather primitive and often brutal. On your journey you will face all kinds of challenges and hardships. Oh, one final note, the Mammoth tusks you need are usually attached to a living, breathing Mammoth that has grown quite accustomed to them...Gee, isn't caveman life a bitch?...


Good question. I will not even attempt to pigeon-hole Tail of the Sun into a particular category. Let's just say that it is primarily a game of exploration and discovery and leave it at that.


Talk about prehistoric! Besides the use of polygons for character and object rendering, the graphics are a throw-back to the pre-dawn 16-bit console era...Seriously, the graphics are nothing to write home about but they are definitely functional and are used to the best advantage for this game.

As I mentioned, all of the cave-people are polygons and are basically the same size and shape. They are all dressed in a typical Fred Flintstone style garb and share identical attributes with all of the other tribal members. The only way to tell one caveperson from another is the face paint they use. These designs are very creative to say the least and some are downright spooky. In total, I would guess there are around 30 different faces to ultimately choose from. There are also all sorts of other creatures that you will come across during your many journeys; all are rather crudely depicted, but totally recognizable.

The animation is also very simplistic for a 3-D system like the PlayStation. Yes, the landscape scrolls along very nicely and your environment is totally unrestricted, but the primitive (no pun intended) graphics used for the game should in no way tax the PSX. That being said, you are often treated to polygon breakup, dropout, pop-up and razzing. A little more attention could certainly have been given to the graphics and animation of this game. If it's the prehistoric feel the game designers were after, graphically they have succeeded big time!

Sounds and Effects

Well, the first thing I can say is, don't expect any long winded or intelligent conversations in this game, you are after all a caveperson. Your vocabulary consists of a few grunts when you slam into trees or attack other characters and assorted snoring sounds when you crash for the evening. Other note-worthy sounds include the whistle and crunch of objects as you hurl them at the enemy, a shuffling sound when you run, the splashing of water when you swim and ummm, well that's about it. Oh, there are also the sounds to match the wildlife creatures that you come across (and get to kill). Yep, seems like that wonderful Sony sound chip isn't getting a proper workout either.

The "tribal music" as the game trailer describes it, ranges from creative and innovative to downright obnoxious and grating. The music seems to play totally at random and starts and stops for no apparent reason...except of course for the tune that plays each time you leave from your village. At first this tune was rather catchy with it's deep bottom end and scratchy sounding interludes, but after listening to it 4 or 5 hundred times I almost feel like going postal!!


Well I sort of trashed the graphics, sound and music for Tail of the Sun, so do I keep the streak alive and trash the whole game??....In two words..."no way". Taken individually, the graphics and sounds effects might make any avid 32-bit gamer gag, but when put together with the actual gameplay everything just seems to fall into place nicely. The game after all really isn't about flashy graphics or cutting edge sound effects, it's about exploration and using your imagination. That being said, I will attempt to describe the game for you.

Tail of the Sun starts you off with three characters to choose from. In my game it was one man and two women. You begin the game at your village and can travel in any direction that pleases you. Your immediate vicinity is located in the prairies. Ample food and wildlife can be found here. This is the place to master your tracking skills and find out what each food item is good for. To the north is the frozen tundra of the Arctic, far south and a bit to the west is the barren dessert. To your east and west there are mountainous regions, and all around this there are rivers and oceans. Okay, let's start a sample journey traveling northeast...

The first thing you will notice is that the character is somewhat difficult to control and get used to at first, but after a few moments you iron out the quirks and it's off to work you go. Pressing the select button will bring up an options menu. From here you can look at a crudely drawn depiction of your body broken down into six key categories: Brain-to track your intelligence level, Swim-indicates lung capacity for swimming, Hands-arm strength for hunting, Propagate-your reproductive capability, Jump-leaping ability and finally Run-your ability to run down prey. There are six different colors that each body part can be; from a chalky blue, meaning this part needs some major help on up to a fully developed body part depicted by the color red. Strewn all around you are food items that look like they spilled out of a box of "Lucky Charms" cereal. Each item you eat will have a positive effect on one of the six body parts. Some items will give you a major boost or just slightly increase your capabilities. Learning which is which is up to you to discover, but just to be on the safe side eat everything in site! It now begins to rain, complete with thunderclaps (ohh, another sound effect!). You decide to run a bit and seek some shelter. While running you notice the terrain is beginning to get a bit "hilly" and you hear the sound of the ocean off in the distance. After several minutes you notice that it is beginning to get dark. Evening is setting in complete with visions of sugar plums, bananas and other assorted fruits dancing about in the sky. Things are also getting a bit tough to see, but you detect a bit of movement in front of you and decide to give chase. It's a monkey...yes! Fresh monkey meat for the tribe!! Off you go punching and swinging at the poor little monkey. You manage to connect a few shots when all of a sudden you fall asleep! The monkey mauls you and the game starts you back at the village with a new tribe leader to select...

Trust me, this is a very, very brief glimpse into this game. There are all kinds of things to do. Climb mountains, discover caves, swim the ocean, discover lost civilizations, cross the desert, discover alien bones...the list just goes on and on. The real premise to the game is to build a tower into the sky made of Mammoth tusks in an effort to touch the Tail of the Sun. To get to this point though, you must develop you tribe. You do this by bringing back food and nurturing you own body which is just an extension to your people. As you get smarter, so does your village and with intelligence comes the creation of new and more powerful weapons. A powerful weapon is needed to defeat the giant Mammoth and obtain his food and tusks. As you play the game your character is either killed or becomes old and dies. The next tribe member you select retains all of the previous characters attributes, and so the journey continues... As you can see, caring for the tribe is provides you with fresh stock!

Well, to wrap things up, this game will most definitely NOT appeal to everyone. Fast reflexes or split second decision making is really not called for here. Instead, you are presented with a rather time-consuming, relaxing, ethereal journey through a prehistoric world and a life that continues to unfold and develop in front of your eyes the further you get into the game.

Value for Money

Hey, the game is literally generations long! There are lot's of things to see and do and mutliple ending depending on which body part is the most developed by games could easily waste away your weekend playing this game without realizing it. If you like different, you got it right here. If however you like fast placed, in your face action though I would caution you to rent might not see the appeal here.





Artdink should be applauded for creating a game as fresh and original as this and Sony should be commended for releasing the game in the states. It's cute, amusing, funny, addictive and just plain different from anything else on the market today. In the end, this game could best be described as the ultimate Seinfeld episode...It's a funny little story about nothing!








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