Thursday, February 02, 2023

Cavemen - The Quest for Fire

My number 12 favorite game is: Cavemen - The Quest for Fire. Cavemen is a card game where each player begins with a few cavemen and a cave, each represented by cards. You also have a few teeth (dinosaur trophies) and some food. Food and teeth are represented by cardboard tokens.

On the cards are symbols representing what that cave person does well. Some are good at hunting, others exploring, and some are good at inventing. Inventing is vital to gaining helpful cards and fire. Inventing fire is how you win the game. But you have to survive long enough to do this. You need to hunt to get food to feed your tribe. You also need teeth. Teeth are currency. 

Players use teeth to bid for turn order. Players draft cards from a central supply to grow their tribe. The person going first gets to draft one more card than everyone else. This is huge. But, there is a price for going first. When feeding your people, the first player must have one food token for each cave person in their tribe. All other players only need to feed one food total for their whole tribe. Working harder to earn that extra card must make everyone really hungry. That may seem like a huge price to pay, but going first is such an advantage that it's worth it. You also need to hold the first player token (a conch shell) in order to invent fire, and inventing fire is the way you win the game. 

I love simple tableau builders like this, but what makes Cavemen so special is its charm. The game play is really good, but the cards ... the cards are really something special. All the art on the cards are photographs of scenes sculpted from modeling clay. They are amazing! This game is so much fun, I love the setting the theme, the art and the game play. Cavemen - The Quest for Fire is my number 12 favorite game!

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