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Ancestree Review
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Posted: 4 weeks ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.

Author: Rob Prior, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Ancestree is a collecting and sequencing game where you compete to build the strongest family tree. You select and link tiles, building your family person by person, scoring points for marriages, wealth and continuous generations. It is a strategic game about carefully using shared resources to grow your heritage, whilst stopping others from doing the same.

You start by shuffling the Ancestor tiles and dealing six to each player. Each tile represents one person from a specific tribe indicated by a colour and a symbol. During each turn, everyone simultaneously places one tile from their hand face down in front of them, then passes the rest to the next player.

Once everyone has done this, they are flipped over and tactically added to your family tree. Each tile must be linked by completing a leaf or heart shape. You continue until everyone has placed five tiles into their tree.

The twist is that your score relates only to the players on either side of you. Who has the most boasting rights for their family? The tallest chain (Dynasty) for each of the five tribes wins a point. You can also score bonus points by collecting tiles with coins on them. Play continues over three rounds, with players continuing to add to their family tree from the previous rounds.

As you play, the value of combinations rises and after the final round, there is a chance to score bonus points for people in your family that are linked by hearts/marriages. The player who scores the most points in total is the winner.

What starts as a simple tile placement game, quickly becomes a strategic battle to create the strongest family by using resources carefully and keeping your options open, so that you can make best use of any more valuable resources later in the game.

DetailsGame Details

Skill Rating: 6-15 year-olds

Release Date: 01/01/2017

Genres: Collecting, Sequencing and Strategy

Pieces: Placeables, Score Board and Tokens

Developer: Calliope Games (@CalliopeGames)

Players: 2-6



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Learn to Play: This takes 20 minutes to learn. Although the family tree building is simple, the complexity of score for the tribes and the compound benefits of building on the same tribes each round takes longer to understand.

When you first play:
  • Take time to study all the Ancestor cards, so that you know their links and values.
  • Ignore the marriages rule to simplify the scoring system.

Play Time: It takes between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round of this game.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 2 to 6 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Rating

6-15 year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players may need support with counting and keeping score.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


No cost data.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Ancestree Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@CalliopeGames) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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