Wednesday, 14 September 2022


Much like Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, Paleo is a cooperative game for up to four players who take control of caveman tribe members trying to survive through a decent bunch of modular encounters. Unlike Robinson Crusoe this game is much easier to setup and play and apart from survival your main objective is always to draw a mammoth on the cave wall.

It doesn't matter if there's a giant river you need to cross, or if you are in wolf territory or have an enemy tribe warring against you - you must always draw the mammoth to win. Unfortunately cave people aren't that smart so it will take some time to do that. During the day the scenario cards are shuffled out to each player in their entirety, then using only the card backs as guides players must pick one out of three to explore with plenty of opportunity to not do your card and help someone else instead usually to get resources, build gear or draw the damned elephant.

Once you run out of cards or choose to sleep (which means you can no longer help others but also means you can dodge the rest of your hand if you feel they are all "bad") you are finished for the day, and once everyone is in that state - night descends. This is when you must spend all those resources to feed and/or protect your tribe, suffering skull tokens for each failure and each death. Gain five skull tokens and you all lose. All the components here are quite nice, as is the art on the cards.

It takes a bit to get used to the card iconography but once you get it the gameplay loop goes very fast and is quite fun. You will start remembering card backs as you play though which means player experience has a tangible effect, for good or ill. "I'm sure there was an elephant on this sort of card for this scenario," sort of deal. That said you'll get at least seven games out of this, and number seven is quite a bastard, but if you enjoy cooperative card games this one is worth looking into!

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