Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review Timestreams Episode 1

Timestreams Episode 1 01-TSD1 published by Bucephalus Games www.bucephalus.com 2 thirty-nine card decks in a lithographed box. MSRP $19.99

Gameplay Play begins with each player choosing a deck. In this set, there are the Stone Age and Future Tech decks. Six era cards are laid out starting with the Stone Age and ending with Future Tech. Each era card indicates one 'day" of play. There are two parts to a Timestream game. In the first part, at the beginning of each day, if two players, each players draws six cards (there is no hand limit), then take turns playing them into a row beneath the era car. Players may do one of three things each turn: play an invention, which will score points in the scoring part of the game and may cause a change in the time stream; play an action card; or pass. Only the first six cards played score for each day, but player may wish to play additional cards in order to affect the time stream. Once both players pass, the day ends.

After the end of the sixth day, the first part of the game ends, in the second part, players score their cards, resolving any actions triggers by the scoring. When all cards are scored, the game ends and the player with the most points is the winner. Suitable for ages 8+, expect a game to take 45-60 minutes.

A couple of guys in the store played a game and, while they enjoyed it, the actions on some of the cards were hard to understand or nonsensical. For example, one card with the "Art" designation said it affected other "Art" cards, but the only "Art" card in the set are duplicates of that card.

Presentation Timstreams is a deceptively simple game to play, the rules pamphlet is only 8 pages long, with three of those pages taken up by either promotional material or descriptive text. The box is designed, as is typical with Bucephalus products, to hold the decks stable, and is rather small, about an inch shorter than SJG's Munchkin box and half as thick. There's even a small packet of silica gel included. The major design problem I see is on some of the Future Tech cards with black text printed on a dark background, soe you need to look closely at the card to read it.