Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

Not enough stitches: a review of Timeline

Timeline is a simple, inexpensive game from Asmodee. It’s easy to learn and fun to play. The game pieces some in an attractive tin.

timeline_he_box

The goal of Timeline is to win by being the first player to have no cards remaining in front of him or her. In Each game you will begin with three cards in front of you. Each of these cards represent an historical event, but the year is hidden from all players’ views.

One card will be in the middle of the table, with the date showing. The first player then selects a card from his or her hand and puts it next to the hard showing, to the left if they think the event they are placing happened before the event showing, to right if after.

Once placed the card is flipped to reveal the date. If the placement was correct, the game moves on to the next players turn. If incorrect, the card is discarded and the unlucky player must take a new card from the pile.

Form a line

As the game progresses the cards revealed will form a line across the table, giving the game its name. As you get further through the game, placement becomes more difficult as the gaps between cards (in terms of years) becomes narrower. History buffs have a natural advantage at this game, but even they will come across events they have never before compared temporally. Which came first, the Pony Express or the Colt Revolver?

You’ll find yourself asking questions you’ve never asked before, to the amusement of others at the table. When you aren’t quite sure where to place a card the game becomes more difficult, and this will naturally happen as the game goes on and the timeline gets longer.

Event horizon

However this leads to the key issue with the game. There are only 110 cards supplied with the game, and this simply isn’t enough to ensure decent replayability for a group of adults. 500 would have been a better number and I would have wanted up to 1000. There are expansions and variants available for Timeline, but with the same low number of cards per expansion, you will run into the same issue before long. Any more than a dozen games for a group of adult gamers is wishful thinking.

Audience

For this reason I would recommend Timeline for gamers 18 years and younger, in the sense that the game will remain playable for longer. With its simple mechanics the game is easy to play for all ages, but adults will soon tire of the repetition.

Stitch me up

Timeline is an enjoyable game, and the lack of replayability is offset by the ease of learning and the low price point of the game. Useful for inaugurating non-gamer adults and younger gamers into the world of tabletop.

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2 comments on “Not enough stitches: a review of Timeline

  1. Greg Long
    June 28, 2015

    That game sounds perfect for me. Though your example of the Pony Express and Colt revolver makes me wonder how international it is. Good post ☺

  2. Tim van der Burgt Loch
    June 29, 2015

    It reads like a pretty original game, but the issue raised by you on the amount of cards seems like a real deal breaker for me. After one or two rounds you already know quite a few years and playing with ‘new commers’ seems unfair then. The artwork looks wuite stunning though…

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2015 by in Card Games, Tabletop and tagged , , , , , , .
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