Sunday, May 1, 2016

Time Stories

After losing 150 credits gambling in our semi annual Force and Destiny and slicing up some stormtroopers (Podcast to follow soon), GM Aaron introduced the bards to a board game called Time Stories.  The game is cooperative and the basic premise is that you are time agents from the future who send their consciousness back in time to take over other peoples bodies, Quantum Leap style.  You do this to prevent temporal rifts, which are basically bad things that should not happen.  You work for a group called the consortium, which is basically the time police and we played a scenario involving a sanatorium in the 1920's that involved the occult and bad stuff.  The scenario was obviously heavily influenced by Lovecraft with the obligatory inhuman monsters and cultists.  The game itself was a lot of fun and had a number of interesting factors.  For one there is a "time clock" that counts down with specific actions, when the timer reaches 0 you have to start the scenario over.  This works well with the time travel mechanic/style, that you can retry/redo the scenario till you get it right.  And you will have to do it more than once.  The reason for this is that it works like a choose your own adventure story.  Yes the ones where you died a whole bunch and there was only one good ending.  The scenarios, especially the one I played, have a heavy puzzle element that has you scouring the sanatorium campus for clues as to what is going on and how to stop it.  Along the way you'll find items, perform skill challenges, beat people up/to death, and recruit allies.  The game uses a card and board mechanic that works really well, which brings me to the major selling point of this game.  Most longer board games, especially those that deal with time travel, are notoriously complicated and have rulebooks that read like owners manuals.  The rules are easily followed and the steps are pretty self explanatory which makes for easy game play.  I love Arkham Horror, but I have to do a refresh session before each game to relearn the rules, which I have to constantly reference during play.  Time Stories rules seemed streamlined for ease of play which helps for people that are not used to overly complicated board games.  Also each scenario is a self contained story, which is good and bad.  The good is that each scenario can have its own flavor and also you can carry over some items/bonuses between games, which is a nice touch.  The bad is the replay value, that once a scenario is beaten and the mystery solved there is little incentive to play it again, but there are multiple scenarios available currently.  I would highly recommend playing it if one can find it.

Also I was able to beat the powers of the occult with cocaine and my backwoods ally Jules.


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