Joe and Mac / Caveman Ninja

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a game by Data East
Genre: Platformer
Platforms: Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES, NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 7.9/10, based on 12 reviews, 14 reviews are shown
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Prehistoric Games, Joe and Mac Series, Joe & Mac Games

It took awhile, but Joe and his cave- buddy Mac have finally made it to the Genesis. If you played the arcade original or Data East's fun SNES version in 1992, you'll recognize Takara's enjoyable, but familiar, peek into the prehistoric past.

Prehistoric Pranks

Fans of the SNES game will like this Joe & Mac, which has very similar game play. Armed with various weapons, our two shirtless heroes hop-n- bop through five zones of prehistoric wilderness looking for their kidnapped cave babes.

ProTip: Don't bop these Pterodactyls until they're positioned to drop their Eggs onto solid ground.

Your projectiles fly faster than they did on the SNES, but you'll wish the boys could run to evade monsters or grab the special items before they disappear. Still, you'll have a pretty easy time of it, especially in the entertaining two-player mode.

You'll probably recognize the sounds and graphics, too. The familiar music bounces happily along to keep the mood light, and the sound effects are as comical as they were on the SNES. The game has the same bright technicolor backgrounds, though there's more multi-scrolling, and more enemies are on the screen at one time.

  • This Mammoth throws rocks OVER you, so don't jump up into them. When you knock off his trunk, he quickly charges.
  • Bounce on the fish coughed up by this sea monster, and fling your weapons at the top of its head.

Ancient History

If you admired the previous versions, you'll get a kave kick out of this one. On the other hand, if you wondered what all the fuss was about when these lightweight cartoon cavers first hit the screen, you'll ask why Takara created such a similar game. It's fun, but this style of game is gradually going the way of the dinosaur.

Download Joe and Mac / Caveman Ninja


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

  • Manufacturer: Data East
  • Machine: Super NES
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: 1992
  • No. of Levels: 11
  • Theme: Action


Joe and Mac are two cave dudes with a problem. A tribe of neanderthal nerds invaded their camp and scared off all of the cave babes. Your mission is to rescue the lonely cave babes and get them back home safely. You can go alone, or team up for more firepower. Along the way, you will encounter a number of dinos and other unnatural disasters. You must go through 11 levels before getting to the real source of the problems in the world. The U.S. National Video Game Team is here with maps, tips and strategies that will let you play like a pro and survive this prehistoric adventure. You will get the first half of the game this time, then we will complete the game in the next issue - only in Electronic Gaming Monthly!


  1. There is a boomerang in the egg above you. Use a Pterodactyl or another player to boost you up to get to the egg.
  2. Kill all of the enemies on the screen and then crack open the egg. A friendly Pterodactyl will take you to Bonus One.
  3. You can get the Fire weapon if you jump on the purple Pterodactyl, then jump at the icon.
  4. If you defeat the baby Tyrannosaur, you will get a Large Meat.


The mother Tyrannosaur is very upset and you have to deal with it. Stay to the far left to avoid the cavemen she spits out. Move to the right, as she lunges at you from time to time!


  1. Jump down to get the Fire icon and use it on the Boss.
  2. Be sure to kill the fish before jumping over.
  3. Go as far to the right as possible to make sure that the water spout on the left is not seen. A friendly Pterodactyl will take you go to Bonus Two.
  4. Watch out for rolling cavemen.
  5. Move fast. Jump onto the ledge with a short leap for safety.


To beat the Boss, walk all the way to the right and keep hitting it (total safe spot dudes!)


  1. Be sure to kill all of the Pterodactyls that fly by here.
  2. If you knock down all of the beehives on the tress below, a hidden 1-Up and two pieces of meat will appear as a bonus for you.


This full grown Pterodactyl is really mad because you have been picking on its babies. It will drop eggs that hatch into more babies as one means of attack. It will also dash across the screen at high speeds. Your best bet is to stay on the ground and fire Boomerangs or Bones as it flies overhead. Watch out for those wind gusts, too!


If you have a key by the time you get to the first blue spot on the map, then you will be able to destroy the evil gate and gain access to the super bonus room. Keys can be obtained by discovering the bonus rounds in each level with a red egg. In this bonus room, you must catch all of the meat. A 1-Up will appear, but you should not catch it. When it hits the ground, it will disappear and four more 1- Ups will appear! Go for it!


