Primal Quest it is what I would call a game stonepunk. I guess you are wondering what stonepunk means… well, I don't know either. But this game, after reading it, gave me this impression.

Primal Quest is an indie RPG set in a prehistoric fantasy world

Born in the Brazilian indie environment, which has a very strong hold on the southern continent of America, this game is an example of the marriage between the OSR and the new route, what the author himself calls NSR (New School Revolution). Its creator, Diogo Nogueira, has already released some titles through the label Old Skull Publishing, and is a very important figure in the world of indie RPGs.

But let's get to know him and his latest creation better.

A few words about the author of Primal Quest

Diogo Nogueira is a game creator, artist and graphic designer. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, his game design technique derives from a crasis that combines modern play with classic ideas with clear pulp inspirations.

In 2016 he released his first RPG, Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, and soon after many others followed, seasoned, too, with Zine Quest during the month dedicated to them on Kickstarter. To date, Old Skull Publishing has already released seven full games and many more are in production, while still others are supported thanks to different authors.

In addition to this, Diogo Nogueira works as an illustrator graphic designer, but not only for his projects. He has also collaborated for North Wind Games, Bloat Games, Appendix N Entertainment, Skeeter Green Publishing, Shield of Faith Studios, Magpie Games and many, many others.

What is Primal Quest and what is it about?

What we have in our hands is IMHO, for all intents and purposes, a toolbox. The game, consisting of twenty-eight pages, and downloadable for free from the author's website, immediately presents you with everything you need to bring your characters into the primordial world of Thaia.

Primal Quest is a 28 page toolbox with everything you need to start playing!
All the essentials to immerse yourself in primordial atmospheres

The author himself defines his game one Stone & Sorcery Mini-Hexcrawler. In the manual, in fact, we can meet again the style and the cornerstones of the games of the 80s. The exploration of the wilds by moving in the hexagons, outdoor adventures and the exploration of caves, or dungeons. We would therefore have a map divided into hexagons, which can be made available to the player immediately, or only after exploration, where random and non-random encounters are collected.

However, this product has a big difference compared to Hexcrawl. While this genre of games is usually less "deadly" than dungeon crawls, the particular setting also makes exploration very deadly. Because after all you are cavemen and there are dinosaurs around. There is also Scratch somewhere for sure, but there are dinosaurs, magic and dangers around every corner.
The purpose of the characters will therefore be to grow and survive.

Dinosaurs are king in Primal Quest
Fighting dinosaurs won't be easy!

Differences to another stone age OG game stone

As I sifted through this game the obvious comparison in my mind arose when I thought about OG, even if it has absolutely nothing in common except the primeval setting. One thing I noticed while browsing the pages is that it seems that the characters already have a rudiment of speech, as well as the ability to cast spells, perform rituals and even be the creators of miracles.

Primal Quest also contains a ritualistic magical side, as well as a mere physical struggle for survival
Primal Magic

Nothing to do with OG in which you had few words and only gestures to make you understand. And we always remember that one of the words was "likely"!

So if you are looking for an extreme but serious experience then Primal Quest is the one for you. If you are looking for the narrative game, in which you can narrate everything absurd, then we recommend OG.

Conclusions on Primal Quest

When I started reading Primal Quest I was strangely surprised by the difficulty of the shooting system. I still can't understand why the creator of the game wanted to complicate a game experience so much that it should, by the creator's own admission, a simple and straightforward game.

I'm not saying the game isn't nice and enjoyable, just that it could have been a lot simpler. On the other hand, I found it very fun and exciting to manage the experience points of characters who, after having survived a session, can receive points for their plays or for being able to insert a certain tag (label) of their character.

In addition to this, I also appreciated the survival system, very simple, and also the need to recover resources for the improvement of one's village and equipment. Yes, you start with a stone weapon, but nothing prevents you from getting to forge one in bronze.

Weapons can undergo "evolutionary" improvements in Primal Quest, but do you want to use an animal jaw as a head for a hammer?
Fine bronze weapons, but do you want to put a hammer made from an animal's jaw?

Finally I find Primal Quest a good product, perhaps a little to be scoffed at in some points, but a valid start to play something far from OG and Worm.
If you are looking for the same primordial emotions, we can only recommend watching the American animated television series, Primal (2019-ongoing), conceived by Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Samurai Jack. The series tells the story of the bond between a caveman (Spear) and a tyrannosaurus (Fang) struggling for survival in a fantasy and anachronistic world similar to prehistory.