Temporum- Board Game Time Travel
Time Travel has always been a bit tricky for my brain to wrap around (too much paradox!), but when playing a Board Game, Time Travel seems much more possible. Take the Temporum Board Game for example… not only do you whisk back and forth in time… you can also ALTER time with every turn with the simple flip of an arrow. Donald Vaccarino, creator of the ultimate deck builder, Dominion, has managed to make Time Travel as easy as hopping into a Blue Police Box… and almost as fun!
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Temporum Board Game
First, a little bit about the Temporum Board Game. Yes, it’s a board game, but not the roll your dice and move your marker kind. The board is split into 4 time zones (from the distant past, until the present), and a sort of racetrack along the side. By traveling along “real” time lines between time zones, you can gain cards, play cards or cash in cards that will allow your little crowns to travel forward on the race track through time. Get all 10 crowns to the current time frame, before anyone else… and you win.
Let me clarify a bit.
Setting up Temporum Board Game
There are 2 types of Cards in Temporum…. Time Zone cards (which represent alternate realities) and Playing Cards (which give you money, fame and that pony you always wanted). The Time Zone cards are further broken down into their possible time frame I, II, III, IV. You start by shuffling each set, and randomly placing cards on the board for each time (ie. one card from Time Zone I goes on top, two from Time Zone II, four from Time III, and six from Time IV.) These are the possible alternate realities that your meeple will travel through. And these little lever arrow thingies go between the time zones indicating which line is currently “REAL”.
Each player gets a Meeple to start in Time IV and 2 player cards to begin. And all your crowns go on that race track.
Basically, now it’s just a matter of traveling back and forth to different Time, and following the instructions on the Time Zone Cards. Some will ask you to pick a card, some will ask you to play a card. Player cards give you money (which you will need to score) and abilities (which are just fun to have). Use the cards for cash, and when you have enough, you can pay them out to move your crowns. The Time Zone cards will tell you what you can do (ie. draw a card, play a card, pay out a card).
Now for the time travel bit… and here is where is might get a bit muzzy. Your meeple can follow the arrows of “real time” in either direction. AND at the beginning of your turn, you can redirect the arrows below your character to create a new “real time” path. (Once you do this, everyone else in the game has to shift to the real path too). Why do you want to do this? Well, different Time Zone Cards have abilities that you may want to use… or… different abilities that you don’t want your fellow players to take advantage of.
Temporum Board Game Review
I really enjoyed playing Temporum, I thought that once we got going with it, the game was smooth, and engaging enough to keep me wanting to play a few times in a row. HOWEVER…. Getting started was a bit tricky. The rule book feels like it’s missing something. I learned to play by watching a video (that I’ve included below), because if we had to go merely off the rule book, we would have shoved the whole thing back into the box and on a shelf for good. All of the components are explained, but a bit of the set up seems to be missing. And we got jammed up with the “how do you start?” part.
Granted, a huge part of the issue could be that I am not the type of person who learns games well from rule books. Maybe I just can’t “see” what they mean. Once I’ve played, I get it, and can refer to the rules to get details.
Once the game got going, it was smooth sailing. We bounced in time, picked and played cards, and moved our crowns through time, until ultimately, one of us won.
The game is really engaging. The Time Zones are fun. You can land in the “Age of Balloons” or “Communist Utopia”, how about “Ancient Greece” or “Feudal Japan”? Play cards for their coins, or play a card that allows you to draw more cards. The game changes every time you play. I’m still trying to work out which would be the best strategy… ultimately, the quickest way to move those crowns is by paying to redeem cards, but to do that you need money, and to get money you need cards. There are no short cuts.
What I Liked About Temporum Board Game Time Travel
Time travel in Temporum is done with the flip of the switch, and along a straight line. No wibbly wobbly here…. there are cards that allude to standard Time Travel issues…. like accidentally killing your grandfather or stepping on a butterfly…. but truly, the TIME aspect is more of a linear thing of moving from one level to another (in fact, the game could have been reworked, using the same mechanics, but calling the levels stages, and relating it to a building instead of time). That said, it’s fun to think of yourself whisking through time and wrecking havoc!
The game itself is very good quality. The meeples are fun little Steampunk men and women. The board was large and easy to see…. and the cards were interesting. I wish there was a little more variety in the cards… each of the player cards is doubled, which can be a drag if you are holding both at once.
Who Can Play Temporum
The box says the game is for ages 14 and up. My 13 year old was able to pick the game up faster than I did. She enjoyed it, and her only complaint about the game was that, like 5 Tribes, you are trying to do several seemingly unrelated things at once (Your meeple moves back and forth dealing with cards… why do crowns keep score?) I would argue that the layer of complexity makes the game more interesting.
Temporum is for 2-5 players, and each game takes only about 30 minutes (which means you can change things up, and play again!)
Replay value is good. Different cards in the Time Zones mean the game changes each time you play. Also, the game is vastly different if you play with more than 2 people.
Where can you I buy Temporum?
Temporum is available on Amazon!
Watch Temporum Played
Rahdo goes into GREAT DETAIL and really thinks through each move. When you know the game, play is a lot smoother.
Looking for other games from Donald X. Vaccarino?