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In Tribes, the players are cave men and women. They hunt and gather food, make their tribal laws, and deal with natural disasters. But the object of the game is simple: Look after the children! In this game, the way to win is to have the most kids, and do whatever you have to do to make sure they survive. The players must know when to cooperate, and when to cut their losses and protect their own families.
With a referee, it is possible to have several tribes at once (as many as 40 people can easily play in the same "extended" game). Each tribe will have its own laws and social pattern. The tribes can compete, trade, exchange people, or even make war on each other.
This game requires that players take the role of cavemen or cavewomen, either hunters, gatherers or craftsmen. As the seasons go, some of the players will have problems living off the land. Furthermore, the tribe must take care of the children to help the tribe live happily ever after.
Players who like to roleplay will enjoy Tribes. The fact that players play their opposite sex is hilarious at times. But the success of your play session depends a lot on your players' involvement. Otherwise, the game quickly turns to a dice-throwing session with everyone trying to kill a mammoth for food. On the other hand, the game can get (hilariously) out of control as everyone is shouting out loud as to who will get to 'reproduce' with 'Urgle the Great, who will take care of Urgma's babies and who will feed ol'Grungle who limps badly!
Overall, it's a great game. Your players' involvement will be the key to Tribes' success.