Tribes: Dawn of Humanity Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Tribes: Dawn of Humanity - Kosmos - $49.95

Game title: Tribes: Dawn of Humanity

Game description: Experience 30,000 years of civilization in 45 minutes. Tribes: Dawn of Humanity is a civilization game with quick turns and fast rounds. The players lead their tribes in short, fast turns through the early history of humanity to the Bronze Age. They settle unknown lands and extract valuable resources through which they in turn discover new tools and inventions. Who will best prepare their tribe against events such as natural disasters? Who will take the lead, and who will follow in the footsteps?

Overall
3
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

I’m often leery of civilization games that say they play quickly. Tribes claims to cover 30,000 years of civilization in 45 minutes and that just seems sketchy. Does it make good on this monumental promise? Do you actually get the feel of a civilization building game is just 45 minutes? Yes and no. Either way, Tribes combines several cool game mechanics into one solid package.

Pros

Combines several great mechanics into one game

Plays very quickly

Easy to Learn

Cons

Not visually appealing

Looks more complicated than it is

Full Tribes: Dawn of Humanity Review

I’m often leery of civilization games that say they play quickly. Tribes claims to cover 30,000 years of civilization in 45 minutes and that just seems sketchy. Does it make good on this monumental promise? Do you actually get the feel of a civilization building game is just 45 minutes? Yes and no. Either way, Tribes combines several cool game mechanics into one solid package.

The goal of Tribes is to have the most Victory Points at the end of the game. VP can be earned by completing technological advancements, the faster you earn them the more points you get. Each turn players will choose an action from the Action Track (moving, exploring, or breeding), spending Shells to skip any actions in the line until they get to the one they like. As players take these actions they’ll uncover resources that can be used to further their civilization. Also, if a player takes an action that has a bunch of Shells on it, they earn those shells.

Once lower level advancements are unlocked, advancements further up the line open up. Some advancements also cause Events to enter the Action Track. These can be helpful or catastrophic. The game ends when a number of Events defined by the number of players have resolved from the final era. At this point whatever player has the most VP wins.

Tribes: Dawn of Humanity Review - Set up
A sample game in action

Tribes has a lot going for it. The Action Track works very similar to card acquisition in Century: Spice Road, while the advancements unlock not only VP, but make players actions carry more weight. Eventually players will be able to move more, breed faster, and even be able to gain certain bonuses based on their civilization’s power. The fact that multiple players can unlock the same advancements, each scoring less than the player before them, opens up multiple lanes to victory. Each player also has 1 arrow they can use to branch off on advancement to another in a different column.

Does it capture the feel of building a civilization? Not quite. The theme is a bit pasted on, and not in a very attractive manner. The game is a lot of fun to play, though, providing lots of interesting choices in how players advance through the game. While the game may look complicated at first glance, it’s actually very simple to learn and plays in under an hour.

Tribes is a game that will certainly appeal to many gamers once they’ve gotten to try it for themselves. Unfortunately I don’t see much shelf appeal here, which is a shame. It’s a fun game that certainly deserves to be given the chance to entertain.

A copy of Tribes: Dawn of Humanity was provided free for review by Thames & Kosmos

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