Overview: Timeline is a educational card game that tests the knowledge and logic skills of the players. Each player has a specific number of cards laid year side down that they are trying to get rid of. At the start of the game, there will be one card year face up. Players must then take turns placing their card within the right timeline. For example, the starting card may be “Invention of the Pressure Cooker: 1679”. Player 1 may have the card “Invention of the Tuning Fork” and must then place that card before or after the starting card. If player 1 places correct, then they have one less card, putting them closer to victory. If they are wrong, that card is put in the box and the player draws a new card, year side down. End game is whenever a player is the only player in a round to correctly place their last card. That player wins.
Timeline at first glance seems very simplistic and easy. Within the tin box is just two decks of mini cards and the instruction booklet. However, upon careful inspection, the cards themselves boast high quality art. Players each get a set of cards, with the year side down. Depending on the number of players, it could be 6, 5, or 4 cards. The goal of Timeline is to get rid of your cards by placing them correctly in the Timeline. You would think this would be easy, but as the game continues, there are more cards in the middle, making it easier to incorrectly place a card.
Even though the game gets harder as it progresses, it also becomes easier, in a sense. For example, if you have the card “Invention of the Motorcycle” and there’s a card in the middle that’s “Invention of the Combustion Engine”, then by logic you would conclude that the motorcycle has to be after the combustion engine. This also provides a great history lesson for the players, especially those playing with kids. Timeline can readily be used in a classroom setting, and can play up to 8 players. Even with this educational feel, the gameplay is fun and enjoyable, even for more experienced gamers.
Important to note is that Timeline has various iterations. There’s an Inventions version (the one being currently reviewed), and also, Science & Discoveries (2013 Asmodee Version), Music & Cinema, Historical Events, and Diversity. All these versions can be combined together or played separately. This helps with the replay value as you can combine the games, which will make the game more challenging. Timeline is perfect as a filler game for a gaming group or in a classroom setting as a supplement to a lesson.
2 Player Experience
Two player for Timeline works very well. The gameplay is easier initially than with more players, as there will be less placing options by your next turn. However, because you have 6 cards to place, it does balance itself out. Gameplay is quick and no less fun because of only two players.
4 Player Experience
Four player is highly enjoyable for Timeline. It will be harder in general because there will be more placing options by your next turn, but that just increases the challenge. Gameplay will be longer than with 2 player, but not by much. I’d imagine the game might be much longer if played with 8 players, and might not be as much fun. 4 player, however, is very optimal for Timeline.