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Timeline has been around for a while now with many different iterations of the game. Nothing has changed in mechanics, it's the same thing each time. Place a selection of cards based on a historical theme in chronological order in an ever-changing timeline in the centre of the table. Simple, quick, easy to learn, a nightmare to master. . . . well if like me you have no historical trivia knowledge whatsoever!
I always liked Inventions and I was happy with Science and Discoveries, they are the two I own currently. Music/Cinema was a bit too restrictive and I haven't tried Historical Events. There's probably others, but it's hard to keep track! Now I have a set closer to my neck of the woods, focusing on British History. Seeing as I'm from Britain, naturally I should have no trouble mastering this one. . . uh oh.
Designer: Frederic Henry
# of Players: 2-8
Play Time: 15-30 Minutes
The More You Know........
OK, if you want to know how Timeline plays in general, you can check out my old review for Timeline: Inventions, which was the first set I got into. All the sets of Timeline play out in exactly the same way with the same rules, player limits, etc.
As I found out the hard way, if you don't know much about British History - you'll learn a lot from Timeline so consider this an effective teaching tool as always for the classroom. However this also means you'll lose. . . a lot! Some other editions of Timeline have that benefit of being able to make an educated guess based on the cards out, with this, that doesn't happen as often, you either know it or you don't on the majority of cases. Now this might be due to my insufficient knowledge base, but then I don't know when all the inventions in history were created, but I felt I was able to tackle that set a lot easier.
However you do learn some interesting stuff here and the variety in the types of cards is pretty wide. One minute you have the first motorway, then when The National Trust was formed, then when the Magna Carta was signed, then the first Parliament formation and many more. If you want to teach anyone about British History, this is a great way to start. Who needs trivia games now, this is much more entertaining.
Even though Timeline can be played with up to 8 players, it's not something I would recommend doing too often. Not only do you have less cards to play, thus limiting your options, but you also end up with a fair bit of downtime waiting for everyone to make their move. Unless you're using this in a classroom I like to cap this at 4-5 players as a sweet spot for time and variety in the cards.
As with all of the Timeline brand, you can mix and match the sets to your hearts content to avoid the issue that 110 cards won't last you long through repeated plays, though some combinations work better than others. Both historical sets are perfect together and I found that Inventions combined well with Science & Discoveries nicely.
At its core the game is fine - it's a simple, quick card game that pinches at the brain cells but not to a degree that's going to cause brain burn. You're generally on a level playing field with other players as very few people can remember when all of these events too place, but it's about making educated guesses based on what the timeline looks like or what you know about historical periods.
It can drag out a bit with more than 5 players so I suggest keeping the player counts low. Also as much as the game makes a good filler, those cards are going to repeat themselves eventually so to get the full enjoyment you'll want to acquire some additional sets. But even on its own, it's a great teaching tool that will make some of us question our own patriotism.
You Will Like Timeline: British History If:
You want a game that could be used for educational needs - you can learn a lot here.
You need a card game that's simple and quick (at least with most player numbers)
You are thinking of expanding the game further.
You Will Not Like Timeline: British History If:
You don't intend to purchase more than one set - with only 110 cards it can get stale.
You are looking for something more meaty - this is quick and simple
You're looking for a 2 player game - I feel this game is best played with more people.