13 votes

I'm looking for a (fairly) accurate "caveman" game

A cursory search found only comedic, light-hearted, fantastical options.

I want something set in the late Pleistocene or early Holocene, roughly 50,000-8,000 years BCE. At least somewhat (pre-)historically accurate (no dinosaurs or wizards, only 2001-esque aliens, at most), incorporating at least the basics of what we now know of that era.

Either a single character or a small group (I'm envisioning something like Skyrim, or a Baldur's Gate style, or some kind of community-planner, like RimWorld or Dwarf Fortress).

Alternately, if anyone still remembers the The Clan of the Cave Bear (novel or movie), I want that, in game form.

Bonus points if it runs on Linux w/o Wine.

Does anything like this exist, or should I just sit down and make it? Danke

13 comments

  1. [2]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    I can't think of anything that exactly matches the criteria you listed (other than the already mentioned FC Primal and Ancestors), but here are a few others that may be stretching that criteria a...

    I can't think of anything that exactly matches the criteria you listed (other than the already mentioned FC Primal and Ancestors), but here are a few others that may be stretching that criteria a fair bit, yet might still scratch a similar itch for you.

    Dawn of Man - Prehistoric city-builder, starting in the early stone age, and progressing to the early iron age.

    Banished - City-builder that takes place basically where Dawn of Man ends in terms of tech, but is incredibly unforgiving, so might still be something you find interesting.

    Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Incredibly atmospheric, story-rich, walking sim (with some hack n slash combat) that takes place in the Celtic/Viking Age, with a heavy focus on mythology.

    Horizon Zero Dawn - Similar to Far Cry Primal but with heavy Scifi elements.

    Zeno Clash & Zeno Clash 2 - Zany fantasy/scifi elements aside, this beat 'em up's universe feels strangely caveman society like.

    Conan Exiles - Survival-Crafting game. More Iron/Bronze Age than Stone Age, and has a lot of Fantasy elements in it. However, the basic survival and PvE against wild animals elements are still very caveman-esque.

    ARK: Survival Evolved - Similar to Horizon Zero Dawn in theme, but without the robot fauna, and having real Dinosaurs instead. Survival-Crafting with lots of Scifi elements.

    Green Hell - Survival-Crafting game that takes place in modern times, but is very unforgiving, difficult and focuses heavily on very basic survival skills. So even though there are modern intrusions, the core gameplay is still very "caveman" reminiscent.

    The Forest - Similar to Green Hell but with some classic horror elements thrown in. There actually are cavemen in this game though... Incredibly scary ones.

    Stranded Deep - Similar to above two, but without the horror, and pacific island hopping focused.

    9 votes
    1. Eric_the_Cerise
      Link Parent
      None of the others you list really catch my interest, at least not today. But the first one, Dawn of Man, sounds close. Definitely starts in exactly the environment I want. I do love...

      None of the others you list really catch my interest, at least not today. But the first one, Dawn of Man, sounds close. Definitely starts in exactly the environment I want. I do love city-builders, too.

      Also, after a closer look at FC Primal, it feels a bit too action/combat focused ... also 4x the price of Dawn, so I may actually try that one first.

      2 votes
  2. [4]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    Far Cry Primal? I've never played it, but it is a prehistoric setting. RimWorld has a low-tech starting scenario in which you play as lost tribespeople. You can also edit and create new scenarios...

    Far Cry Primal? I've never played it, but it is a prehistoric setting.

    RimWorld has a low-tech starting scenario in which you play as lost tribespeople. You can also edit and create new scenarios to restrict what technologies can be researched, what factions spawn, and generally eliminate all the science fiction parts of the game from your playthrough.

    The Royalty and Ideology DLC add dryads, special trees, and other spiritual/magic weirdness if you want to add a bit of flavor.

    Those are pretty much the only things that come to mind.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      RubberBando
      Link Parent
      I second Far Cry Primal. I played it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in 10,000 BC and the language in the game is actually based on reconstructed proto-indo-european. The main objective is to build...

      I second Far Cry Primal. I played it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in 10,000 BC and the language in the game is actually based on reconstructed proto-indo-european. The main objective is to build up your tribe's village and become more powerful than rival tribes in the area. I think it is exactly what OP is looking for.

