Stone Age, this is seriously one of the best games I've played this year. It was designed by Bernd Brunnhofer and Michael Tummelhofer and is produced in English by Rio Grande Games. This game earned one of my best Rate the Fun scores. I strongly recommend it; it would make a great Christmas present or addition to any board game closest. What is the game about:
Players struggle to survive the Stone Age by working as hunters, collectors, farmers, and tool makers. As you gather resources and raise animals, you work to build the tools needed to build your civilization.
Players use up to 10 tribe members each in 3 phases. In the first phase, players place their men in regions of the board that they think will benefit them, including the hunt, the trading center, or the quarry. In the second phase, the starting player activates each of his staffed areas in whatever sequence he chooses, followed in turn by the other players. In the third phase, players must have enough food available to feed their populations, or they face losing resources or points.
This was the best image I could find of the board. It looks complicated but it not any more challenge that Settlers of Catan. I've played this game a number of times both with two and three players. Both group sizes work well and make for a good hour of fun.
What I like about Stone Age is:
- The meeples (wooden tribal people) are fun.
- The pieces are a good quality, resources and meeples are wooden, and the artwork on the game board and cards is beautiful and engaging.
- There are a multiple elements to the game play which allows for a variety of strategies.
- The randomness of dice rolling can be compensated for by sending more "worker meeples" making it less about luck and more an issue of "risk assessment."
- Every style of game could lead to potential victory and it is not always easy to predict the winner. During the game, some one who doesn't build many may appear to be behind but could ultimately win with their card or agricultural bonuses.
- It has most interesting components similar to Agricola without the complications or headaches.
- You can explore different strategies in the same game and still do well.
Stone Age = 8.9
The Rate the Fun Scale:
10 = Outstandingly Awesome Game; Always want to play it and I expect this will never change.
9 = Excellent Game; Always want to play it.
8 = Very good game; I like to play. Probably I'll suggest it and I'll never turn down a game.
7 = Good game; Usually willing to play.
6 = Okay game; There is some element of fun or challenge; will play sporadically if in the right mood.
5 = Fair game; Slightly boring, take it or leave it.
4 =Not so good; It doesn't get me but I could be talked into it on occasion.
3 = Bad; Likely won't play this again but could be convinced.
2 = Extremely annoying game; Won't play this ever again.
1 = Clearly broken; You won't catch me dead playing this.