  1. Stay on the top ledges to avoid the flying fish easier.
  2. Be sure to crack the red egg when there are no enemies on the screen and the friendly Pterodactyl will bring you to Bonus Three!
  3. Watch out for the cavemen that are driving primitive go-carts, jump over them and grab the steaks above!


All you really have to do is stay in the left hand corner and shoot out Boomerangs or Stone Wheels. You will get hit every once in a while, but you will win.


Get a second key from the bonus round in level two and you cart open up this evil gate to find another bonus round. In this round, you must make a choice of which egg to crack open. Inside, you will find all types of goodies. The egg on the far right has a 1-Up in it, so this may be the most favourable choice.


  1. The main obstacle in this level is the avalanche of falling rocks from above. You must guide your Pterodactyl through the area and avoid the dangerous rocks.


Fire or Stone Wheels should polish off this overgrown sea monster. It will spit fish out at you and lunge at you from under the water. It is very weak and will not be a tough Boss to beat. Be careful, sometimes it will return your shots at you threefold.


  1. Get the large meat to fill up your life.
  2. Watch out for these rock throwers, use Stone Wheels to take care of them.
  3. Make this jump slowly, or else!
  4. Be sure to crack this egg before leaving the area.
  5. If you cracked the egg, a 1- Up will appear. Use the cavemen to help you.


Use Boomerangs or Stone Wheels on it for the best results. After much damage is done, boulders will fall from the sky. You can stand between them as you finish the mean, old Mastodon off.

  • NES - Data East
  • Theme: Action
  • Available: 1992
  • No. of Levels: 5

Those lovable Neanderthals are back on your NES! Choose to play as Joe or Mac and set off to rescue the gorgeous cave babes. Watch out for pesky pterodactyls, stone-tossing dudes and incredibly detailed bosses as they would love to finish you off! Collect power-ups that include hammers, arrowheads and stone wheels. Five levels of mayhem add to the excitement that only Joe & Mac can dish out.

People say:


It's tough to judge this new 8-Bit entry next to its bigger 16-Bit cousin because of the differences in graphics and play control. But the overall premise remains valid and the action somewhat enjoyable. Many of the sections were tedious to maneuver and the game way too short, but interesting enough to be playable.


Data East must be given credit for continuing to support the rapidly dying NES. Joe and Mac is a very good game considering the limitations of the system. Although the game is short and a bit on the easy side, the younger audience will thoroughly enjoy this version. Nice backgrounds!


Joe and Mac on 8-Bit, oh joy! Why bring out an inferior version of a 16-bit game? The graphics are OK for 8-bit and feature parallax scrolling backgrounds and large bosses. The game play is good but the buttons should be reversed, because powering up your weapon and jumping is very difficult. A short but tough cart.


Somehow the appeal just isn't here. Joe and Mac is a really cute game, but it isn't the same. The graphics need to be a little smoother for a grand rating, but it will suffice to say that Joe and Mac is a good game for kids. I cannot see a serious gamer getting a real charge out this version.

  • Manufacturer: Data East
  • Machine: Super NES

Hidden Levels - In Level 8 of Joe & Mac, there is a red egg in the middle of the level. Kill all of the small dinosaurs before you crack the egg and you will be flown to a hidden bonus level in which you can power-up your weapon and collect a key to get you in the blue dots on the map. Also, in Level 9, there will be a red egg in the beginning of the level. Crack it and you will be taken to another hidden level.

  • Manufacturer: Data East
  • # of players: 1 or 2
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: April 1994
  • Number of Levels: 18
  • Theme: Action

The classic caveman game is back with better graphics and more dino challenges. In this adventure, you must find the seven Rainbow stones to build a bridge and retrieve the village's crown. The evil prehistoric Gork is awaiting you at his stone castle where he is hiding the sacred crown. Fight alone or with a friend to become the hero.

Joe & Mac are two cave dudes that gotta find their girl-friends - they've been kidnapped by evil neanderthals. Pick up your stone axes as you set off on a prehistoric rescue mission. Braving a wild and wacky world filled with flowing lava, rock slides, and more primordial monsters than you can shake a club at. Its true arcade action, with big, coin-op style graphics and the baddest two-player option ever.

