Set in the Dawn of the Age of Man, the game challenges you to help a tribe of early humans survive in a changing world. As the ice retreats and the megafauna of old go extinct, they are forced to adapt, or be left behind.
This game contains examples of:
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Averted - you are clearly controlling Cro-Magnons, and they don't even use clubs! They do use bones, however...but only to make bone tools.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The number of people who can live in your village is determined by how many habitable buildings you have - if there is space, new people can be born/move in. Similarly, the number of stables you have determines the number of (non-dog) animals you can have.
- Bears Are Bad News: Cave bears are one of your earliest enemies, and are more than willing to steal from any carcasses you claim but don't harvest fast enough. They go extinct at the start of the Copper Age, though. In addition to them, brown bears will also spawn, and work in the exact same fashion aside from being smaller than cave bears, providing less resources, and being encounterable throughout the whole game.
- Cats Are Mean: Cave lions show up as initial obstacles in the game, and they often attack villagers who wander too far away from the group. At the end of the Neolithic Age, though, they go extinct.
- Difficulty Spike: At the start of the Bronze Age, the mammoth, cave lion, cave bear, reindeer, Megaloceros, woolly rhinoceros, cave hyena, muskox, and Elasmotherium will go extinct.note If you have been depending on them for meat prior to this point, you'll need to find a new food source fast. Granted, by this point you should have already begun farming, but still.
- Elemental Crafting: In terms of strength, you start with wooden tools, and can then create bone tools, flint ones, then copper, bronze, and finally iron tools.
- Grim Up North: The Northlands scenario focuses on this kind of environment. Longer winters, shorter summers, and fewer resources will make survival a lot harder for your tribe.
- Heinous Hyena: Cave hyenas are one of the most common threats towards your tribe until they go extinct in the beginning of the Bronze Age.
- The Marvelous Deer: Megaloceros is one of the huntable animals in-game, as are normal reindeer and normal deer (likely intended to be red deer). Both go extinct at the end of the Neolithic, however (reindeer disappeared from most of Europe at the end of the Ice Age, being restricted to higher latitudes and Russia after that point).
- Misplaced Wildlife: An unusual example applies to the wild donkeys found in game. These donkeys are domesticated in-game to become the domesticated donkey, but the game is set in Europe, while the wild donkeys encountered resemble the actual ancestor of domestic donkeys, the African wild ass (which lived in Africa).note
- Morale Mechanic: Every single villager you have has morale, which gradually decreases for a variety of reasons - hunger, injury, having to do hard labor, and seeing other villagers die. It can be restored by using morale structures (such as a totem pole or a Circle of Standing Stones), or by drinking beer. The latter, however, only temporarily raises morale.
- Noble Wolf: Wolves are the only animals in the game that don't need to be actively domesticated - once the technology to tame them has been researched, they'll automatically seek out your settlement and, overtime, join it. They are also the only domesticated creatures that don't need to be fed or provided stables.
- Refining Resources: Killing an animal provides raw skins and meat. Meat (alongside fish) can be placed in a meat drying rack to turn it into dried meat/cured fish, which lasts far longer than regular meat and fish and is the only long-lasting food you'll have at the start of the game. Raw skins, meanwhile, need to be put on a skins drying rack in order to make dried skins that are needed to produce more advanced types of clothing.
- Rhino Rampage: Woolly rhinos are among the herbivores encountered in the game, and one of the most dangerous creatures to hunt. The same applies to a different rhinoceros species in the game that is a more distant relative, Elasmotherium (a rhinoceros with a horn on its forehead instead of its nose). Like all megafauna, though, they become extinct at the start of the Copper Age.
- Shown Their Work: The tools and structures available to the players are meticulously crafted to look exactly like what you would expect of not just the time period, but also of the region the game takes place. This is especially true of the religious statues and structures which are all European in origin, but the designs on them narrow it down to the Northern most European cultures, AKA the Nordic peoples.
- So Last Season: Each set of tools you create is woefully outclassed by the next tier of equipment that can be researched, so you'll want to remove it ASAP to avoid cluttering storage. Of course, it's always valuable to a trader, so a good strategy is to keep old tools until a trader arrives, then sell them for more valuable goods.
- Tech Tree: A fairly simplistic one exists, where you can spend knowledge to unlock new technologies. For example, research 'Dog Domestication' allows you to begin taming wolves to get dogs.