I never liked games that expected an exact answer from you, games like trivia pursuit that felt more like a test than a game. I think many others feel the same way, that’s why games like ‘Wits and Wagers’ are so popular. Games that reward you for knowing but encourage you to guess even if you don’t. We’re going to look at another game that operates on the same reasoning, that being………..
Timeline is one of the simplist games I’ve covered on this blog and yes that includes the single player rpg that fit everything onto one sheet or A4. The aim of the game, as you may be able to tell from the title, is to make a timeline placing yours and everyone elses cards in the correct order to end the game. This is done by taking any of the cards in your hand and placing them either before or after the starting card on the table. You take your fifty-fifty guess and then turn it over to see if your right. If your wrong than the card is discarded and you pick up another and wait for your next go, if your right however you leave it where it is and play passes to the next person in line. They then have to figure out where out of the now three spaces one of their cards must go and so on until someone’s cards are all gone. In the event that two people manage to get rid of their last card on the same turn they can opt to take another and keep on going until one of them becomes the winner but most games I’ve played have either not called for it or people have been happy to call it a draw for such a light, friendly card game.
The game comes in LCG style sets, in slightly oversized metal tins that are kind of hard to stack on your shelf. Each of these tins will have a theme, like music and cinema or American history and though you are encouraged to mix them a lot of the games that I played people seemed reluctant to do so. Thus while others may turn to you and say to buy several tins I would recommend just getting one to start with and bear in mind that while you might know more about music and cinema than you do about scientific discoveries across the eons the music and cinema set is one of the harder ones because everything happens so close together, relatively speaking, giving you a lot less margin for error.
Now for those who don’t know the term LCG and especially for those coming into card games from the like of yu-gi-oh or magic the gathering; an LCG is a living card game. Now what this actually means is that each labelled set is the same as every other set bearing that label. This means that the game works like Munchkin in that if I buy Timeline: Discoveries and you buy Timeline: Discoveries we will end up with the exact same cards. Thus you always know what you are getting and aren’t throwing down tons of money on booster packs or ebay auctions just to get the card you want.
Now the art work is pretty nice and the different colour borders to distinguish the different sets along with the print to add extra details are a nice touch. The only problem is the size. Here’s a shot of one of the cards in relation to the original ticket to ride cards and a magic the gathering card because I have since realised that as big a nerd as I am I don’t own an actual normal set of playing cards. Now I know that the sets are cheap and you get a lot of cards per set but considering that you are only buying a set of cards they could have sprung for full sized cards.
The only other problem I had with the game were the people keen to correct the dates supplied. Two cards were called into question in under twenty games though whether this says more about the game or the people I play with is up to you.
The game is fairly cheap, fairly variable with the high number of cards and different sets on offer and fairly easy to get hold of. I even saw sets being sold in Waterstones the other day.
I would recommend this as a decent filler for Christmas day or even during a games night. Don’t worry too much about repetition of the cards as you get a fair number of them per set and remember the aim of the game isn’t to guess the date of them but to guess where they sit in relation to everything else on the table.