This game offers more than the Super NES version in that it is actually closer to the arcade version! However, I wasn't exactly the greatest fan of this game in the first place, but for die-hard fans, check this one out!

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Available: October 1992
  • No. of Levels: 5
  • Theme: Action

Joe and Mac attack!!

The two cave dudes with an attitude are back in 8-Bit form on the NES! With them are the Neanderthal knuckleheads that have stolen the cave women! To get them back, you must go it alone as either Joe or Mac. On your way, there will be many obstacles to overcome. The levels include tons of pterodactyls, moving bushes, rolling rocks, baby dinos and incredible bosses. In fact, there are two bosses for each level! While running through each stage, you can use your weapon to get rid of any foes that may be unfortunate enough to get in your way.

Starting out with the stone hammer, you can take out enemies with ease. But, as the action increases, you will need to increase your weapon power. Find cavemen that carry large eggs. When you hit them, they will drop a weapon. The arrowhead is the weakest and has a short range. The boomerang is fast and moderately powerful. The stone wheel can go long distances and is a very powerful weapon. When you defeat the second boss of each level, you will free one of the cave babes. You must hurry! They are depending on you to save them!

Many of the Super Famicom games are just rehashes of older Famicom games. Not so for Joe and Mac (Caveman Ninjas in the U.S.). This unique soft starts with a clean slate and ends up with a comical adventure involving cavemen as the main characters. It's a great 2 player game with humorous animations and really huge dinosaurs as enemies. Very colorful and easily one of the best SF games in quite a while.

Survive The Stone Age

We're back with the second half of the strategy on Joe & Mac. Look for even more detailed strategy in this section! Our two adventurous cave dudes were last seen in the icy caverns battling a ferocious mastodon.

We'll guide you through the last half of the game, teach you a few ways to max out your lives and provide shortcuts right to the last level! The cave babes are lost and lonely and desperately need your help. Check out these awesome maps and techniques to help rescue those poor little babes.

Welcome to the evil gate

In this round, you must crack one of the eggs open. Be sure to crack the third egg from the top to get a 1-up. Try to crack two eggs at once by using the Stone Wheel!

Boss eight

Boss Eight is a big and nasty Tyrannosaur that really means business. Use the Stone Wheel to cause the most damage to the Boss. It will spit rocks and cavemen at you, so be on your guard when it opens its mouth. It will strike at you on the ground; use your club to get in a few good hits.

Boss ten

You will be attacked by a dinosaur skeleton. All you have to do is hit it in the head with your weapon. It will break into many pieces and fall towards the ground. Crouch in the lower left hand corner for safety. After you cause significant damage to the Boss, its head will detach and strike at you. Just jump over and hit it from below when it returns to the body.

This big Tyrannosaur is about the same as the previous bosses, but a lot stronger. The best weapon to use is the Stone Wheel because of its strength.

Tired of the rat race? Want to go back to a simpler time? Pick up Joe & Mac by Data East and start clubbing away on your NES. You'll be transported back through the time of NES prehistory.

A Berry Long Time Ago...

Joe was out hunting his dinner when a pack of scheming savages ransacked his pad and stole his woman, Mac. With axe in hand, he went out to conquer the side-scrolling prehistoric terrains in search of his cave babe.

Predatory Playing

Don't think the Neanderthal world is hassle free. Joe must single-handedly conquer all kinds of roaring reptilians, including Baby Pteranodons, Archaeopteryx, Zephyrosaurus, Helirock Bombs (a helicopter that drops bombs), and more. Each of the five stages has two terrains to conquer and two Lords of the Landscape to beat.

ProTip: To beat the first Lord, stand at the right of the screen. When he spits his boulders, jump over them just before they reach your feet. Then jump up and throw your axe as he backs away.

This game tests your patience more than your ability. The levels take no time to run through. Your opponents are like the terrain -- sparse. As for the boss 'saurs, they have distinct, predictable patterns and they move slowly. However, they have double the life energy you have. For every hit, you lose one life bar, but it takes two hits to make their bars go down. Also, you have only three lives and no continues.

To beat the second Lord, avoid the rocks and small 'saurs that he spits. Throw your weapon at his nose when his mouth is open. You need to be near his face to get your hits in.

