Board Games

Timeline: Music and Cinema (2013)

Review by GeekyOT

Photo from RedMeeple.com

Introduction – info taken from BoardGameGeek.com

  • Players: 2-8 (best: 4-6)
  • Playing Time: 15 min
  • Weight: 1.11/5
  • Type: family game
  • Category: card game, educational, trivia
  • Mechanisms: N/A

Each card depicts a historical event on both sides, with the year in which that event occurred on only one side. Players take turns placing a card from their hand in a row on the table. After placing the card, the player reveals the date on it. If the card was placed correctly with the date in chronological order with all other cards on the table, the card stays in place; otherwise the card is removed from play and the player takes another card from the deck. The first player to get rid of all his cards by placing them correctly wins.

Experience of the Game

I first played Timeline: British History (2016) at a board games meetup. We were waiting for another person to arrive before we could start a different game, and someone suggested this as “a great filler” (ie. a game to fill time).

At the time, I was working on a male acute ward in a medium secure unit (forensic mental health). My patients loved music and films, so I decided to play the Music and Cinema version with them during our open ward-based group. It was an instant hit!

Because the rules were so simple, people didn’t have to sit through a long, complicated rules explanation. The game was very inclusive. If a new person showed curiosity, they could just watch, and it was also easy to “deal them in” at any point. Many people were surprised to discover how much they knew. And we had some great conversations about our memories of different songs/films. Because the game involves taking turns in a set order (around in a circle), it was also useful for encouraging turn-taking.

This game was really popular, and patients borrowed it and played it together between groups. They were also able to play different versions of the game (e.g. Inventions and Discoveries) without needing to learn new rules.

I didn’t make any changes to the game or rules per se, but I did encourage lots of discussion and interaction between turns, perhaps more so than you would if you were playing the game at home.

Reflections

This game was great for:

  • Engaging people who would otherwise not come to the group. People would become curious and either join in conversations, or join the game itself
  • Starting quickly, with minimal set-up and rule explanation
  • Sparking discussions and reminiscence
  • Using pictures alongside writing. This reduced barriers (e.g. for those who weren’t able to read), although the pictures weren’t always that clear. There’s not a lot of writing on the cards, but the text is relatively small.
  • Getting a hold of. It was cheap compared to other games (£14) and I was able to find it both on Amazon and in board game shops. That said, the packaging is currently being redesigned so it’s temporarily unavailable.

Challenges that arose:

  • The cards are small and can be a bit fiddly to pick up

Recommendations

  • Game length can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing number of cards per person
  • This game could be played in teams
  • Challenge/novelty can be increased by combining cards from different Timeline games
  • Suggested strategy for people new to the game: start with cards where you are less sure of the answer. The more cards in the timeline, the more difficult it becomes

Resources

Other Timeline games available from Asmodee (affiliate links):

Have you tried this game? Share your experience and reflections in the comments below!

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