Mixed or average reviews - based on 71 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 71
  2. Negative: 6 out of 71
  1. 90
    Ancestors is likely going to be a polarizing game, but it’s something so out of the ordinary than what you’ve come accustomed to in either the survival or third person open world genre, that it’s worth a look.
  2. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a rebellious game about human evolution, replete with challenge and storytelling opportunities of bare survival.
  3. Aug 26, 2019
    So far, I have put about six hours total into the game between both sessions. I am very excited to learn how to wield a weapon to kill predators, and to explore more into the jungle. This has been a really unique and challenging experience, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
  4. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey has gigantic ambitions. It proposes ten million years of evolution, condensed into a 10 GB game, and that is a feat worth highlighting. If you like stories with endearing characters, a precise goal and someone telling you what to do, Ancestors will leave you disappointed. In that case, it offers only a redundant and sometimes incomprehensible gameplay loop, with a pretty repulsive look to boot. For the more adventurous, Ancestors will awaken your most primal instincts to put you in the shoes of our great ancestors, and bridges genres in a brilliant way to serve its theme.
  5. Sep 27, 2019
    For anyone interested in a rough idea of what our early ancestors went through as they slowly evolved over time… this game does offer an effective look and feel for that. It has some pretty irritating issues… but for the most part it is likely to draw you in and see you exploring your environment trying to unlock that next ability that will unlock the next branch on the family tree. Evolutionary denialists… well I assume they are not even considering this title anyway, for everyone else… if you can get past the hangups… Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey actually manages to mix a bit of education with an interesting game that may well find you absorbed for hours on end.
  6. Sep 11, 2019
    The world of Ancestors is an intricate system with its own rules generating exciting events and stories. That is why it’s so fun to explore.
  7. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is far from being a title that the mainstream crowd could easily pick up and play. Technical aspects, like the wonky camera and uninviting controls, can be overcome with time, but the camera system and lack of any direction are enough to turn off most people. Stick with it through multiple restarts, however, and you'll discover a title that has loads of fulfilling moments and deep characters you'll get attached to, despite a lack of understandable speech. Games have rarely done something like this, and that fact is amplified when you look at the scope this is trying to cover. If you're looking for a survival title that feels different and distinct, give Ancestors a look.
  8. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors is not a perfect game, and I think it could have benefited from another six months in development. But the overall scope and reach of the game make playing it worthwhile. I hope the developers will let people know more about some of the mechanics used, like the weird mini-map, because players will want to know. Weirdly, I feel ready, somehow, to be left alone in a jungle.
  9. Aug 26, 2019
    Panache Digital Games has created a truly immersive, lush environment that’s thrilling to explore and traverse. Utilizing our natural instincts for discovery is truly the most ingenious aspect of the game, as it rewards us for problem solving in ways that already come naturally to us. It’s such a gratifying experience to see our hominids start out with no understanding of the world, to then become fairly self-sustaining creatures thanks to education and discovery. More than anything, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey shows us what amazing creatures we truly are and how far we’ve come as a species. Understanding our past is the gateway to our future.
  10. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors is a game that goes off the beaten track, literally and figuratively. It can be challenging at times, but it gets easier once you understand this simple trick: if you die all the time, it's not because the game is too hard. It's because you're doing something wrong.
  11. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a risky, brave and immense game. Evolution as the key to everything. A huge and difficult experience just like life.
  12. Aug 26, 2019
    It’ll be an acquired taste, but for those who have the patience for its deliberate opaqueness, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the type of game its fans will be playing on and off for months, if not years. Its challenging nature makes it equal parts compelling and frustrating, but there’s no question this smart survival adventure contains loads of rewards for persistent players.
  13. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is like no survival game I’ve played before. Charting human evolution is an extraordinarily complex concept for a video game, yet Panache Digital Games has pulled it off by way of carving its own route through a crowded genre. There’s nothing flashy about the brutal landscape in which you attempt to evolve your lineage, and I assume some won’t be interested in a game with unlockable abilities that include being able to sniff a bit farther or hear a little clearer. But this is a wonderfully unique experience that will be deeply appealing to those interested in a hardcore challenge, that just so happens to be rooted in a time period that is completely unexplored territory.
  14. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors is a great step forward for the survival genre. It has all the pieces you'd expect, including water and food requirements but also a few unique ones. All of these tie into the game in a much better way than in most other survival games. Plus, its narrative of guiding humankind through its early evolution in prehistoric Africa makes for a great story to play in a beautiful place to do it.
