Back in the day when people where living in caves and fire was a new invention, Instagram wasn’t available to share your accomplishments. Cave people had to brag through their paintings on cave walls so other civilizations would know how cool they were. In this pre-digital era, Prehistories is a game about hunting and covering your cave walls with your accomplishments for all to see.
Meet the Family
Each player is given a cave board along with a community of cave people. These cards are filled with bright and fun characters that will be sent out to hunt each turn. Everyone starts with 3 randomly drawn cards and will get new cards based on how the hunt goes.
Hunter cards have two numbers that players will notice. The big number is their hunting value and the small number in the right corner tells you how fast they move. This speed number comes into play if two players tie when preparing for the hunt.
Each round players will put together a team of as many cards as they want from their hand. All players simultaneously flip over their team to see who hunts first. Players add up the value of their hunting party and the player with the lowest value goes first. If I played cards with a 5 and a 2, my total hunting value is 7. If another player had a value less than 7, they would have first choice at the creatures on the central board.
In Prehistories, you’ll hunt tiles that take up to 4 squares and place them on your cave board showing what your team has accomplished. Unlike many tile laying games, players aren’t trying to fully cover their cave walls. You’re working to achieve 3 unique goals that are laid out at the start of the game or 3 basic goals that are always the same.
Prehistories is truly a racing game as players try to find the quickest way to finish goals. Each time they finish a goal, they place one of their totem tokens on the goal. The first player to place all 8 of their totem tokens is the winner.
Speed vs Strength
We’ve found that there’s a lot of balance that players have to consider as they play Prehistories. A high numbered party is powerful but players that play a lower numbered party will get first pick at the creatures. Players receive new cards based on how well the hunt went in a previous round. If your hunters are injured when hunting, players will receive fewer cards when they draw for the next round. Sometimes the best move is to choose not to hunt for a round to receive 3 additional cards into your hand.
If two players tie for the same value on their hunter cards, there is a small speed number in the top right corner of each card. The lowest number available will break any ties that happen during the round. This is an excellent way to break ties, and it sticks with the theme of being the fastest hunter.
Bob Ross of the Stone Age
Ultimately, players are trying to tell the stories of these hunts on their cave walls through paintings. Each time players achieve a common or unique goal, they will add one of their 8 totems to the appropriate goal. Each game is different because of the 4 randomly assigned unique goals at the start of the game. Players can even dig into more advanced goals that require more planning and strategy.
I love the way the polyomino tiles go onto the recessed player boards. The entire production of Prehistories is excellent from the art to the execution. The rulebook was a quick read and easy to teach other players.
Prehistories is a great light strategy game for families that game together. I’ve been able to play the game with my teenage kids, friends and fellow gamers. It’s a game that we’ve had people come back to the house and request to play again, which is a great sign.
While the game plays 2 to 5 players, I’ll say that I’m not a fan of Prehistories at 2-players. It’s not dynamic enough and there aren’t enough moments to surprise you. I have, however, really enjoyed the game with 4 and 5 players. There’s the tension of other players encroaching on the tiles that you need to complete a goal. At the higher player count, players can fly under the radar if you’re not paying attention.
Prehistories is a game that will stay in our collection because it’s such a great fit for a casual game night or an after dinner game during the week. The unique card goals being different each game adds to the replayability. Having cards with a higher difficulty will hit just right when ending a game night with Prehistories.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Love the artwork and style of the game
- Unique and advanced goal cards add to the replayability
- Managing your team of hunters is fun
- Didn’t enjoy the game at just 2-players