Luke Hector
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Portsmouth
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Seems like ages since the last Time Stories expansion was released and my set has just sat on my shelf waiting impatiently. I've had concerns with the last few expansions that Time Stories was on a downward spiral as I wasn't blown away by Marcy Case or Prophecy of Dragons. Under the Mask was ok, I liked the story and I loved the cool twist with the characters. But overall nothing ever seems to come close to Asylum - is that because it was the original and there was all that buzz? Maybe, but I think when it comes to art, story, mystery, choices, challenge, puzzles, combat, etc Asylum beats all the rest.

So after a bit of a delay, we've got Endurance, set in Antarctica. This opens up some cool possibilities and made me think of The Thing, a film which to this day still traumatises me to no end. I really shouldn't have get curious when I was younger. But in a board game setting, this could be really cool and the extreme cold could add a new twist. I didn't know what to expect, but I was just glad of another adventure to try. I grabbed my two companions from "The Game Shelf" and we tackled it head on, hoping that we wouldn't need a giant FAQ this time. . . .





Designer: Croc
Publisher: Space Cowboys
Age: 12+
Players: 1-4
Time: 60-90 Minutes per session
RRP: £19.99


From Board Game Geek

T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition: Endurance is the fourth T.I.M.E Stories expansion, about an expedition to Antarctica during the 1st World War.



THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY


I beg to differ! Stuck in Antarctica, this story takes full advantage of the setting it's based on. A key difference here to previous modules however is that this focuses a lot more on the narrative and mystery rather than straight up combat like some previous ventures, although of course you're going to have to get your hands dirty eventually and that's not to say that brute strength isn't occasionally useful for non-violent tasks. There's not a great deal of puzzle solving and what's present isn't particularly complicated.

The artwork is as good as always though I've seen better from the likes of Asylum and Under the Mask. This one reminds me a little of The Marcy Case in terms of its look, which isn't to say it's bad, but I'm not blown away by that style as a personal nitpick. I guess I like the cleaner looks that those aforementioned scenarios gave, almost akin to photographic fine art, which incidentally is probably my favourite category of art in general. Some imagery can be a little gor-iffic or creepy (invented a new word) in places so just some minor caution with young players.

Unlike a lot of previous Time Stories scenarios we didn't actually have much of an issue with the rules either though occasionally you have to make a judgement call on the expenditure of Time Units in certain cases, nothing major though.



GIVES YOU THE CHILLS


The best part that everyone praises with this expansion though is one particular twist near the start that the scenario pulls on you. I won't spoil obviously, but rest assured you're going to love it and it reminds you of exactly what kind of business you're involved in to begin with. If you've played the scenario you know exactly what I'm talking about and I hope this gets utilised in similar ways in future scenarios.

The problem with having such a great start is that the scenario may feel like it heads downhill from that point for some people certainly in terms of any further unexpected revelations especially if you're a seasoned gamer already. However this is offset by the potential fate that may affect some of the receptacles based on what you find in the scenario. There's some cool roleplay opportunities here for those who like to get into their characters and again, I want to see this exploited again in the future.

It always seems weird reviewing a game where I have to be so vague about everything, but essentially what I'm trying to say here, is that this is a more story driven campaign with opportunities for amusing roleplay and one of the best twists in Time Stories to date. It's like this scenario has the foundations for some great mechanics in the system and now future scenario designers need to work with these and improve upon them.





VERDICT ON TIME STORIES: ENDURANCE


I was worried that the whole Time Stories brand was on a bit of a downturn with recent scenarios. However Endurance has thankfully reaffirmed that there is still life yet in this series. Offering an interesting story if a little linear and a more balanced set of challenges in terms of mystery, combat and puzzles.

One twist in particular I think was a brilliant touch and it certainly got me off to a good start in enjoying this scenario. It's not perfect though, as you do sometimes find yourself with not a huge amount of choices to make, or certainly not many difficult ones. It's certainly not a very difficult scenario to win and I would appreciate maybe a bit more of a challenge in the future without resorting to combat.

It's certainly got me excited for future expansions this year and improvements along the way.this ranks probably as my second favourite so far - I do wonder if any scenario will ever top the original Asylum, but here's hoping.



BROKEN RATING - 8 FROZEN FISH STICKS




YOU WILL LIKE TIME STORIES: ENDURANCE IF:



You want a more balanced scenario in terms of mystery, combat and puzzles.


You're keen on the setting portrayed here - it takes every advantage of it.




YOU WILL NOT LIKE TIME STORIES: ENDURANCE IF:



You want a more combat heavy scenario akin to the likes of The Marcy Case or Prophecy of Dragons


You feel the scenario plays out a bit too linear.
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Tyler Durden
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what puzzles do you exactly refer to?
there are none.
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Luke Hector
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Well I class clue based obstacles as a puzzle so the "front door" opening qualifies for me.
 
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Jens Hoppe
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The scenario was a big disappointment to us. About two hours, two runs.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
two runs of course being the fastest you can finish this one in.


Completely linear, no puzzles, just go from A to B to C to D to ... oh, we're done, it seems.

The theme was nice, but with no surprises or twists, it was also a bit on the bland side.
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Marco Förster
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Great review!
I also think, that this story wasn't as breathtaking as the first one, but: the creepy atmosphere really catched me. Definitely worth to play.
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Derek Funkhouser
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jens_hoppe wrote:
The scenario was a big disappointment to us. About two hours, two runs.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
two runs of course being the fastest you can finish this one in.


Completely linear, no puzzles, just go from A to B to C to D to ... oh, we're done, it seems.

The theme was nice, but with no surprises or twists, it was also a bit on the bland side.


Sometimes, it's all about the journey. I'm excited to play this and I'm not expecting a ton of amazing "difficult" decisions to make. I just want to enjoy a story with a great theme, and I think that's what Time Stories does best.
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