Dale Yu: Press Day Recap

OK – this is gonna be short as I’m tired and my wifi access is skectchy.

17.800 steps = 8.15 miles today.  Not as many steps because I got to sit down at the press conference.

Picked up a few games today:

P1010850

 

News from today

  • Lookout was bought out by Mayfair
  • Prosperity most definitely made it, as did New Haven (R&R)
  • Actually, I haven’t heard of that many misses at the fair
  • Two real german meals in – doner and jagerschnitzel.
  • Gonna be tight in luggage, already have 4 un-nestable games (vactrays that are worth keeping)

 

I had great meeting with some of the Space Cowboys – another run of Time Stories…  from French designer Manuel Rozoy and Swiss publisher GameWorks. The game’s tentative title is Time Stories, and it’s a quasi-role-playing game with a Eurogame feel, a puzzle-solving aspect, and a choose-your-own-adventure heart – at least in one game scenario.
The gist of the game is that you and your fellow players are agents at a time-management bureau of some sort, not because you’re teaching business executives how to better manage their time at the office, but because you’re managing the flow of time itself. You need to spot potential rifts, whether accidental or caused purposefully, and keep time flowing as it should.  In the scenario I played with three others, we were sent back in time inhabiting the shells of people alive during that time, which gave us particular strengths and weaknesses. 

In the game, you visit locations, with one or more characters going to possible locations, in order to learn information or put tools to use or explore a new area. Sometimes you find new objects, sometimes you encounter characters or things, sometimes you discover a region of the world previously unknown, and sometimes things are just weird. Players move as a group from one location to the next, but while in a location, you’re free to explore particular areas based on what skills you think might come in handy.
Most things that do, though takes time, and if you run out of time, your team pops out of their shells and returns to the present day. (In other words, you lose. You can also lose if you all die, as death sends you back to the present day.) The cool thing about the game is that you really feel like a time traveler in the sense that you can play again immediately (which we did twice for a total of three games), returning to the exact same starting point, while also remembering all the information that you discovered previously. It’s a board game version of Groundhog Day or 12 Monkeys – i.e., time travel done right, with you carrying over information and reacting to what you already know while everyone else is repeating the same things they did previously (because, of course, they’re not repeating these same things from their perspective but rather doing the thing they’re supposed to do at that time). When you return to a world, you can explore new paths, revisit familiar locations to see what you missed previously, and (ideally) do things faster and more efficiently because you know which paths might prove fruitless.
As you might expect, the game system is tailor-made for expansions as all you need for a new scenario is a new set of location and character cards and rules for anything else that changes in the game. (Well, that and an incredible amount of playtesting time.) Bam! We’re in the U.S. Wild West ensuring the transcontinental railway gets finished. Bam! We’re aiding Magellan on his circumnavigation of the globe. Bam!

 

OK – that above description was really words from Eric Martin’s mouth.  Suffice it to say, I am in love with this game.  It is a blast, and it was very neat to get a second chance to play the game (albeit a different scenario) with the same group from a year ago.  There are some structural changes to some rules, but on the whole, it is a well-tested system.  Here’s the catch – I can’t and won’t tell you much more about it.  In fact, in order not to spoil anything from the game, I mostly copied my/Eric’s words from last year to talk about it. The game simply has to be experienced, and being told about it would only cheapen/ruin your experience.  I’ll just say this is currently my most anticipated game of 2014, and I am hoping that it makes GenCon 2014 as planned.

 

time for bed. hopefully more pictures tomorrow when I have better Internet access

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

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About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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