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Subject: Quick summary - Timeline:Inventions rss

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Andrei Ivanesei
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This is a fun little game that can be played by anyone. The box and the art on the cards is really well done. The rules are some of the simplest and most strait forward of any game I've played.

The objective of the game is to be the first player without any cards in front of you. Everyone draws 6 cards and places them all in front of them. Then, one card from the deck is flipped over so it has the date on it. Now, the first player places one of his cards to the left or to the right of that initial card, trying to form a correct timeline with the cards. If he put his card correctly, the next player gets to put a card down. If he missed, he discards that card and draws a new one from the deck. Then Player 2 acts. This is all there is to the rules.

A great video about the rules, as always, by Rodney Smith here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2Gzxq2cQhQ
Actually, it was this video that made me get this game. Anyway, lets proceed.

The good
- This game is fun. Really fun! Playing with my friends, we always laugh one someone misses a card by 2-3 years.
- I guess this game is even better for kids, they get to learn something new and sparks their curiosity. For example, when they place the Printing Press, you can tell them about Gutenberg and how his invention changed the world. Small stuff that adds to their general knowledge.
- The game is really small, easy to carry and plays very fast. A 2-3 player game is about 10 minutes long. This makes it ideal to play before starting a more time-consuming game and you are waiting for the rest of your group to arrive.
- The art on the cards is really good, making the game very visually appealing.
- It's a cheap game, costs as much as two movie tickets and offers way more in entertainment value.
- Did I say its fun? Yeah, I did. Well, I'm gonna say it again! It is fun!


Minor issues
- The cards are quite small, making shuffling a pain. I would've loved for them to be about 30-40% larger.
- Over time, you will invariably learn the dates. This makes future games easier and more predictable -> less fun. But, at least you got to learn something, so its not actually a bad thing.

The bad:
- The dates on some cards are wrong. For example, Writing: -3500 . Well, this is about 5000 years off. The Mesopotamians had writing in -8000. Pottery is another example where the game misses the mark by at least 22.000 years!!! Again, the Telescope is wrong by about 200 years.
Since this is a trivia game, this is quite a big thing. I had to toss these cards away. I hope they will re-print and add the correct ones to one of the future games, as erratas.


In conclusion: This game is really worth buying if you want to get something that can be played extremely fast. It has virtually no downtime and is great before a more serious gaming session starts. I'll be sure to buy all the expansions once they become available at my usual gaming store. Since they will add a lot to the game, and I already love this game - even with its flaws - I see no reason not to get them.
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Cameron Chien
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Nice little review!

I think that with another one of the packs, like Discoveries or Events, then the odds of people memorizing a meaningful % of the cards drops. Unless you're playing this very often, it shouldn't be a problem.

I wish the cards were bigger, AND that they put their reasoning behind some of the dates. Take "hot air balloon", for example. They write Montpelier, who was the first to do a manned, untethered hot air balloon flight, but the hot air balloon was technically invented a lot earlier.

I think their dates are accurate it's just that they use different criteria for some of the inventions.

Cameron
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| Scott Kinzie |
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Zeede wrote:
I think their dates are accurate it's just that they use different criteria for some of the inventions.


I agree and I think the illustrations are the key. For example, the "Writing" card shows what looks like cuneiform on a clay tablet and that would date around -3400. I'm not an historian or qualified to judge the dates, so we just trust them. I think throwing away some cards because you think they're wrong is a bit harsh, unless you do happen to be an expert in the historical dates of inventions....

edit: spelling
 
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Oliver Paul
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Yeah some dates being wrong are a bit of a dealbreaker for me for this game. I've had friends sure that they had it right and the card was wrong. They then proceed to go home, google it, see that it's wrong, and refuse to ever play the game again because of it.
 
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Andrei Ivanesei
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DenverWolf wrote:
Zeede wrote:
I think their dates are accurate it's just that they use different criteria for some of the inventions.


I agree and I think the illustrations are the key. For example, the "Writing" card shows what looks like cuneiform on a clay tablet and that would date around -3400. I'm not an historian or qualified to judge the dates, so we just trust them. I think throwing away some cards because you think they're wrong is a bit harsh, unless you do happen to be an expert in the historical dates of inventions....

edit: spelling


Well... The writing card does show a clay tablet. These were first used in the Sumer Empire. So, around 10.000 years ago. I don't have to be an expert to remember my 6th grade history lessons.
And I tossed the cards not because some players might complain, but because it doesn't make sense for me to have a trivia game where the trivia is wrong.
 
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| Scott Kinzie |
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You're missing Zeede's point: the criteria for each date in the game may be different from what each individual thinks is correct. The date you learned, 10,000 yrs ago, may be simply incorrect and you made a mistake... or the criteria is different than what you're using.

I just googled "cuneiform clay tablets 3400" and got a LOT of articles that all agree that 3400 BC is the correct date for cuneiform on clay tablets as shown on the card. That doesn't make the date correct, but it certainly shows that a LOT of other people think it is correct. The picture does match the date accurately.

I support the makers for creating a simple, fun, social game and doing a fantastic job of researching their inventions and their dates. No one in my group ever even thought of throwing away some of the cards.
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Cameron Chien
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Yay, someone gets my point

Cameron
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David Oldster
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Nice review.

I can actually agree with taking those cards out of the game. And the game designers should pick things which have a clearly defined start and not rely on the "well, just look at the picture" excuse.
 
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Josh Lamoreaux
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Sumer Empire was settled between 4500 and 4000 BC with actual records of the culture only dating back to 2900 BC... Not sure where you got 8000 BC. So the writing card, using cuneiform as the example, is fairly accurate.
 
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