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.
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).
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!
Now we are ready to start!
A game round is consisting of :
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.