Produced by: Great American Puzzle Factory
Designed by: uncredited
2-8 players; 30 minutes
In this edition of the Chronology series, players compete to create a timeline of events from sporting history. The first player to correctly place 10 cards into their own timeline is the winner. While still a trivia game at its core, Chronology offers a different enough mechanic and an increasing level of difficulty that it rises above the standard Q&A.
Each player begins with one card in their own timeline. On a turn, a player is read an event from a card. The player has to guess where it fits in the timeline in front of them. If the player guesses correctly, the card is placed in the appropriate position in the timeline. If the player guesses incorrectly, the next player in line has an opportunity to win the card by choosing the place it fits in their timeline. The first player to fit 10 cards in their timeline wins. The game plays quickly with virtually no down time, and it is interesting to see whether you know when an event happened in case the card comes around to you.
The cards, while not of the absolute highest quality, are perfectly adequate, with clear writing and bold dates that stand out well. Since the cards are not handled that much, they stand up to repeated play. The insert includes two small boxes that hold the cards well and allow you to have two decks to pull from if you are playing with a larger group. The box is reasonably compact, especially considering the genre, which tends towards overblown box size and extraneous components. Chronology happily has no board, no dice, no timer – just the essentials, the cards. The content of the cards is heavily weighted towards American sports, but is pretty evenly distributed between the three major American professional sports (baseball, basketball and American football), and other sporting events, including Olympic events, tennis, hockey, motor sports, boxing, etc.
While not as appealing to a general audience as the original game, Chronology – Sports is a welcome addition to the sports trivia genre. The game design is different from many Q&A games, and has the added bonus of making later slots more difficult to fill, since there are more options for where to put your card and generally narrower time gaps in which to fill them. This also helps the game from having a runaway leader problem. We often play to 15 cards, rather than 10, to add more challenge and give more opportunity to catch up. The American bent to the trivia in the game probably precludes it from gaining an international audience, but such is the nature of many trivia games.