      It does have some slightly fantastical elements, but nothing over the top or irrelevant to the setting (shaman "magic" that is basically just drug-induced hallucinations and the protagonist gains the ability to tame predators as pets).

      8 votes
      1. Eric_the_Cerise
        Link Parent
        Agreed. This is what I wanted; already on my shopping list.

        Agreed. This is what I wanted; already on my shopping list.

        4 votes
    2. Eric_the_Cerise
      Link Parent
      Far Cry Primal sounds pretty damn close to what I had in mind. Reviews are mixed, but even the ones that panned it, complimented exactly the elements I care most about — realistic, lush...

      Far Cry Primal sounds pretty damn close to what I had in mind. Reviews are mixed, but even the ones that panned it, complimented exactly the elements I care most about — realistic, lush environment, and open game design. I'll give it a try. Thanx muchly.

      PS: I've played Rimworld to death. I do like the game, but it's not really what I had in mind here.

      3 votes
  3. [3]
    Fal
    Link
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey maybe?

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey maybe?

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Eric_the_Cerise
      Link Parent
      This is close, and sounds fun ... like Spore for primates. I may come around to it later. Ironically, though, it sounds like it was created by a guy who left Ubisoft 'cuz he was sick of the exact...

      This is close, and sounds fun ... like Spore for primates. I may come around to it later. Ironically, though, it sounds like it was created by a guy who left Ubisoft 'cuz he was sick of the exact "Caveman" trope I'm looking for ... may even have worked on the game I'm trying first (see above).

      2 votes
      1. bub
        Link Parent
        Ancestors was what I was going to suggest too. I guess instead of following "caveman" tropes, it's actually about realistic hominids, which you didn't want exactly, but also keep in mind that...

        Ancestors was what I was going to suggest too.

        I guess instead of following "caveman" tropes, it's actually about realistic hominids, which you didn't want exactly, but also keep in mind that there is supposed to be a sequel to the first game that continues down the evolutionary path closer to modern humans. So maybe the sequel will be even more to your liking.

        2 votes
  4. river
    Link
    it might not be exactly what you are thinking of but: minecraft with the pryotech mod is an incredible caveman game. https://www.curseforge.com/minecraft/mc-mods/pyrotech It basically takes the...

    it might not be exactly what you are thinking of but:

    minecraft with the pryotech mod is an incredible caveman game. https://www.curseforge.com/minecraft/mc-mods/pyrotech It basically takes the beginning stages of minecraft and extends them out enormously. You have to do things like hang grass up to dry it out to make twine. I absolutely loved this mod.

    4 votes
  5. [2]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    TBH, I don't think you'll get the full Clan of the Cave Bear experience outside of adult games. I read it as a kid, and the sex in that book threw me for a loop, even as I didn't really get what...

    TBH, I don't think you'll get the full Clan of the Cave Bear experience outside of adult games. I read it as a kid, and the sex in that book threw me for a loop, even as I didn't really get what was going on.

    3 votes
    1. Eric_the_Cerise
      Link Parent
      Bit of a tangent (sex, or the lack thereof, is irrelevant to the game request) ... but I don't recall this being an issue in the first book. The entire rest of the series (which, sexually...

      Bit of a tangent (sex, or the lack thereof, is irrelevant to the game request) ... but I don't recall this being an issue in the first book. The entire rest of the series (which, sexually speaking, falls somewhere between seedy Romance novels and flat-out porn), I absolutely agree ... but I only recall one or two ugly rape scenes in the first book.

      2 votes
  6. river
    Link
    It's set in the future rather than the past, but I can't recommend Horizon Zero Dawn enough. You're essentially a(n outcast) member of a primitive society of hunter gatherers. Except you hunt...

    It's set in the future rather than the past, but I can't recommend Horizon Zero Dawn enough.

    You're essentially a(n outcast) member of a primitive society of hunter gatherers. Except you hunt robots instead of real animals. There is lots of technology in the game but you basically run around with a spear and arrows. You also do hunt real animals and survive of their food and use their bones and so on. So it definitely have a caveman feel but isn't realistic or accurate. Still worth a mention.

    2 votes