What Ancients Begat is a complete (~15 hour) game of family generations surviving the rise of western civilization. Survival is the ultimate goal. The sub-goals, you choose, build their story.Experience an abstract telling of the lives of our earliest recorded ancestors.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (430 reviews) - 58% of the 430 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 7, 2013

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Reviews

"An engaging combination of board game mechanics and pure storytelling, 7 Grand Steps is an addictive telling of one family's journey through history."
Gamespot

"...it’s so clever that you can’t help but love it."
Indie Statik

"7 Grand Steps hides a deeply strategic experience behind its deceptively simple and charming graphical appearance, ...immersive and engaging gaming."
GGS Gamer

"...entirely apart from the hundreds of games that have passed through my PC..."
Rock Paper Shotgun

"...I walked away from it as though I was telling a story that reached through time."
G4TV

"It's a simple looking game, but -- I found myself unable to stop."
KillScreen

About This Game

What Ancients Begat is a complete (~15 hour) game of family generations surviving the rise of western civilization. Survival is the ultimate goal. The sub-goals, you choose, build their story.


Experience an abstract telling of the lives of our earliest recorded ancestors. Part board game, part machine, part nod to computer games of yore, it begins with a simple mechanic. Spend tokens to traverse the wheel of life. Earn tokens by tempting the jaws of death. Then, like layers upon a pearl, game play expands, introducing fresh tactics and strategies which, turn by turn, drive a sophisticated, emergent narrative. How you play defines the lives of one family's generations through the changing ages.


An enormous tableau of ancient western culture awaits your exploration:


  • Core Mechanic - Back and forth tactics, across four social boundaries, to win legend points.
  • Family Strategy - Romance. Raise children. Rite of Passage.
  • Family Drama - Tales in the life. Sibling rivalry. Failed branches. Graveyard of ancestry.
  • Grand Legends - Earned over generations, they strengthen your family: Discoveries and Invention. Social Advancement. Heroics.
  • Ruling Games - City Administration. Warring Kingdoms. Imperial Senate.
  • The Challenges of an Age - Special for each social level. Survive and overcome, to enter a new age.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:XP
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:XP
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:10.5.8
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:10.5.8
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2015
I have no idea what this is actually supposed to be. It's sort of a board game, sort of a strategy game, and sort of a roleplaying game and exists as something entirely its own thing.

Normally I'd call that a plus, but as you might have guessed by the gratuitously pretentious title, it's a game much more full of itself than it is actually well-designed. Playing as a family, you use tokens to move forward on a board that's constantly rotating towards a pit of crocodiles which represent failure to thrive. As you play, you might produce children, and one of those children moves on to be your next player character and start a new generation eventually. Choices you make, like neglecting one of your offspring, might affect you down the line.

Pretty cool in concept, but everything is just so slow and boring that it lost me. I remained curious and entranced despite the repetition for a while, wanting to know where this was all going, but eventually I realized just how much time I was wasting clicking on tokens again and again. Every actual in-game action is so far removed from the overall story it's trying to tell that it requires you to bring your own personal narrative to things just to make it interesting. Coupled with a really self-satisfied writing style and a way of trying to sound philosophical without saying much, and my goodwill quickly faded away entirely.

This was a bundle game for me, but I'm still not interested in playing any longer. That it sells for $20 normally is insane. Some people might find something of interest here in the unique concept - I do recommend giving it a try if it makes its way to your library via bundle - but everything it was trying to do just didn't work for me.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
It's a very addictive game for what seems like simple game play. You need to educate the offspring and make sure they all get the same treatment or you suffer the consequences which when you're just barely staying afloat can be make or break. But, if the siblings get along it can be wonderful.
I found myself often saying I'll just finish this generation before I quit ... and 6 generations later I was still saying 'just this generation'.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 3
Incredibly unique and well balanced board game that tells a story that follows your lineage through the generations. It's incredibly elegant and well tuned, and I found myself easily losing track of time. I really wish there were more games like this one, as it's a welcome departure from the plethora of fast paced arcade games on the market.

Recommended for people who love storytelling and boardgames.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
Very interesting and original board game...

Pros:
+ Original concept
+ Clever mechanics
+ Many things to discover
+ Fun

Cons:
- Solving "wtf is that?" is a somewhat long process
- Price tag is absurd

Final verdict:
An original, fun board game to kill some time (*cough* if you grab it on discount *cough*).
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
Surprisingly addictive game where you play a family over multiple generations, trying to stay ahead of death, disease and poverty in the era where civilizations spread out of the Fertile Crescent.

The graphics are in a simple but satisfying "animated boardgame" style, and key "events" in the lives of family members are played out as a series of choices in a narrative. Sometimes the "right" choice leads to bad outcomes, and the "wrong" choice to social advancement ---- just like real life!

The story that builds really puts modern life in perspective. Marrying for love definitely took a backseat to marrying for the resources your prospective partner brought to the relationship in those times. Similarly, literally everything revolved around sacrificing as much as possible for your children; every inch of advancement you could buy them was worth it. And not just one child, but making sure you had a "backup" in case of misfortune. But don't spread yourself too thin! Sure children are free labor, but they are also mouths to feed...

I got around 20 hours of fun with this -- so for me it was definitely worth the Steam Sale price I paid for it.
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