Darwin's Journey

Created by Gonzalo Aguirre Bisi

Retracing Darwin’s journey to the Galapagos in an exciting Worker Placement euro game by Simone Luciani and Nestore Mangone.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

November Update - Become a Darwin’s Journey character
about 2 months ago – Thu, Dec 02, 2021 at 02:31:50 AM

Dear Explorers,

We hope you are doing great.

A few days ago we were celebrating the anniversary of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species", which was first published on November 24, 1859. It cost 15 shillings and it immediately sold out, all 1250 copies were requested by booksellers on the same day!

It’s just incredible how that book changed us profoundly and how much we have advanced as a species to this day.

We really can’t wait for you to see the final result of the game and to embark on this beautiful journey we have crafted with so much passion.

Month resume and next steps:

  • We have been working on the design for the insert, by taking into account all the different components, sleeved cards, and maximizing the space we have. We still need a few days to finish this important part of the project.
  • All the translations are done, our partners are proofing the rules and we will share them with you as soon as we have them.
  • Production is undergoing, we have been talking with our manufacturer to understand the timeline, as this past year has been really crowded production-wise and it looks like our manufacturer needs more time to finish this production. This means that most probably we won’t be able to freight the games before the end of January but after Chinese New Year. We will confirm an exact date as soon as our manufacturer gives us confirmation.
    Since the result of this campaign, the interest for distribution has been incredible, and we are making sure everything is in order to avoid mistakes on a print run of this scale.
  • We should be receiving the final copy of the game and all the additional mini-expansions next month. We can’t wait to show you!

Become a Darwin’s Journey character

While you are waiting on the game, we would like to play a few small games each month in which you can interact with us.

For this month, we are giving away a Darwin’s Journey character portrait to one of you! The portrait will be illustrated by Paolo Voto to your likings.

To join, comment on this update on what your favorite species is and why. We will be drawing one comment randomly that will be revealed in the next update.

Darwin’s Journey live stream

This Friday, December 3rd at 9 pm CET 3 pm EST we will be playing Darwin’s Journey while talking about the process of creating the game, the challenges, and interesting moments of this experience.

We will also be answering questions and doing giveaways!

Be sure to subscribe to our Twitch channel to be notified when we go live or join our Discord community!

We really appreciate your patience while waiting on the game and we are confident you will feel proud of being part of it.

Thank you so much for reading this update and we look forward to talking to you soon!

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

October Update - Player aid, Collector’s rules and more
3 months ago – Sun, Oct 31, 2021 at 11:54:52 PM

Hello Explorers,

We hope you are great!

It is incredible how colossal this game feels after all the work is done. We have focused on addressing the rulebook writing as we believe it is crucial for us to communicate how every aspect of the game works.

This whole experience has been a masterclass for us on how to make euro games with the possibility of working alongside Simone Luciani, Nestore Mangone, and the huge support with the rules from Jonathan Cox.

With more than 60 unique icons in the game, we want to give absolute priority to readability and usability and we are proud of what we have achieved together. Thank you for all of your feedback and suggestions. In this update, we will discuss this topic, but before that let’s have a brief round of what’s ahead of us.

Next steps:

  • All of the different rules have been sent to the manufacturer
  • Translations of the languages offered will be ready before November 5th when our publishing partners will then be able to proof them.
  • Production is undergoing. We will have a better understanding of dates in the next couple of weeks.
  • We are aiming to start freight before the Chinese New Year (Feb 2022).

Collector’s edition rulebook

Several of you have addressed in the last update that you would like to have a compendium of all the rules in the game (including the Fireland expansion and all of our mini-expansions included as Stretch Goals). This has been our intention since the beginning, but it took a bit longer than expected as many

In this 56 pages compendium, you will have all the required rules to play the entire experience, including all the additional content in the game we unlocked during the campaign. If you are curious, you can download it below.

Player Aid final reveal

Previously we have created player aids based on playing cards, however, with Darwin’s Journey, we wanted for you to have immediate access to the important information throughout the game.

To accomplish this we have created an index of all the components in the game, special actions, crew cards, and beagle objectives.

While playing, you will find the index number in the bottom right corner of the component

By taking a glance at the player aid you will be able to understand what each component does.

