In the Footsteps of Darwin

In the Footsteps of Darwin

A game of
Grégory Grard & Matthieu Verdier
Illustrated by
Maud Briand & David Sitbon
Page alternative FR
In the Footsteps of Darwin
2 to 5 players
8 years +
20 to 30 minutes
In the Footsteps of Darwin

Become History !

Twenty years after his expedition around the world, Charles Darwin wants to gather new information about animal life, particularly on continents where he barely set foot, such as North America, Asia and part of Africa. Who else than young naturalists eager for discovery could help the renowned scholar to complete the writing of his most famous work?

Travel around the world and study animals

In the Footsteps of Darwin is a family game for 2 to 5 players where naturalists complete their notebook by choosing Animal and Characters tiles from a shared Journey board. But be careful, only the tiles in front of the Beagle can be chosen!

Thanks to the ingenious mechanics of Restrained Selection and Overlap, naturalists will have to make choices between publishing theories, observing animals of the same species, or studying species from the same continent. The competition is fierce, and you’ll have to be strategic to succeed Darwin!

How to play ?

During the game, you will place 12 tiles in your Naturalist Notebook. On your turn, you will follow 2 steps:

  1. Study an Animal or Take inspiration from a Character : Choose one of the 3 tiles facing the Beagle and place it onto your Naturalist’s notebook. It may be either an animal to study or a character from the Beagle’s previous journey who will inspire you. Some tiles have a bonus effect that you resolve either immediately (gain Compass, hire a Guide, Emblematic bonus) or at the end of the game (major discovery, chart).
  2. Resolve the Voyage of the Beagle : after placing a tile (Animal or Character) on your notebook, move the Beagle as many spaces forward (following the arrows) as the distance between Beagle and the tile you just selected (i.e. 1, 2 or 3 spaces). Draw a new tile and place it face up on the empty space of the
    Journey board.

During the game, you will be able to use the Guide services to make it easier to choose the tiles you need. You will also be able to :

  • Develop Theories via the Overlap mechanism, i.e., cover an animal on the board with a new animal of the same species and continent.
  • Write Publications by filling in the rows or columns of your notebook.

How to win ?

The naturalist with the most victory points wins the game. There are different ways to win points:

  • By developing Theories, objective tiles that tell you for example to observe animals in Africa, Mammals, etc. You can have up to 6 Theories on your Notebook.
  • By writing Publications: each full line or column gives you points.
  • By discovering specimens: some animals constitute an important discovery for the scientific community.
  • By charting and surveying: the Charts seen on your tiles are multiplied by the number of Compass tokens in your possession.
  • By picking the Darwin token: via the Emblematic bonus, the Darwin token moves from player to player. Only the naturalist with the Darwin token in front of him at the end of the game gains 2 bonus VPs.


  • 1 Journey board
  • 5 Naturalist’s notebook
  • 69 Animal and Character tiles
  • 28 Theory tiles
  • 1 Beagle figure
  • 1 Darwin token
  • 41 various tokens
  • 1 cloth bag
  • 1 score pad
  • 1 rulebook
  • 1 appendix booklet



French board game publisher

Our studio designs and publishes a variety of board games in original universes (Iki, In the Footsteps of Darwin, Gosu X...). On this website, you'll find all our published games and upcoming releases, as well as events, tournaments and news about our games.