Game overview

Peter Rustemeyer

Dominic Mayer

Z-man Games

≃ $ 48

45 - 60 min

1 - 4 players - 10+

Logo La tuile de jeu cinema

The game in video

In this cooperative game, you will play a tribe of hunter-gatherers in the early Stone Age. Unite your strengths and weaknesses to provide for your tribe’s needs. 

The outside world is full of dangers, but it’s also full of resources that will allow you to survive or …die. 

What's in the box?

Boards (base camp, wilderness, night)
Workbench to assemble
Resources (20 food, 12 wood, 8 stone)
Tool tokens
Wound tokens
Skull tokens
Victory tokens
Booklet with supplemental rules

And what about the rules?

The game comes with a 12-page rulebook in a very large format (it takes the whole size of the box. 

I can tell you right off the bat, I had a lot of fun going through these rules, which are very clear and include a plethora of illustrations and examples that improve understanding. 

The whole rules are explained in 6 pages. At the end of the rulebook, you will find a complete example of a game turn to see if you have understood the rules in their entirety.

If I had to find a flaw, it would be the size of the booklet. I would have liked to have a rulebook a tad smaller, which would have made it easier to get the rules out in the middle of the game. 

In addition to the rules, the game comes with a 6-page booklet. It will give you information about the different modules you can use in addition to the basic modules, as well as variants to enrich the game (especially to increase the difficulty and for the solo version).

All right, and how does it play?

What is the purpose of the game?

In this cooperative game you will embody a group of people, made up of warriors, scouts, and hunters who will explore the outside world, survive and live many adventures alone or all together.

Your group wins the game as soon as you manage to collect and assemble the 5 victory tokens to form the fresco.

Otherwise, if you have accumulated 5 skull tokens you immediately lose the game!

The setting up

  • Place the 3 boards, the workbench and the cemetery in the middle of the table.
  • Place the resources and tokens near the boards (wood, stone, food, skull tokens, victory points, and wound tokens) and sort the tool tokens by type.
  • Shuffle the sets of character, dream and idea cards and place them on their corresponding spaces.
  • Take the base card set (1), add all the cards from the modules used for this game, and shuffle all these cards together. Deal all of the cards from this deck facedown, as evenly as possible, to each player.
  • Each player draws 2 people from the deck on the base camp board and places them faceup in front of them.

Now we are ready to start! 

Playing the game

A game round is consisting of :

  1. a day phase,
  2. a night phase
Day phase
During this phase, all players will choose 1 card among the top 3 of their deck.
Each player puts the 2 remaining cards back on their deck in the order in which they were drawn.
The backs of the cards will give you clues about what to expect.
All players reveal their cards, and you decide as a group who begins.
On each card you will have 3 possibilities, but you will only get to choose one.
Each card will allow you to carry out different types of actions:
  • hunt to collect food
  • explore to find resources
  • create objects to improve your tribe’s equipment
  • recruit people for your tribe
  • help your partners to solve one action on their card by sharing your abilities

You will also sometimes face hazards which you will have to survive to.

The deck of cards symbolizes your day.  As soon as a player runs out of cards his day ends and he goes to sleep. His teammates continue to play without him. When all the players are asleep, the day phase ends.

Night phase 
It consists of 3 steps:
  • Each player has to feed all the members of his own group.If you run out of food in your cave, you place one skull token on the board for each unfed character  (note: unfed characters do not die).
  • If you retrieved mission cards or night action cards during the day phase you apply their effects (which will often be negative).

A new day begins! 

Shuffle the cards from the two discard piles and deal the cards back to all the players.

Continue resolving day and night phases until the players win or lose the game.


What about the game's mechanics ?

The mechanics of the game are based on cooperation and assistance between your groups of characters. Try to plan your days together based on the clues left on the backs of the cards.

Speaking of your deck of cards, which symbolizes the passage of time, but also offers you three different paths to choose from (the 3 cards you draw in each round).  

In the game, there are a variety of different card backs that will give you clues as to what to expect if you play that card. 

The campfire, people, dreams and ideas cards are always positive and will be a great help to you in order to win the game. 

Also, you will have to pay close attention to the illustrations on the cards, some of them will show the same image, but with a few extra symbols.

Sometimes you will have trouble achieving the objectives of an action card because you don’t meet the prerequisites. Don’t worry! Your teammates can, if they wish (and if the action card they have drawn allows it) share their abilities with you. This is the strength of the game: in order to win you will have to make compromises and combine your strengths, especially to achieve some more complex goals.

How does the solo mode work?

The game features a single-player variant with a few changes in the setup and the gameplay.

Regarding the set-up:  you start the game without any food stock and you stack all the cards in a single pile.

During the game: you will be able to ask for help only once. If you do so, you discard 2 cards from your deck to simulate the other players and roll 1 dice (2 dice if you discard 4 cards).  

As you can see, the solo variant is almost identical to the basic rules except for a few lines in the rulebook. I really enjoyed the solo mode.

What I liked... or not

The simplicity of the rules

Who likes to go through the rules? Not many people... But with Paleo it's different ! It might sound "weird" but I really enjoyed perusing its rules which are very light and simple.

The additional modules

The game provides excellent replayability, in addition to the 8 different levels you can combine the 10 modules to your liking.

Quality of the material

The cards are of good quality, as are the tokens. Special mention for the workbench which is most beautiful once assembled.

Storage of the components

You will find 2 dividers to assemble when you open the box.
The iconography is great, the game tells you where to put this or that thing, everything fits perfectly.

The fading effect of surprise

If you start the game again with the same modules, you know more or less what to expect when you see the backs of the cards. After a second game, the excitement of discovering is considerably dampened.
Luckily, the other modules compensate a little bit for that.

The size of the rulebook

It is not easy to pull out a booklet of this size in the middle of a game to check a rule. It felt a bit like reading a newspaper.





Games covering the theme of prehistory are not very common, and in the case of cooperative games, even less so.

Paleo does a good job of offering players a strong theme that tells a story. The rules are simple, very well structured, and go straight to the point. The games follow one another without having to go leafing through the rulebook too much.

The game also features a very good replayability with its 10 modules which can be mixed together at will (within the limit of 2 per game).

The quality of the components of the game is not to be underestimated with a good material thickness and a workbench to assemble that will serve as a display of ideas.

In my opinion, Paleo brings together everything I like in a board game, simplicity, quality, depth and replayability.

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