Joe & Mac (ジョーとマック 戦え原始人, Joe & Mac: Tatakae Genshijin, lit. "Joe & Mac: Fighting Primitive Men"), also known as Caveman Ninja, is a 1991 platform game released for the arcades by Data East. It was later adapted for the Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Amiga and PC.
The game stars the green-haired Joe and the blue-haired Mac, cavemen who battle through numerous prehistoric levels using, weapons such as boomerangs, bones, fire, flints, electricity, stone wheels, and clubs. The objective of the game is to rescue group of girls who were kidnapped by a rival tribe of cavemen. The game featured a health system by which the player loses health over a period of time apart from in boss battles. A two player mode is available in which both characters could hurt each other.
The original arcade version had the distinction of allowing the player to select between different routes at the end of a boss battle. Also, after defeating the final boss, the players can choose between three exits, each one leading to a slightly different ending sequence.
The game was ported to many systems, many of which dropped the Caveman Ninja name and simply referred to the game as Joe & Mac.
Some of the final levels were excluded from the Amiga version, while the MS-DOS port is the most accurate home version. The Mega Drive/Genesis version follows in arcade accuracy with only minor downgrades in graphics and sound, resulting into the most accurate console version.
The Super NES version is a reworked game which features an overworld map used to choose the levels (unlike other versions all of them have to be played), which were longer, plus some bonus stages (either in the levels or out in the world map). Some of the weapons are missing and can no longer be charged up. The final boss is also different and there is only one ending.
The NES and Game Boy versions are much downgraded versions of the original arcade version, and lack the option of choosing levels.
A Zeebo version was announced with a release date sometime in 2010. Golgoth Studios is currently working on an HD remake for XBLA, PSN and PC.
The game was followed by various sequels. The Japanese version of the SNES game Congo's Caper was presented as a sequel called Tatakae Genshijin 2: Rookie no Bōken and featured a new protagonist. The title duo would later return in Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics, which added light role-playing aspects to the series. An arcade sequel titled Joe & Mac Returns eschewed the scrolling action of the original games in favor of gameplay similar to another Data East series, Tumblepop.