As two timelines merged into one, and two time agencies came to exist the realization that both timelines’ existences are in grave danger followed. You must join a time agency – The Black Watch or The Golden Hourglass. You must then travel through time and gain control of those eras to ensure their existence in the new timeline. It won’t be easy, but time travel never is.
What Is It?
Hand Construction / Drafting – For any era(s), players will draft 6 cards into hand from the 18 available. To do this, they draw 3, keep 1, give 1 face-down to their opponent, and put 1 in the Independent Stack, repeating until they have 6 cards. Players can not look at any face-down cards during the draft.
Stat-Based Turn Order – Each turn, the player with the coin plays a card first. Once both players have played, the player with the higher card takes the coin and control of the round. They will decide which of the 2 cards triggers its’ effect, and which scores influence points for the player who played it.
Campaign – Players can choose to play a single era or play through 3 eras as a single campaign.
Who Is It For?
- 2 Players – A head-to-head game for exactly 2 players
- Ages 14 & Up / Slightly Experienced Gamers – There’s a bunch of card abilities to read/learn and a bit of strategizing in what is best to play when, so it might be too much for younger players, or those who are newer to gaming
- Fans of head-to-head card games
- Players who can adjust to/create a strategy quickly, since they don’t know what cards their opponent is giving them until after the draft
Campaign – In the campaign, players will have access to a new Time Traveler card each, and will move a VP standee along a track, depending on the final outcome of each era. An era victory is worth 2 VP and Time Travelers are worth 1 VP each, if in a player’s influence area. Players calculate the difference between their VP at the end of an era, and move the standee that difference toward the player who had more points. After 3 eras, the player with the standee on their side wins.
A single era is pretty short (around 10-15 minutes), so the campaign isn’t terribly long, and it gives players a chance for a little “tug of war”/ back and forth. However, if one player gets far ahead in the first or second round, it can be difficult for the other player to pull off a comeback, because of how points work, which is frustrating. I think I prefer the single-era games, personally, but if you’re going to play a few rounds anyway, the campaign is a good choice.
- Aesthetics – I like the art on the cards/box a lot, and the color scheme of dark vs light
- Components are nice quality – stands, board, cards, coin
- Plus, the stands fit in the box assembled which is great
- Reference pages are handy for all the card effects
- Era decks are unique from each other so it’s not just playing the same cards with different art or anything like that
- Rules are well-written and provide good examples. There’s even QR codes that link to video examples if you prefer videos
- Variability – 2 ways to play (single-era or campaign), plus because of the draft and the fact that 1 card does an effect and the other just scores, no 2 games will ever be the same.
- Simple set-up and clean-up
- I like that you can choose to trigger an effect for “no effect” and you can’t just not choose a card if the effect can’t be carried out. I think it gives players more chances to play strategically
- The draft felt a little off to me. I thought it was weird that you couldn’t look at what cards you were being given face-down, meaning you couldn’t make a totally informed decision about what to choose from your next selection.
- I do wish the reference pages had been separate from the rulebook, just so you could have them out, but still easily reference the rules at the same time, if needed.
- I assume the cards didn’t have text on them to keep them language independent, but I found referring to the sheets so often a bit annoying (I struggle to pick up on icons quickly, so I have to read abilities many times to get them to click). I wish they had been on the cards instead
- Because of having to share the reference, it can slow down games a bit
This seems to be a game that benefits from really knowing all the cards in an era. Once you know them better, you won’t need to reference the abilities as often and games will play quicker and smoother. There’s only 18 per era, so depending on how quickly you learn icons and pick up on the best combos, it might not take you too many plays to get a handle on it.
I definitely wish the draft was different because I felt like I had less control then I could or should have had since it wasn’t a standard “pick and pass” type of draft. Often it felt like the higher cards were always better because it meant you had control of the round and what effect got triggered, but maybe I still don’t know the cards quite well enough to say for sure. I do think there are more strategies there for when to play certain lower numbers, but it will take more plays to uncover them all.
If you’re looking to play this more casually, or try it with all different players, it might not be the best choice. But, if you are a 2-player group who plays together often and likes learning the ins and outs of cards, it might be a good fit for you!
Designer – Alexander Schreiber
Artist – Sonder Flex
Publishers – HeidelBÄR Games; CGE
MSRP – 29,95 €
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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