  15. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an impossibly ambitious game, attempting to summarize the whole of human evolution into the span of a few hours—and succeeding to a surprising degree.
  16. Aug 26, 2019
    A refreshing concept, smart and well executed with a solid immersion and a deep progression feeling that let you forge your own story through evolution. Unfortunately, the game isn't for everyone and it can be frustrating, especially in the first hours, thanks to camera, interfaces, or punitive death system.
  17. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is difficult and opaque in many important ways, but its premise is refreshing and its vision compelling enough to keep the player moving forward. Expect lots of false starts and failure at the beginning, but eventually the mechanics become familiar and the achievement of inching the species forward becomes uniquely rewarding.
  18. Aug 26, 2019
    In an industry where many games are about completing a checklist of objectives, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey doesn’t tell players what to do, it asks what they’re capable of.
  19. Sep 24, 2019
    A completely fresh idea delivered with a mix of already tested mechanics. The result is an almost perfect game which would have been perfect if it was focused a bit more in enjoyment rather than simulating the exact life of Hominidae.
  20. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an original take on the survival genre with a beautiful flora, but with some problems in its fauna.
  21. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a fresh take on the survival genre, one that takes us through the steps of human evolution, but falls short of its potential with a gameplay loop that becomes monotonous really soon.
  22. Sep 12, 2019
    A very unique game about the evolution of man that isn’t afraid to drop you in the world and make you figure out everything for yourself, which may turn some people off immediately.
  23. Sep 11, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a brave and original video game that seeks to surprise.
  24. Aug 28, 2019
    I found the game very satisfying overall. There are, of course, a few hiccups here and there that will doubtless be resolved in time. Nothing is so terrible, however, that it takes away from the overarching experience.
  25. Aug 28, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a breath of fresh air in the sandbox/survival genre. At the same time, the original atmosphere and compelling gameplay is blended with some subpar elements that ought to discourage many players - and there's too much repetitiveness.
  26. Aug 26, 2019
    Despite some repeated combat and the boring management system, it's fun to play as a gorilla and explore jungles.
  27. Aug 26, 2019
    There are many open-world survival games, but none of them is quite like Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The game takes advantage of its ambitious premise and delivers an immersive and meticulous survival game that rewards experimentation and curiosity in a unique way.
  28. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is one of the most interesting survival games I've played in the last few years. With very interesting mechanics and a gameplay capable of evolving together with the brains of the apes, Ancestors lets us experience the struggles of the human evolution. Unfortunately cumbersome controls and a difficulty that easily leads to frustration which partially ruins the experience.
  29. Aug 26, 2019
    Although this foundation is stable enough for a big game, it actually shakes tremendously in the higher floors.
  30. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors is not a stereotypical game: its mix of survival game and roleplay elements enhances an adventure as imperfect as it is precious, and definitely deserving of the spotlight.
  31. Sep 1, 2019
    Ancestors is the basis of what could be a very good survival game once it's been patched, or for a second opus. It's hard to learn, very repetitive, but once you got the first few hours in, it starts to reveal its potential.
  32. Aug 30, 2019
    Ancestors Humankind Odyssey is a game which we embody the deans of humanity, immersed in the fascinating, extremely immersive and often moving adventure of the great story of life. However, Panache Digital Games has not completely managed to offer a game always technically up to the originality of his proposal. It is nonetheless a singular experience that arouses great sympathy and for which it would be a shame to miss out, especially if the few really disabling design flaws were to be corrected soon.
  33. Aug 30, 2019
    Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey is a unique game. You must guide your clan through time and evolution, which is fun with lots of experimentation. There's also a lot of frustration to be had however. Still, the game offers a special experience.
  34. Aug 27, 2019
    Ancestors develops an incredibly ambitious idea, and to some extend, it does achieve its purpose. There are moments that are simply incredible, although its repetitive mechanics get in the way often that we would’ve liked.
  35. Aug 26, 2019
    A survival game that feels like a puzzle and plays a bit awkwardly. Overall, a brain-burning but enjoyable experience.
  36. Aug 26, 2019
    In Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, survival is easy once you decipher the basic mechanics of evolution and sit through the cutscenes, but the journey is full of moments of discovery.
  37. Aug 26, 2019
    This is simply a game too ambitious for the budget available, which tries to dwell on the farming, but with good ideas on his side.
  38. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey does something genuinely original with the survival genre; no matter how often I've missed a jump and splattered on the jungle floor or got blindsided by a panther I kept on playing. Every time I've been infuriated, I've come back for more. It may lack a concrete story, but you'll find yourself writing little stories in your head as you roam – the time you dodged that giant eagle, or distracted a tiger just long enough for your fellow primate to reach a tree. If Panache can squash most of the bugs, this could be a Game of the Year contender.
