Dawn of Man

December 19, 2020    Review    958 words    5 mins read        
Dawn of Man


Dawn of Man is a survival and city-builder that takes place during the Stone Age that is being developed by Madruga Works.

Players take control of a settlement of the first modern humans, to guide them through the ages in their struggle for survival. The game starts during the Stone Age, and takes builds up to the Iron Age, spanning more than 10,000 years of human prehistory. Players will need to get their people to survive, expand and evolve, just like our ancestors, face challenges that nature will throw at them. Wikipedia


  • Minimum:

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64 bit) / macOS 10.11
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM (Shader Model 3)
    • DirectX: Version 11 (Windows only)
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Recommended:

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64 bit) / macOS 10.15
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2 GB AMD or NVIDIA Card
    • DirectX: Version 11 (Windows only)
    • Storage: 2 GB available space


Gameplay image
People resting around a campfire.

There are few main ways you can play the game, either through its freeplay scenarios or challenges. The freeplay scenarios start you off with a basic settlement and you have to accomplish milestones before unlocking the next freeplay option, with three available in total.

Start by setting work areas, places where your villagers can find flint and wood, and go fishing. You can set the maximum number of humans dedicated to each task and even set a limit on the amount of resources that can be collected from each site. The game succeeds in diversifying the animal kingdom around you depending on the age you are currently in, including ancient bison, megaloceros, mammoths, woolly rhinos, cave lions, tigers, and many more. Hunting down these animals gets easier as you progress and research better hunting tools.

As you progress through the business of survival, Dawn of Man provides knowledge points; for example one given for your first successful hunt. You can spend these points on a variety of technologies, horse-drawn equipment or guard towers that protect against local raiders wanting to come in to murder and pillage. It is a great system and ensures that you will be playing this game for a decent while, attempting to unlock everything and build the best society.


A warning here: as you start to play the level of detail in each man, woman, child and animal you encounter is deep. When I lost an individual to disease or war, I felt a sense of sadness, mostly because there is the ability to zoom in and follow these guys from birth to death: you’ll start to think of these guys as your extended family.

Building defences will become more relevant in the Copper Age, when more heavy metal weapons will make a difference. Raiders primarily go for structures, and if you place your defenses slightly further away instead of directly onto your settlement, raiders will be drawn away from what needs to be protected. Instead of building a cramped up enclosure around the village, with towers and platforms, and still run the risk of raiders breaking through and destroy what you’ve built up, a more remote fortification will defend your village sufficiently. In time you will learn that raiding parties can come from all sides, so defenses will have to be adjusted accordingly.

It feels like an achievement when you move from one era to the next. Hell, it feels like an achievement just managing to get from one technology to the next at some points of the game. Having grown a few groups of people from collecting sticks and fending off hyenas to becoming a stone-wall surrounded settlement, with the highs and lows in between, I can certainly say I have found myself enthralled with Dawn of Man.

Gameplay image
Bears coming to ransack the village.


  • It helps to have extra housing space beyond your target pop - seems to increase the odds of getting more people.
  • Ensure that you have as much food variety as possible - the number of ready to eat food and drink categories acts as a cap on migrations. You’ll want fruit and nuts in addition to meat and fish and bread and cheese.
  • Plant small area of fields of cereals and pulses directly outside of your walls.
  • Always set crops to high priority. Capture as many animals as possible throughout all phases regardless if you have enough as home already. Focus primarily on hunting mouflon, ibex, and boar. Hunt dangerous animals during the winter when workload is low and you can muster a large hunting party.
  • Try to keep your workload% under 100% - 80% is ideal. It’s okay to spike up to around 140% at the start of harvest season, but it should be in the double digits before the end of harvest.
  • Up prestige to increase frequency of migrations.
  • Ensure your people are happy/high welfare score to promote more births.
  • Carts move more material, faster, and with less impact on your human.
  • Do not advance into the next age as soon as you can. Get double the technology points needed then unlock the next age, whichever one it is, this will allow you to pick up a few key technologies right as you start that age, which is a huge help due to the game increasing the difficulty as you progress.
  • You can go for a vegan lifestyle and never hunt an animal (in game). Only agriculture and fruits. Tempting?


Dawn of Man is an enthralling sandbox game, though the developers are getting a bit lazy with updates.