A Mac Attack

To combat these monstrosities, you have a few tools of the Neanderthal trade. Besides your high jump, you start out with a stone axe. However, when you conquer foes, you can collect their discarded weapons -- Flints, Boomerangs, Fire, and Stone Wheels. You can also build your strength by not skipping meals. If your enemies aren't dropping weapons, they may drop food. Chow down to restore your health bar.

  • Don't pick up a Boomerang when it's dropped by a conquered enemy. This evolutionary tool is useless against the Lords of the Landscapes.
  • The spitting, man-eating plants take several hits to kill. Don't get in their face, or you'll be prehistory. Instead, shoot from an opposing ledge.

Although colorful, J&M's graphics are prehistoric. The flat backgrounds and sprites don't make you want to club your way through this game. As for the music, it's not rock 'n' roll. Instead, you get rock-splitting clinks and clanks.

Prehistoric Progress

Joe & Mac doesn't help the NES climb Darwin's ladder to new evolutionary heights. Its basic game play will probably keep beginning players in front of the fire, but more advanced gamers will want to evolve to greater challenges. Joe & Mac is a good game on the lowest end of the food chain.

Nerd-bashing has been going on since the dinosaur days -- just ask cave-dudes Joe and Mac. They know from first hand experience the devastating aftermath of nerd-bashing -- nerd revenge!

Yes, the cave-nerds are having the last geeky chuckle 'cause they crept into Joe and Mac's camp and scared off all the Cave Babes. There's only one thing to do now -- grab a club and scour the countryside.

Team Neanderthal

Not only are Joe and Mac handsome fellows, you get the pleasure of enjoying both of their mugs at the same time. Yup, Joe and Mac is one of the few, new side scrolling SNES titles with a two player buddy system. Even if you're a "lone wolf” by nature and prefer to tackle the video world alone, it's always nice to have the option to take along a friend.

Another groovy game-play option is the 2 Player Super Game, which enables you to either compete or cooperate in the search for the Cave Babes. There's also a Mode selection for skill levels: Easy, Normal, and Hard. The only detectable difference between the Modes is that you're allowed the most continues in Easy (3) and the least in Hard (2).

ProTip: Stay to the far left of the prehistoric sword-fish and blast them as they jump out of the water.

My, What Big Teeth You Have

Life is brutal outside the safety of one's cave. Joe and Mac learn a hard and fast lesson in self defense as they make their way through three four-part stages covering everything from icy subterranean caverns to red hot volcanic wastelands. Keep an eye out for dinosaur eggs: crack the right one open and a Pink Pterodactyl carries you off to one of six Bonus Stages. If you're a really shrewd gamer, you may even discover a few secret stages.

Bonus stage Pterodactyls won't carry you off to a bonus stage unless all enemies have been destroyed and/or are off the screen.

You encounter exactly what you'd expect in the wilds of prehistory: dinosaurs, dinosaurs, and more dinosaurs. Some are big, some are small, some swim, some fly, and some even cry. There's also an abundance of ill mannered fellow cave dwellers who, apparently, would rather hunt Joe and Mac than dinosaurs for dinner.

  • Don't waste time trying to knock the beehives down in Level Two. Take a few stings and make a "beeline" to the top of the tree.
  • The Boomerang is the best all around weapon.

Prehistoric Artillery

Speaking of dinosaurs and belligerent cavemen, that brings us to the topic of weapons. What else would cavemen carry other than the infamous wooden club? For your combat pleasure they carry plenty more than just an overgrown twig. By cracking open dinosaur eggs, Joe and Mac can power up their clubs so that they shoot Bones, Boomerangs, Fire, and the world's greatest invention...Wheels! Once you collect all the power ups possible they're yours to keep, and you can switch ammo with a tap on the Select button.

Stay to the far left of the screen and use the boomerang weapon to destroy the wooly mammoth boss.

Caveman Athletics

Now that you know J & M have cool clubs and power-ups, the question is how well can they use them, and do they look good doing it! The answer to both is "yes." J & M can swing, jump, squat, and turn on a dime.

Use the wheel weapon in the hot lava stage. Not only will the wheels roll up hill, they can also destroy boulders.

The graphics are in full technicolor bloom, including the background scenes which are as crisp as movie matte paintings.

