In the Footsteps of Darwin is a charmingly crafted, quick and easy competitive drafting game for 2-5 players where you take on the roles of research assistants, helping Charles Darwin complete his masterwork, On the Origins of Species.
To do so, you take turns drafting beautifully illustrated animal tiles from a central board to fill your beautifully designed personal board, and complete chapters to earn the highest score at the end of the game, and presumably the gratitude of the man himself. Each turn you draft a single tile, and then move the ship around the outside of the drafting area, limiting the options available to your opponents. Drafting different sets of animals allows you to complete chapters, giving you additional victory conditions to shoot for by the end of the game to increase your score, as well as a whole host of other benefits.
How easy is it to learn and play In the Footsteps of Darwin?
In the Footsteps of Darwin is incredibly easy to pick up and play, with very few possible in-game actions. Don’t let that simplicity fool you, however, the more games you play the more strategic depth you’ll uncover, and the more you’ll realise that playing your opponents is as important as playing the game itself. The difficulty of the game is definitely going to scale with how skilled you become at the game, but one of the best things about it is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get good and even the score. Playing a game takes about 20-30 minutes due to the capped number of game rounds, and it’s possible to get a game in even faster if you try to speed through it.
That makes it the perfect game for board game cafés, game nights, and generally any situation where you’re likely to have a hard-stop on your time playing board games.
How much does In the Footsteps of Darwin cost? Is it worth it the price?
At the time of writing, In the Footsteps of Darwin costs just £28.99 from our affiliate partner in the UK, Zatu Games. For that price, it’s an absolute steal, and it’s a game that’s worth snapping up while you have the chance, because it’s selling out fast.
The production quality of the game is insanely high, with the tiles feeling sturdy, the illustrations beautiful and the overall presentation of the game being top-notch. Even the box is fantastic, and I do not have any complaints about this game whatsoever.
What games are similar to In the Footsteps of Darwin? Who might enjoy it?
- If you are looking for a little more complicated Darwin-themed game, you can try Darwin’s Journey
- If you’re into chill, competitive drafting games like this, you’ll definitely be a fan of Wingspan
- If you like the feeling of indirect competition, then a worker placement game like Lords of Waterdeep may tickle your fancy
- If you like beautiful games that take less than 30 minutes to play, check out Tsuro, or its successor, Tsuro of the Seas
Overall, In the Footsteps of Darwin is a small, chill game, where you’ll find yourself racking up game after game in no time at all. You may not enjoy it if you’re after something meaty that’ll occupy you for hours in a single round, and by its very nature there’s a fair bit of luck involved, so if you’re the sort of person who gets mad when your loved ones get lucky, this may not be the game for you. Otherwise, though, we strongly recommend picking up a copy, because it’s the sort of game you’ll be able to pull out again and again, and just keep on having fun.