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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.
Release Date: Jun 7, 2013
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Why a new game, instead of another 7GS? The answer is complex, involving earnings from 7GS, code portability, and some burnout. In short, I'm moving my game development to new tools, and TorB is a way to learn new tools, refresh myself, and release a game in a shorter time span than a 7GS sequel. I hope begin work on a sequel after this quicker game is shipped.

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

"...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."

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

About the 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.

PC System Requirements

    • OS:XP
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    • OS:XP
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space

Mac System Requirements

    • OS:10.5.8
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    • OS:10.5.8
    • Processor:1GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
37 of 45 people (82%) found this review helpful
717 products in account
34 reviews
13.3 hrs on record
7 Grand Steps is an ambitious game. It provides a single-player boardgame experience against computer-controlled AI characters set amongst the classic ages of history. Unfortunately, the experience is enormously crippled by the random elements of the game. Progress often feels the benefit of luck, and the frequent impediments to your progress are frustrating and feel beyond player control. While the various storylines you'll encounter are somewhat engaging, they are often hopelessly vague. Character choices that work for one individual utterly fail for another. While training children is an important part of the game, the parents can reproduce beyond their means, such that nurturing each child becomes impossible. Should you choose to dote on one child, rivalries will develop which hinder progress down the line.

While progress is exciting, especially from Age to Age, due to the strange and random nature of the game, you could be forced to play one Age for a great length of time. As you are forced to make the same choices again and again, the tedium weighs the experience down, such that slogging through the wheel becomes a chore. While you may find the game has an instant surface appeal, it doesn't ultimately hold up. The lives of the characters in the game feel beyond any meaningful influence, and each turn eventually feels mechanical.

The initial wonder of the experience was greatly muted after a few hours of play, to the point that I couldn't explain why I continued to play. The structure of 7 Grand Steps is intriguing, but sadly, it is a flawed creation. "Winning" the game is an empty achievement: the end result of many hours of token creation in a blind universe.
Posted: March 8
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18 of 28 people (64%) found this review helpful
197 products in account
8 reviews
8.1 hrs on record
A very interesting concept for a slotmachine / board game / stratgy game. Too bad it is ruined by EVERYTHING being dependent on RNG.

Regarless of how well you try to play it RNG will always get you in the end. If you like playing games that are 100% based on RNG and luck, this is the game for you! All it has done is made me hate humanity. The rich get richer and the poor get poor. 10+ hour game and die to poverty on the lowest rank? Yeah, why not. What a ♥♥♥♥ing waste of my life. Make one tiny mistake in the game, or don't it doesnt matter. You are bound to die alone and without an heir.

The AI is unfair and it's the biggest waste of time on steam I have found so far.
Posted: May 24
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
165 products in account
2 reviews
3.0 hrs on record
Fun game if you are looking something different. You have to pay attention and rely on a good amount of luck to win this one.
Posted: August 18
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
160 products in account
4 reviews
14.0 hrs on record
The game is moderately interesting to begin with, the concept itself is quite appealing: this mix of tabletop game and an arcade machine, the artstyle and so on. It, in fact, could have been a nice game... if it were about 5 times shorter and 10 times cheaper.

One playthrough takes wa-a-a-y too long, even if you don’t take into account the possibility of your family dying out halfway through, which of course makes you start over, as there is only one save. For the first couple of hours planning on your family’s development, balancing between producing tokens, spending them and moving forward is interesting, even fascinating – due to the novelty of this experience, probably – but it gets old really fast.

You rise up to the very top of your ancient society, become an ultimate ruler… and then the Age ends, and you find out that you have to do the same thing yet another time. And again, in the third Age. The art changes from Age to Age, the icons on the board change… everything else remains the same, over and over again. Once you start climbing up the social ladder during the third Age, the routine gets depressingly, brain-curdlingly repetitive and boring. The ruling mini-games are the only thing that is different among the three ages, and again, after you organize your city’s grain supplies for 30-odd turns, repeating the same set of actions…

The title implies that the developer plans on continuing the series, this time showing the way of a family through the Middle Ages. If the sequel ever gets around to being released and it will be similar to this game in terms of game mechanics, well… I can only say that the developer is really, really optimistic if he plans to keep it up for all 7 steps.
Posted: May 19
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
156 products in account
26 reviews
12.1 hrs on record
Slow to develop, and maybe a bit too repetitive after a bit, but plays nicely, and is not trivial to survive. Some neat long lasting effects from real decisions meant to represent daily struggles in ancient times. One for board game lovers, especially on sale.
Posted: August 18
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78 of 86 people (91%) found this review helpful
413 products in account
7 reviews
8.7 hrs on record
When it comes to games of chance, I would normally stay away. Slot machines at the casinos are a prime example. However, with 7 Grand Steps, there's more at stake. Your coins are steps to improving oneself in the world. In this case, a coin operated Ancient Egypt. You have coins that denote the 'skills' you can adept yourself in as it pushes you forward into time. If you decide to excel yourself in the society, you move up in the social hiearchy. You can find new techs (skills) or become a hero through its adventure-story style of narrative.

However, once you get to the ruler class, it becomes a challenge and that is what I admire: a game that is actively trying to push you back if you screw up. It is telling you to learn the mechanics again and come back when you are ready. That is why I am recommending this game. It is a game that is responding to your choices, your shifts and your play of the coins. Who knew a slot machine would be this fun?
Posted: November 26, 2013
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