When compared to the arcade version, however, there are a few things missing. Joe and Mac can't perform the cool swinging elbow-jab move that they use in the arcade game, and they don't have the variety of facial expressions. The stage bosses have an annoying habit of reappearing albeit in different colors. However, the bits that were lost in the translation are all so minor, they don't really take much, if anything, away from the game.

  • If you lose a life and your spirit begins to float skyward, move towards solid ground. Otherwise, when your additional life kicks in and you fall back to earth over shaky footing, you may lose another life.
  • When the lizard-creature rolls himself into a tiny ball and hurts himself into the air, move to the far left or right of the screen; he always falls towards the center of the screen.

Fun in the Ancient Sun

Joe and Mac is looking pretty strong coming out of the SNES starting gates. Although it's not a super intense action/adventure, it has a solid foundation of great graphics, easy game-play, lots of levels, and rockin' tunes which make it a fun game, especially for two-person play. Join the prehistoric "club" and take a peek into the past with Joe and Mac.

Meet Joe & Mac - two crazy cavemen dudes out to romp around the land! Joe and Mac must travel through the brightly colored lands to save Joe's girlfriend whose been held prisoner by a dinosaur. Battle the strange enemies and bosses to save her. A 2 player option makes it even more fun!

Prepare to get down and dirty with two of the hottest cave dudes ever seen! Also known as Caveman Ninja in the arcades, the Super NES version will be called Joe and Mac. The game itself however, will be exactly the same. Way back in the past, when men could hardly start fires and women were dragged around by their hair, there lived two extremely cool dudes, named Joe and Mac.

They are enjoying their days of dinosaur demolition derby, hang gliding on pterodactyls, making stick figures on cave walls and playing tag with Tyranosauruses, when their enjoyment is halted by a wild bunch of neanderthal nerds who suddenly march into their camp. There is one slight problem with these nerds: THEIR BREATHS STINK. This odorous problem makes every cavewom-en in the camp leave, despite the many dangers and dinosaurs that lurk about the land.

As there are no cavewomen left in the camp, Joe and Mac get bored with their games and decide to look for them. There is only one way to get them back, though. You must go out, find them and drag them home. When you start the game you are armed with only the power of the large club which you possess. However, this club is very weak, and its reach is short. Therefore, you have to get close to the enemies if you want to hit them. Then, after you hit them, they usually hit you back because in that age, the men were men and could take a lot of punishment.

Do not worry, though, all hope is not lost. You will find many power-ups along the way. These will let you attack the enemy from a safe distance. You will find them in many strange places that require you to stand on top of pterodactyls, or on the heads of neanderthal nerds. In the game, four main weapons exist. These weapons are fire, bones, boomerangs and wheels. The power-ups and the weapons are found in eggs that are located along the way. If you destroy the red egg with no one on the screen, a bird will come and carry you away.

The best part about this game is the two player mode. There are two types of two player simultaneous games. In one, you cannot hit each other. In the other, you can kill each other, and get on top of tall cliffs by standing on another's head. When you fight the boss, there are two things that you can gain. One involves beating the boss and getting to the next level, and the other is getting kisses from the beautiful cavewomen in bikinis. In order to get a kiss, you need to kill a boss and win an X. The player who hits the most bosses, earns the kisses.

The levels in this game are filled with a variety of colors and multi-layered scrolling. There are two specific types of levels, though. The first type uses horizontal side scrolling, while the other uses vertical up and down scrolling.

In the vertical levels, there is not much you can do other than keep flipping up. Yet, for the side scrolling levels, there are many obstacles that you must get past such as: drop-offs that you have to jump over, flames that unpredictably shoot out of the ground, icy paths which mak stopping difficult, small platforms that require precise jumps, gruesome enemies that try to make a quick meal out of you and pesky dinosaur end bosses. These bosses are huge critters as they take up most of the screen, and require tons of hits to defeat. As you can see from the photos, your journey will take you over many weird types of terrain, one of which puts you inside a dinosaur!

Snapshots and Media

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

See Also

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Chuck Rock
In Chuck Rock you must guide Chuck Rock through five stages of prehistoric pitfalls and perils in order to rescue his wife Ophilia from the clutches of Gary Gritters.