You are the leader of a prehistoric tribe, deciding which members of your tribe go hunting and what prey they want to catch. To guide you, the Elders have created challenges that you can complete by painting on the wall of your cave.
Each round in the Prehistories board game (designed by Alexandre Emerit, Benoit Turpin), you and your fellow tribe leaders bid simultaneously (and secretly) to decide who hunts where. The more hunters you have, the bigger the game you can catch, but the slower you are. The fastest player — that is, the one with the smallest sum of hunters — goes first, but they have few hunters with which to hunt. To hunt, you assign your hunters to one or more locations to catch the prey waiting there. Prey is represented by polyomino tiles, and the larger the tile, the higher the sum required. If you have just enough hunters to catch your prey, they might be wounded in the process, which means you’ll draw fewer hunter cards at the end of the round to refill your hand. (They distrust your leadership when you get them injured!)
In the second phase of a round, you paint your cave with the animal tiles collected during the hunting phase. Your cave is represented by a 7×7 grid that starts with a few tiles already in place. The first tile you place goes in the left-hand column, and all subsequent tiles must touch tiles already placed, with all tiles being oriented so that the animals are viewed with their legs (or fins) down. (Cavemen have simple tastes and want everything to be representational.)
When you fulfill the wishes of the Elders by painting your cave in certain ways — such as completing a horizontal line or connecting opposing corners or surrounding a legendary animal on all sides — you place one or more totem tokens on that challenge. Whoever first discards their eight totem tokens wins the Prehistories board game.