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Tides of Time to Flow from Portal Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Tides of Time
When you think of Portal Games, grandiose game designs tend to come to mind such as Neuroshima Hex! and Stronghold, Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island and Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy — board games that seem to hold entire worlds within themselves, board games that want you to inhabit those worlds, board games that (yes) tell stories, board games that bear subtitles that threaten to shatter under their own weight (much as with this sentence and its many clauses).

While that's often the situation with game releases from Portal, the company has released a number of smaller designs over the years such as (the still somewhat involved) Witchcraft from Michał Oracz and Ignacy Trzewiczek and the abstract strategy game Glik from Adam Kałuża. While those games are ancient relics in today's on-the-run game industry, Portal is not finished with small designs, with the 18-card microgame Tides of Time from first-time designer Kristian Čurla scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2015 and reach retail outlets in August 2015. Here's an overview of the gameplay:

Play as an ancient civilization as they prosper and collapse through time. Build gigantic monuments, raise impenetrable fortifications, and amass vast knowledge as the ages pass. The greatest civilizations will leave their mark long after their collapse. From times long forgotten to times recently lost, civilizations will rise and fall as the tide of time carries them.

Tides of Time is a drafting game for two players. Each game consists of three rounds in which players draft cards from their hands to build their kingdom. Each card is one of five suits and also has a scoring objective. After all cards have been drafted for the round, players total their points based on the suits of cards they collected and the scoring objectives on each card, then they record their score. Each round, the players each select one card to leave in their kingdom as a "relic of the past" to help them in later rounds. After three rounds, the player with the most prosperous kingdom wins.
In a press release announcing the title, Portal Games' Ignacy Trzewiczek says, "Kristian approached me at Essen Spiel with a prototype and when we played it, I knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for Portal Games. The play is more streamlined than our usual games, but each decision is rich and difficult. Each choice, you must choose between building your Kingdom or sabotaging your opponents plans...and sometimes, you can do both with a single action!"

Tides of Time is for players aged 8 and up with a playing time of 10-20 minutes and a $12 MSRP.
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