Mousechief’s new indie game “7 Grand Steps: What Ancients Begat” looks and functions like an old timey penny arcade board game where you insert coins into slots to move pawns around a game wheel. The in-game text describes generations of a family’s history in Ancient Egypt. The game’s strategy involves making the most of your limited assets to stay ahead while planning for the future of the family as well as determining their path.

The old timey penny arcade format gives “7 Grand Steps” a unique presentation as is expected in an indie game while making the game simple to understand and control. Insert tokens to move to various spokes of the wheel matching the design of the inserted tokens. You have to keep the family moving lest you fail to advance in life and get eaten by crocodiles (no joke). Tokens can also be used to teach children skills so they can become better prepared adults. There’s a fine strategy needed to balance token production, movement, and preparing the children for their time on the wheel of life. Collecting enough beads on the wheel while staying ahead of the other families will unlock more opportunities and bigger chances of success and failure.

During each game, I found myself invested in my characters. I’d feel happy for being able to make them succeed and mourn either the loss of a child I worked hard at raising or when the gods of chance dropped a tragedy too large for my family to tackle. Yes, the gods of chance can be unforgiving at times.

But for a game that presents itself uniquely and provides enough interesting character development and history to fill a good novel, “7 Grand Steps: What Ancients Begat” is a great game to try out while awaiting the next E3 announcement.

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