I have to explore this ziggurat before it is swallowed by the sands of time

10/10, End Game Bonuses, Hand Management, Set Collection -

I have to explore this ziggurat before it is swallowed by the sands of time

Ancient Knowledge

Designer: Remi Mathieu
Artist: Pierre Ples, Adrien Rives, Emillien Rotival
Published: 2023
Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 75 Mins
BGG Rating: 7.2
BGG Ranking: 1736
Publisher: IELLO
Mechanisms: End Game Bonuses, Hand Management, Set Collection
Sleeves: MEV 44x63mm, TCG 63,5x88mm


Game Description:

Heirs to an exceptional knowledge that has survived the ages, it is now up to you to preserve the vestige of your civilization.


Quick play overview:

Starting with a small hand of 6 cards and hopefully drawing more cards during the game, players will take 2 actions from:

  • CREATE - Build monuments into their timeline or build an artifact to their very limited artifact zone
  • LEARN - take one technology card from the available few to draw cards, score points, etc.
  • ARCHIVE - Discard cards to remove knowledge from the monuments in your timeline
  • EXCAVATE – Tap monuments that you have in decline to draw more cards
  • SEARCH – If you need to know what this is.. you are not doing well 😊 If you really want to know.. you draw one card

After the 2 actions, some monuments/artifacts will activate their BUILD ability and cause some nice interactions, like removing knowledge from monuments, drawing cards, moving monuments around the timeline…

All the monuments move one step to the left in the timeline, causing some to go into the PAST. Any knowledge left on these monuments will give you negative points at the end of the game.

Once a player has 14 monuments in the past, the game is over and players score points.


Final thoughts:

This game offers many different strategies that you can explore. The artifacts are the driving force behind it, and there are many of them in this game. Once your engine starts to hum and you are doing things that your opponents can only dream of (they are also doing stuff that you are dreaming about), your hearth starts to sing.

I really enjoy this game and I'm looking forward to play it more to try new artifacts and what can be built around them. After a long time I'm also looking forward to an expansion for a game that I own…



Gameplay & How often I want to play it: 10/10

Gameplay is great.. the stress of the knowledge falling into the past is pushing you to find new solutions each turn. 

I want to explore many other strategies, so I will be playing this game a lot more.


Art & Graphic Design: 10/10

Cards are beautiful and (if you can find the time) you can learn about many interesting monuments around the world..

Graphic design is clean and well done. I never had an issue with any cards.


Rules & Complexity: 10/10

Rules are on the medium side… but still well written and easy to understand.

Combos between artifacts and monuments put this game on a perfect complexity point where you want to play many cards but you are limited by the 2 actions..


Theme & Mechanism fit: 10/10

Preserving the knowledge and monuments before they fade into oblivion is a thematic breath of fresh air.

Building the monuments and then letting the next generations harvest the knowledge is well represented by the mechanims in this game.


Fun & Replayability: 10/10

I enjoy playing this game.. I really do. Drawing new cards and franticly reading them to find the next cog in my ongoing engine has never been this fun.

There are many interesting combos to explore. This game has great replayability.


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