Dawn of Man is the latest offering from Madruga Works. Their previous game, Planet Base, is very highly praised on Steam so I was really interested to find out more and get hands-on with Dawn of Man. After playing this truly fabulous game I will be adding Planet Base to my wishlist too.

Dawn of Man villager sat at crafter in the snow and making a spear or bow or knife or clothes

I want to start by saying that I am not a huge fan of city builders. I like them, I have many, but I always end up returning to survival builders, so, when I say that Dawn of Man is absolutely in my top 10 then you know that this game is seriously good fun.

In this era of game development where early access is now the preferred way to launch a title, playing Dawn of Man, a real developer build, is like a breath of fresh air.

I have yet to encounter a bug, there are things that need improving but it has been many years since I have played a game in a beta state as good as this.

Dawn of Man two mammoths looking feircly at you, run, they will get you

Due for release on March the 1st 2019 Dawn of man will not be an early access title which is a very nice thing to hear, there is an entire game launching on launch day.

We don’t review games that are yet to release but for my own curiosity I rated the game I as would usually do. I will not share its actual score but suffice to say it scored over 90% so look out for what could be our highest scoring game ever!

You are in control of a settlement populated by some palaeolithic modern humans and in this beta, you can take them through to the Bronze age.

That’s not true, you can lead your colony through thousands of years of human history but I have been playing for a week and I cannot get to the Bronze age. I am a terrible leader and it is understandable. I will do better before I review, I promise!

Dawn of Man Village from the start of the game

To survive you will need to forage and hunt initially but the fabulous tech tree will soon open up skills like the ability to domesticate animals or farm crops. The progressions are well thought out and the pacing is almost perfect.

Something that was a hard lesson for my first village was that if I kill everything in the vicinity I will have to go further and further afield to find food, Mammoth and Wooly Rhinos, a great source of meat and skins die out and are not available later in the game, instead replaced by animals around in those eras. I have found myself looking to take only one or two animals from a herd and specifically looking for sick or old animals to make sure that I have enough food for the following season without decimating the local populations.

Dawn of man farmers in the fields

The crazy thing about this is that I was not told to do this, it is a natural emergence of my gameplay and it was all subliminally taught to me from making my own mistakes. I have made many, not having enough feed for my animals to make it through the winter, not gathering crops in time so having no fruit, not building enough sledges or carts which means not only are tasks completed slower but my townsfolk have incredibly low morale.

Luckily for me the game brings animals back each spring and I can start over as often as I like. After experimenting I have found a formula that works and I hope to get through to the Iron age soon.

What you have in Dawn of Man then is a game that is as deep as an ocean without devolving into a spreadsheet management exercise. Growing and developing a colony is about steadying your growth to work within your available resources, remembering to focus on what you need now, planning for what you will need next and preparing for winter.

Dawn of Man showing a village with a palisade around it near a river

My current colony has been reduced to 8 survivors. There are three reasons, the first was the result of an ill-fated raid to hunt mammoth. I was too far from home and had taken all the capable members of my tribe. The Raiders turned up as I was at the zenith of my expedition and so the children and infirm were decimated. Upon my return I had no sledges and the now 50 or so villagers were forced to build new ones, by the time I had done this and returned most of the meat was gone, it was winter and I had very little to eat, many of the 50 died of starvation.

Secondly, my storage huts needed repairs, I had lost too much of my straw and couldnt repair them so the little food I did have spoiled very quickly and thirdly, I had spent so much time focussing on the other issues I failed to plant crops which means that the coming winter will see me battle through with only the 8 hardiest survivors.

Maybe I should start over but the thing is, I built this village, its really nice it has a palisade the whole way around, the layout works really well but more importantly, I know that with the right management, I am not defeated.

I have found a new love in Dawn of Man, I am looking forward to finishing this article so I can get back to playing it. I should have been writing all week but instead, I have been hunting Mammoth and Wooly Rhino.

Competently programmed, well paced and extremely well thought Dawn of Man will be a hit so do yourself a favour and add Dawn of Man to your wishlist and thank me for the advice.

I am a dad to two small children, I am tired, really tired.

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