  39. Sep 16, 2019
    Initial bewilderment gives way to fascination as you understand what Ancestors is trying to do, but fiddly controls and a lack of hand-holding leads to frustration.
  40. Sep 4, 2019
    Ancestors:The Humankind Odyssey is a mixed experience. The idea behind the game which takes you through 8 million years of human evolution is wonderful, but on the other side forces many limitations on the developers, and in the end you'll either fall in love with it or hate it.
  41. Aug 29, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is one of a kind, but it works more in theory than in practice.
  42. Aug 26, 2019
    In the end, Ancestors is a fine experiment that I’m sure will interest a lot of people, but I must say it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. As fun as it is to run around and climb stuff, leading a group of apes into a bigger group of somewhat smarter apes is not exactly an exhilarating proposition – especially when you can easily screw up to the point of losing the clan, not finding a surrogate, and having to restart the game and relearn everything all over again. If the idea of playing through evolution without any guidance and getting your ass kicked by nature appeals to you, then definitely give Ancestors a chance – it’s the kind of experience you’re probably not getting from anywhere else.
  43. Aug 26, 2019
    The marvel of evolution gives way to a gameplay loop that quickly irritates without enough variety to spice it up, which, when combined with poor combat, fiddly controls, and repetitive crafting, all add up to an experience that might drive you bananas.
  44. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey teaches us the evolution of humanity. But the game is not very successful in terms of mechanics.
  45. Sep 6, 2019
    There are fantastic ideas at work here, but the confusing opening hours and an abundance of repetitive tasks will put a lot of people off.
  46. Aug 27, 2019
    Guiding a clan of primates through generations as they evolve certainly makes for a unique experience, and there are times when Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey comes together. But a lack of guidance on basic gameplay mechanics, as well as some clumsy controls and unsuccessfully executed ideas, make for a highly uneven game.
  47. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey begins 10 million years in the past and puts you in control of our evolutionary forefathers. You must guide them on their path toward humanity, which means teaching them how to fish, how to hunt, and how to walk on two legs. Ancestors executes its vision of our evolutionary past with care, but it just isn’t very fun to play.
  48. Sep 4, 2019
    At its core, this mixture of action-adventure, evolution and prehistoric survival is interesting, but held back massively by a bunch of cumbersome and badly explained mechanics as well as clumsy controls.
  49. Aug 27, 2019
    A:THO ignores the mechanical DNA that make open world games and survival RPGs so much fun. There’s nothing revolutionary about depriving you of map functionality and an adequate tutorial. This isn’t an evolution so much as a freak mutation that will die off in the wild. There are other games that achieve what A:THO attempts; play them instead.
  50. Aug 26, 2019
    A novel premise wrapped in an awkward and repetitive survival slog.
  51. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Oct 11, 2019
    Poor climbing and fighting aside, the gameplay loop is mind-numbingly tedious: eat, drink, make babies, sleep. Keep doing that for hours, and you’ll unlock one semi-useful perk or another, so you can eat, sleep and drink some more. [Issue#240, p.40]
  52. Sep 9, 2019
    In summary, you’ll know if Ancestors is up your alley pretty quick. And kudos to you, I genuinely hope you enjoy it, so they can make more games that are this out there. It’s something the industry absolutely needs even if they’re not ready for me yet. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it and who knows? I may come back later when it’s had time to sit with the general population only to really discover its wonders. But for now, my dear reader, I’d rather forget about my ancestors lost to time and play a game like Ape Out instead.
  53. Sep 4, 2019
    This might be a game coming from Patrice Désilets, it is not a very convincing one. The first ten hours of this survival game are mysterious and exciting, but then all that's left is mediocre gameplay.
  54. Aug 26, 2019
    I was deeply frustrated by Ancestors, so it may seem strange for me to say that I found a lot of promise, complexity, and nuance here as well. The novel concept and grand scope are far more appealing than dozens of other action or survival games on the market. This is a deeply flawed but richly imagined effort, but like many ambitious gaming projects at launch in recent years, it can now either die off like the Neanderthals, or evolve into something better from here.
  55. Aug 29, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey wants to offer a kind of pseudo-realistic experience from the past, but forgets that there is a modern person behind the buttons who just wants to be entertained.
  56. Sep 13, 2019
    A survival with a fascinating setting and fresh ideas that is horribly let down by its endless repetition.
  57. Edge Magazine
    Sep 12, 2019
    Despite its problems, and they're not insignificant, Ancestors has an unusual magnetism. [Issue#337, p.116]
  58. Sep 5, 2019
    Our ancestors didn’t have it easy, and that’s the for-better-and-worse message reverberating through every interaction in the game.
  59. Sep 3, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a beautiful, ambitious game of evolution. Unfortunately, the sheer initial difficulty, repetitiveness, and discouragement associated with some of the mechanics and replayability will likely limit this title to only those most dedicated to seeing the game through to the end. For a lack of better words, it feels as if this game needs to go through a bit of evolution itself in order to smooth the roughness and make players want to journey through this odyssey.
