I’m a history buff, but to be honest I’ve never studied early humanity. Is that history? Prehistory? If nothing has been written, how do we know? Where do archeology and history combine or are they always together? In a new card game from Fabrizio Nastri, Discovery, players explore our prehistoric ancestors.
Discovery is a simple game to learn. Victory is based on points where each player deposits Discovery, Invention, or Breakthrough cards. But you can’t play a card unless the prerequisites are displayed and the eras are in order. Although it is not cooperative, it is a collaborative game. Everyone is working to build the Tree of Discovery, a visual list of the evolution of our ancestors.
The first era begins with several options to play without prerequisites. After that you need to see what’s on the board before you place any cards. For example, in the second era you can put canoes down, but only if the peach (from the first era) and tools (from the second) are on the table. Fishing could only be played if Spears had been played, and Spears needs Homo Habilis first. It was fun to see what aspects had to be present for new discoveries: languages needed hunting and tribes; Necessary clothing Nomadism, Hunting and Tools; Agriculture needed sedentism and complex tools; Astronomy needed numbers and temples; etc. We have accepted and questioned some of the game creator’s decisions.
We played the Simple discovery version, but the mechanics allow various options, including the solitaire as well. With our deck, we could do Flash Discovery thus, a fast-paced 5 minute game where memory and nerves are essential. There are other decks for Select Discovery (high risks lead to high rewards), and Connect discovery (analyze all the possible connections between your cards).
We all agreed that the artwork is stellar. Benoît Clarys, both artist and archaeologist, fits perfectly into this game. Originally, we wondered if it would be like Chronology, one of our favorite story games, but it’s completely different. There was not much strategy or risk in Simple discovery, but I guess the other versions are higher stakes. The educational aspect is clear and the discussion was good while we were playing.
There is a Ulule crowdfunding campaign is happening right now which ends in a few days. If you’re into archeology, history, or both, check out Discovery.
GeekMom has received a copy for review.