We ensure that within a couple of plays, you will become familiar with all of the different symbols and the player aid will be used just to refresh the rules from time to time.

On the back of the Player aid, you will find a compendium of important icons which can be also used as a reference guide for when you teach the game to others.

We really appreciate your patience while waiting on the game and we are confident you will feel proud for being part of it.

Thank you so much for reading this update and we look forward to talking to you soon!

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

September Update: Rulebooks and timeline
4 months ago – Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 12:15:04 AM

Dear explorers,

We hope this update finds you well. 

We are very excited to announce that both Darwin’s Journey base game rulebook, as well as the mini-expansions rulebook, are ready! At the moment, we are polishing the rulebook layout and details. We are really happy to be working with Jonathan Cox who has done a great job, and after several passes, he has just finished the last pass. Before making any further changes, we would like to share the rulebooks with you. Please let us know what you think about them, your opinion is important to us all.

At the moment the production is still running, and as you already know our 2021 timeframes have been dilated, but our goal is to make sure freight happens before the 2022 Chinese new year (before February).

We really appreciate your patience and support and we are available to respond to any question that may arise.

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

August update: Playmat photos and short update on rules
5 months ago – Thu, Sep 02, 2021 at 11:58:53 PM

Dear Explorers,

We hope you are all doing great!

In this update, we wanted to show you the updated rules with all the final layouts, but after a meeting with Jonathan Cox yesterday, we believe we need to revise a few elements before we can publish them. We will postpone this to our next update that will happen as soon as possible in September.

You can expect rules for the Base game, Fireland, and all the mini-expansions. 

Thanks for your patience while we work on the last few steps to complete this important task. After this, we will start to work on all the translations.

Production is ongoing for the components while the rulebooks and boxes will be done before assembly.


We received the playmat for Darwin’s Journey, and we are very pleased with the final look and feel. 

Here you can find some photos made with natural sunset light for a pinch of nostalgia.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! 

Thank you so much for reading this update and we look forward to talking to you soon!

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

July update: Mass production begins. Rulebook creation Interview.
6 months ago – Mon, Aug 02, 2021 at 04:57:14 AM

Dear Explorers,

We hope you are having a great day.

We will be showing a bullet point list of things achieved within July, just like we did last month. If you are in a rush, you will get a good summary by reading the following list:

What we accomplished over the last month:

  • The team took alternate summer breaks to keep things going during summer, therefore we are happy to announce that we sent to our manufacturer our purchase order last week with all of the files (excluding the rulebooks that will be printed later in the process). This means we are officially in the mass production stage.
  • It looks like many games are under manufacturing at this time and the production process will be slower than usual. From what was communicated to us, we are aiming at 85-90 days of production and then we will undergo assembly. Hopefully, by that time, the freight situation will be much better.
  • If you are interested in knowing more about the development side of the game and take a look at the packaging of what you will be receiving, please keep reading.


While we are still working on the layout for the whole set of rules (we estimate another 10 days for completion), we had a lovely chat with Jonathan Cox, our rulebook author, during one of our live streams. You can see the full interview in the following video.

The case for the playmats

If you have ordered the playmat for Darwin’s Journey or you are a proud owner of the all-in bundle, here is the transport case for your double-sided playmat. We hope you like it!


We have been working a good amount of time on the different sides of logistics, as this game has several different items that we are bundling during assembly to avoid any mistakes during fulfillment.

The Base Game backers will receive:

  • Darwin Journey’s Base Game
  • Scenario Booster pack (all the Stretch Goals unlocked inside an envelope)

The Collector’s Edition backers will receive:

  • Darwin’s Journey Collector’s Edition containing all the following as a bundle (in the same box):
    • Darwin’s Journey Base Game
    • All the deluxe bits for the game (like metal coins, counters, and wax seals)
    • The Fireland Expansion content
    • Scenarios Booster pack (all the Stretch Goals unlocked for the base game)
    • All Stretch Goals unlocked for the Collector’s Edition

For the ones of you getting additional items for the game like Darwin Worker mini-expansion or Falmouth Port, you will receive them in a separate envelope/tuck box.

As we did for our Matchbox Collection, we are manufacturing custom double-layered cartons to ship the games to you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games