HIGHLIGHTS AMONG GAMES
CLAN LOYALTY is needed
Dear Reader! With „Stone Age“ publisher Hans im Glück Verlag has landed an absolute showstopper - not for the first time the publisher from Munich has dominated the market from the top - remember classic games like "Modern Art" or "Carcassonne". Designer Michael Tummelhofer, alias Bernd Brunnhofer (on the new editions of the game this name will be shown, remark H.K) provides fascinating immersion into the Stone Age for both families and experts in this highly interesting strategic dice game - sounds like a contradiction. Not dangerous hunting expeditions or rivalry between clans is the main topic, but players must - as leader of their clan with only five members at the beginning - acquire resources, build huts, proliferate and last but not least accumulate civilization cards. Sounds a bit bland and somewhat familiar - but whoever is ready to go on a time-trip into the Stone Age will notice from the first game on how manifold the tasks are that the then CEO of the Munich Publishing Company has dreamed up for us. You can enjoy this unique ambience in the events at Österreichisches Spielemuseum. The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating! www.spielen.at
Our obligatory lamp alights on a visually very enticing game board which carries the unmistakable characteristics of a work by Michael Menzel. From the start it is fun to sit down to the game. The basic mechanism, "worker placement" in the lingo, is known to the experienced player from other games like "Pillars of the Earth" or "Maestro Leonardo". And yet "Stone Age" is clearly different from all them because here there is never any trace of the monotony that can be felt with the other games mentioned. Regardless whether there are two, three or four players, that is, clan leaders, even five in the expansion, seated around the table, the arc of suspense from the first placement of a marker until the final showdown is enormous.
Of course, the more clan leaders, the more potential for conflicts, but even with two stone-aged players all happens enormously fast. This is guaranteed by the dice, a mechanism wonderfully integrated by the designer. IF you believe that this will make chance the dominating element in the game, you will change your mind at the end of the first game the latest. „Stone Age“ is a strategic-tactic challenge, in all phases of the game. The reason for this quality doubtless also can be found in collecting the individual clan members - farmer, toolmaker, hut builder, shaman - and their coupling by a simple multiplication with civilization cards that show food, tools, buildings and persons. All this happens in a final showdown, where seemingly unexpectedly everything can be turned upside down. Seemingly, because of course every player has the opportunity to put a spanner in the works of every opponent for his collecting of buildings and civilization cards. And so the fate that awaits him should not be unexpected. Small elegant details like an abrupt end of the game, when one stack of buildings is empty, can entice a clan leader to initiate a calculated abortion of the game if he believes himself to be in the lead. But the showdown can maybe bring an unexpected unwelcome reality. All in all "Stone Age" is a wonderful experience for families as well as for experienced players. And should a hunting expedition come out badly for once, you can surely demand revenge! Because time goes quickly in the exciting Stone Age events!
RECOMMENDATION # 96
Designer: Michael Tummelhofer
Art: Michael Menzel
Price: ca. 30 Euro
Publisher: Hans im Glück
Competence: 5 von 9
Info±: 2 von 9
Chance: 2 von 9
Without at least a basic concept you can't do much in "Stone Age". And yet you cannot neglect the benign pinch of luck which allows the casual player to enjoy the game, too. If you believe that a permanent "dice rolling" cannot leave room for tactic and strategy, you will change your mind after the first game.
Hugos EXPERT TIP
Begin your acquaintance with the game with the basic game alone. The expansion introducing ivory for the opportunity to acquire jewelry changes little in strategy, but makes it more confusing for beginners. The only real advantage: Using the expansion, you can play "Stone Age" with five players.
Rarely have I heard such similar comments from all groups that I have taken back to the Stone Ages - "classy game", "exceptional", "will go and buy it instantly". The official awards won by the game tell the same story. Congratulations to the designer!