Tribes is a creative quick & light 2 to 5 player game for ages 8 and above that plays in about 25 minutes.
This game by Jim DuBois uses only things that gamers usually have lying around in plenty: lots of six-sided dice and chips/tokens in 4 colors. The story as told in the Overview: “You are simulating a small tribe seeking to establish itself. Your goal is to survive and make 3 art (culture) before anyone else does.” Each die represents an individual in a tribe, and the four types of markers represent food, houses, art, and penalties.
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Each round all players roll all their dice to determine the productivity of the individual tribe members. Players then allocate the roll values, aka productivity, towards food, housing, more tribe members, or art. “Bad luck” as determined by a separate d6 and penalties also play roles in determining which tribe will become the most culturally successful, but the main factor is a good deal of strategy on the players’ parts.