  60. Aug 30, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey replicates the fumbling, trial-and-error progress of evolution, which often isn’t fun, but there are monkeys in the game, and that is brilliant.
  61. Aug 28, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a bold experiment that really leans into putting players in situations where they have to be creative and resourceful without any hand-holding. Gamers who kick a kick out of the survival genre (like these 10 great survival titles) and love the pressure of finding that next source of food or safe place to sleep will likely get a lot of enjoyment out of Ancestors once they adjust to the controls, but it will likely feel a bit too challenging and aimless for the average gamer.
  62. Aug 27, 2019
    For every cool "a-ha!" moment in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, there has been something that has me on the verge of rage quitting. There's a fascinating, novel concept in Ancestors, but with so many bugs and other tedious issues blocking it, the joy of this survival game feels like it's constantly kept millions of years and a bundle of evolutionary feats away.
  63. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a brilliant tech demo for an RPG system that has the potential to revolutionize the way we progress our characters in games, I just wish it there had been a little less proof of concept and a little more fun.
  64. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey was such an interesting idea on paper but from its complex and unexplained environment to the severe lack of exciting objectives and goals to work towards, the game doesn't quite manage to entice the player to make the very best of humanity.
  65. 50
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an ambitious game whose conceptual vision is the very thing that bogs it down. There's a lot of unexplained expectations of the player, and, by the time those are worked out, it's easy to become bored or frustrated with it. Very likely, both. Combined with abundant technical problems, there isn't a lot to praise about Ancestors and even less to recommend.
  66. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Feb 28, 2020
    The game has an original setting and at first attractive environment. Unfortunately for players, millions of years are truly dragging, and the sluggish gameplay makes the struggle for survival a struggle for your own sanity. [Issue#298]
  67. Sep 27, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey promised so much, but it ultimately isn’t any fun to play. The lack of direction, the clumsy controls and unwieldy mechanics make this a huge missed opportunity that just doesn’t hang together as an experience. The DNA of a great idea may be here, but it needs a significant amount of evolution before it can become realised.
  68. Sep 18, 2019
    It’s initially interesting, but its bundle of ideas and systems stumble between clever and stupid, intuitive and clunky. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey needs more time to evolve.
  69. Sep 9, 2019
    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a wonderful idea that fails to deliver on almost every level. While it can be breath-taking to look at, it is a tedious chore and needlessly unforgiving. I applaud Patrice Désilets and his team for attempting something new and fresh, but great ideas alone do not make for great games.
  70. Aug 28, 2019
    A tiresome and unforgiving survival game that purposefully makes things as difficult and repetitive as possible, while offering very little in the way of entertainment.
  71. Aug 26, 2019
    As it stands, investing in Ancestors' journey demands too much effort for too little reward.
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  1. Aug 27, 2019
    Ancestors is ambitious and clunky and not much fun - and it's often quietly thought-provoking too.
  2. Aug 27, 2019
    Some cool ideas, and the way you can climb all over trees is great fun...The endless repetition is soul-crushing.
  3. Aug 27, 2019
    Traditional definitions of "fun" don't apply, and so following some kind of guide to "win" is missing the whole point. Ancestors is constantly challenging you to mess around, and to derive pleasure from the thrill of fresh neurons snapping into existence. You're immersed in the chaos of a pre-human world from the very first moment, and the biggest wins to be had are those you create for yourself.
  4. Aug 26, 2019
    It’s a refreshing experience, and I have a feeling that some players are going to give up quickly — I can’t say I blame those that do — while others will become obsessed with trying to figure out what the hell is going on, even if there is no extrinsic reason to push each generation past a certain point. It can also be distressing how little agency the other hominids exhibit until I take over, and how little instinct we seem to have in general. If I don’t take the lead in making babies or gaining territory, the clan becomes an inert group of hominids that are more or less waiting to die.
  5. Ancestors is a mish-mash of ideas, some good, many awkward and poorly executed. Down another evolutionary branch, this might have been a solid ape sim about swinging from branch to branch and raising a family of hominids across the eras. But here, even the sometimes pleasing “floor is lava” tree-swinging can’t be saved from the slavering jaws of those clingy context-sensitive menus, nor the mess of barely explained HUD elements, nor the obnoxious video filters.
  6. Aug 26, 2019
    Ancestors might not be for me, but there’s no doubt it has conviction. I can respect that.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 273 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 29, 2019
    So to all those who want to love this...I'm right there with you. But despite wanting to love it...I can't and it doesn't deserve your love.So to all those who want to love this...I'm right there with you. But despite wanting to love it...I can't and it doesn't deserve your love.

