A quick and simple game that teaches the ancient history of the Fertile Crescent
For four or more players. Our most popular free game, translated into four languages.
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What the game is about
Mesopotamia follows the rise and fall of twenty nations from the Sumerians to the Persians over two thousand years of history. It purloins freely from those wonderful classic games Civilisation, History of the World (HOTW), and Ancient Conquests, to which I owe a huge debt. The game is more historical than Civilisation, but less world-encompassing than History of the World . The basic system is that of History of the World, but with one very significant difference.
Who might be interested
Mesopotamia is a very simple game. This is not really a game for hardcore gamers (grognards). That said, I think it has several things to commend it:
- It has been used in English and American schools to introduce youngsters to ancient history. Eight-year olds have no problem picking it up. It is a straightforward blood-and-conquest game, showing the ebb and flow of civilisations over two thousand years.
- The rules are only nine pages long.
- The game would also be ideal to introduce non-gamers to gaming.
- It can be played easily in an evening.
- Grognards note: players are always busy. Unlike HOTW or Civilisation, you don't sit around for hours waiting for your turn. You will be called back to the table before you've reached the fridge for your third bottle of white. (Note to kiddies: Do not drink alcohol until your local jurisdiction allows you to.)
If you want a much more sophisticated game, I have two suggestions. First, I suggest you try out the shareware game Ancient Empires from Mr Steven Mathers.
Second, an emailer pointed me to a game whose existence I was unaware of, Chariot Lords. I have since taken a look at the map on their website, and read a review. I don't want to be accused of purloining ideas from an in-print and recent game, so I won't be looking further at Chariot Lords, which is, by all accounts, a fine game. As far as I can gather, Mesopotamia is much more like HOTW than Chariot Lords, and has simpler mechanisms. And, of course, Mesopotamia is free. I hope all will be valued additions to your collections.