Bandit Blog

Review Roundup: Paleo

Review Roundup: Paleo
Number of Players 1-4
Playtime 45-60 Min
Suggested Ages 10+
Designer(s) Peter Rustemeyer
Publisher Z-MAN Games

Z-Man games brings us this great cooperative game set in the 10,000 BC stone age. Paleo is for 1-4 players and has a game play of 45-60 minutes, it was released in 2020 and is mainly card based. It’s considered a medium weight game and is rated for ages 10 and older, however given that it is a cooperative game this can vary depending on other players. Your objective in Paleo is ultimately to keep your tribe alive, explore, gather food and develop new technologies and findings.

Paleo is the 2021 winner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres, the top strategy game of the year!

Winning the Kennerspiel des Jahres puts Paleo in the same basket with previous winners such as; 7 Wonders, The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, Wingspan, and many others. Paleo was also nominated for the 2020 Golden Geek award for Best Cooperative Game.

Paleo is a game where players try to keep the humans in their care alive while completing missions. Sometimes you require fur, other times a tent, but these are all minor quests in comparison to the long-term goal: Painting a woolly mammoth on a wall allowing humans thousands of years later to know you once existed, which is shown as puzzle pieces in the game.

Paleo has players using action cards to obtain food, discover resources, make new tools, bring others into your tribe, and more. As your tribe grows and expands you will be able to work toward achieving victory tokens, by completing increasingly tougher tasks.

Each player begins with 2 people in their tribe, providing starting abilities and tools, with main resources being shared between players, even though everyone has their own cards and tools.

On turns, each player selects one location to go to, perhaps the same type as other players, but not the same location. While you have some clue of what you may discover there, you won't know for certain until you arrive, you might gain food or resources, or discover what you require to make a useful object, or find that you can help another player in their actions, or suffer a snakebite that brings you to the edge of death. Life is full of wonders and terrors in the stone age.

Game rounds are based on a day and a night setup. Rounds and turns are quick, the game does not have much downtime, with actions being simultaneous, so even though the game is 45-60 minutes long, game play is consistent.

In the daytime everyone takes 3 cards, and blindly chooses one to play face up. The back of the card will give you some clues as to what you are selecting (although this aspect is still very much a push your luck action in the game). After each player does this, it is night fall and you need to feed your tribe and resolve actions on Mission cards.

This card choice mechanism is super neat, it’s great that groups get to choose what cards they think are ideal to play, with only an educated guess from the back of the card. This great aspect of the game brings a sense of anticipation, excitement and discovery from the group when the chosen cards are revealed!

To win at Paleo you will need to collect 5 victory tokens, which are earned by completing specific actions, losing happens when you collect 5 skulls, distributed when people within your tribe go hungry, die, and when you fail at completing actions.

To be successful at Paleo players will need to have constant communication with each other, to ensure all players have positive turns. Paying close attention to cards played and remembering their actions contribute to your success in future rounds, making memory skills a large part in the success of the game as well.

Paleo also had lots of replay value for players. With easy, medium and hard module decks available, and of course options to mix them up and create your own.

This game is best played with 3+ players in our opinion, playing with 2 players can be difficult if weak abilities are given with tribe members to start the game, making it harder to complete the more difficult actions.

This popular caveman game has been flying off the shelves all year, and has grown tremendously in popularity since winning the 2021 Kennerspiel des Jahres. It is now scheduled to be back in stock later this year with our distributors, and us at Board Game Bandit cannot wait to get some copies back on our shelves! If you are as anxious as us to get a copy of Paleo on your game shelf be sure to check out our restock pre-order option available now on our site, this is your best option in securing this great game. Looking for an option outside of pre-orders? Don’t forget to sign up for our back in stock notifications options on your site to be the first to know when new inventory of Paleo is available!

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