    It was bad enough that it's an epic store exclusive but whatever but to be launched in this buggy broken at times state is unacceptable even in an era where this is all too common. But let's imagine it works.

    Ancestor is a survival game. But while game a like the forest or subnaitica are amazing in scope and ambition and follow through. Ancestor reaches for the sky but much like your ape the gsme reaches, misses and fall.

    Graphics: they aren't terrible but in 2019 with a kick ass pc they're pretty bad. Almost last gen at times. Also there is little variety. The ui and menus are be at though. But the cut scenes are a night mare and you can't skip them...and they repeat...a lot. Lots of graphical glitches. Clipping and texture and pop-up issues. Average.

    Sound: Great but much of its really quiet and they use audio gimmicks for gameplay which aren't obvious. Overall good.

    Gameplay: what could have and should have been amazing is pretty poor. Repetitive, boring, uninspired, lazy and disappointing. At times it's ok and shines and you see what you imagined but then it sabotaged itself. It's like the game hates or doesn't care about the player. Traversing is ok though hit and miss. Fighting is really clunky. You do the same thing again and again. And then you die and loose too much. There are other areas outside of the forest but it takes too long and by the game and you don't feel you've achieved much. Overall: average to poor with moments of what could have been.

    Lastability: 50 hours if you're insane. Otherwise you'll be board after 7 and not 7 good hours. 7 hard awkward annoying hours and then a little fun and it goes no where for the next 20. Overall long enough but what's the point if it's no fun.

    Value : play a demo and have a blast. Wait for a sale. Watch an hour of twitch eitherway as this game is very niche.

    I just want to repeat that the devs really screwed all the people who were excited and supportive. It could be fixed if the sorted out the dying and mating and combat and added some more monsters. Also resolved all the bugs etc. But they didn't care about us when they launched this early access game so don't hold your breath. I'd be angry at the devs but they screwed themselves and their wonderful idea the worse.

    4/10 (5 If you love monkey /ape or homoids? sex ;)
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  2. Aug 27, 2019
    It's a challenging game, if you don't like survival games what are hard then don't buy it. if you like a challenge and your creative or wantIt's a challenging game, if you don't like survival games what are hard then don't buy it. if you like a challenge and your creative or want to learn to be more creative then buy it.

    don't try to be a one-man army the game is fairly realistic, if you try to survive on your own and don't use teamwork of your clan its much harder, remember to stock up on useful items or ask your clan to hold useful items as you bring them with you so if one of you get hurt it can be quickly fixed.

    I would say bring 4 people, give 2 of them weapons and the other 2 medicine plants for bleeding and poison. you can also bring a fix for broken bones but it's not as life-threating unless you are trying to run from something.

    personally, I love a hard game that others struggle to excel at. I and my friends like to play the game to kill any time we have when we bored or need to relax or something.
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  3. Aug 27, 2019
    After some hours of doing the same thing over and over, a tiger appearing magically from nowhere (it doesnt matter if u move to a new place heAfter some hours of doing the same thing over and over, a tiger appearing magically from nowhere (it doesnt matter if u move to a new place he just appear again every few minutes).
    Its boring, buggy and really very bad done. Feels like an Early Access game in all aspects. A waste of money and as usual i cant review the game on the store to warn other users. I give it a 1 because at least the game runs...
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