One of the things we didn’t mention in our original review of Timeline is that there are multiple editions of the game.
And Asmodee recently released a new card set in the series, Timeline: Americana, that’s specific to America’s history and pop culture – adding another fun challenge to the Timeline series.
How well do you know your American pop culture events?
Which came first:
- “The Twilight Zone” premiers on television or the first skateboard is sold?
- Opening of the Guggenheim Museum or the Opening of the Pentagon?
- M&M’s Candy first sold or Barbie’s first appearance?
- Founding of the city of Hollywood or the Process for making peanut butter patented?
I’m sure you’d love to know the answers, but we’re not going to spill those beans.How to play Timeline
Timeline is a simple and quick card game. Players just need to determine where the events they hold go in the Timeline. Be the first to correctly place your events and you’ll win.
The tricky part is making that determination.
Every player is dealt a starting hand of cards. On each double-sided card is a historical event. It could be an invention, a creation, a publication, the establishment of a city, or other popular historical events. On one side is just the name and an image of the event. On the other side is the same information but with the year that the event took place. The cards are dealt so players don’t see the side of the cards with the year printed on them.
The rules state 4 cards per player, but we like to adjust that number based on how many people are playing. With fewer players, we’ll start with 5 cards each so that the final timeline gets to be longer and more challenging.
A starting card from the draw pile is placed in the center of the table with the ‘year’ side face up. In turn, players select a card from their hand and place it in the growing timeline.
On their turn, without looking at the year side of the card, a player places a card from their hand in the timeline (before or after other cards already in the line). They then flip the card over to show the year. If they were correct, the card stays in place and the next player takes a turn. If the card is in the wrong place, it’s discarded and the player takes another card from the draw pile to add to their hand.
The challenge is knowing where to place the cards.
The great thing about Timeline is that you don’t have to know the exact date/year of something to do well. A good estimate of relative timing will get you far.
That may sound easy when you’re asking about events in the same genre. But once you start mixing books and movies with sporting events and political events, then things get a bit tougher.
At the start of the game the choice is very simple – does your card go before or after the initial card laid out? But as more cards are played and the timeline grows, the number of options for card placement expands as well. And that’s where the fun is – debating where to place your final cards.
Can the whole family enjoy Timeline: Americana?
Like with the original Timeline, most of the family will be able to enjoy Timeline: Americana. Older players will typically do better simply because they will have a better context on history and when certain events occurred. But that won’t preclude kids from enjoying the game as well.
In fact, kids that are paying attention may become quite adept at playing.
At first they may not have a clue about when The Great Gatsby was written or when the US hockey team defeated USSR in the Olympics. But they’ll perk up when they find out when Mickey Mouse first appeared or when Disneyland first opened.
How does Timeline: Americana differ from the other Timeline games?
For example, the original Timeline game covers a huge span of years by including things like the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, or agriculture. You may not know exactly when writing first appeared, but you’ll have a pretty good sense that it was way before the first cannon.
But with Timeline: Americana, the time span is much shorter to work within. We don’t know the exact distribution of cards between the centuries, but it seems like most of the cards are within the 1900′s. So with a smaller range, the choices are a bit tighter. But that also means they’re more interesting.
One of the great things about the Timeline series that that you can also mix and match. Who says that you have to play the games as separate sets?
Sure, if you want to focus on a particular area of interest, you can keep your Timeline games separate. But if you want to span everything, then throw them all together and see what happens.
Or you could make your own mixes or challenges. For example, pull cards from all the sets according to century and create your own game challenge of the 1800′s or 1700′s.
There are plenty of possibilities.
The Timeline Series includes:
- Timeline: Inventions
- Timeline: Historical Events
- Timeline: Science and Discoveries
- Timeline: Diversity
- Timeline: Music & Cinema
- Timeline: Americana
- Timeline: American History
How does Timeline: Americana score on the “Let’s Play Again” game meter?
Like the original, Timeline: American scores well on the “Let’s play again” game meter because of how simple and easy it is to play. You don’t have to worry about set up time or remembering complex rules. Simply deal out the cards and start guessing where they go. And when one game ends, there are still plenty of cards left that haven’t been touched, so why not just keep going?
Thanks Asmodee for another fun family card game and addition to the Timeline series.
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