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Subject: A detailed review after prototype play rss

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Esteban Garbin

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I had the opportunity to play an almost-finished prototype version at Modena Play 2015, where Ignacy himself explained the game to me and my friend. Tides of Time is a very fun and quick 2-player card drafting game; which plays in around 10 minutes or so.

In this game you play as an ancient civilization that prosper and decay along the eras, trying to leave your mark in the history that will be written by future generations. In order to do this you will use the 18 cards in the game, each one representing a building, monument or wonder, your civilization will build and may endure the passing of time. The cards had full-size art on them that looked astonishing. Each of the cards have a name, a suit (symbol) in the upper-left corner and a scoring ability on the upper right corner.

The game is played along 3 eras and on each era you will have to decide which buildings are going to be constructed for your civilization. At the beginning of the game you are dealt 5 cards, you then secretly choose one of them and when both players have chosen; they reveal their card and pass the remaining cards to the opponent. You continue doing this until the cards are finished and then, the end of the round scoring occurs. You score points as indicated on each card you have in front of you.

After the end of the round scoring, each players picks-up the 5 cards he played and secretly choose one card to keep in his tableau and one card to remove from the game, this will represents that the civilization crumbled but some of its legacy remains. Then you draw 2 new cards from the deck and reveal the card you choose from the previous round, this card will stay in your tableau until the end of the game, so at the end of 2nd round you will have 6 cards and at the end of 3rd you will have 7 cards in your tableau. Then a new round of drafting starts and after the third round finishes whoever has accumulated more points throughout the game is the winner.

The 18 cards in the game are divided in 6 groups of 3 cards each. There are 5 suits in the game (red tower, yellow throne, green garden, purple hand and brown papyrus) with 3 cards of each suit. The remaining 3 cards have no suit, but very powerful ability.
Now let’s see the scoring abilities of the cards:

Of the 3 cards of each suit:
one will score you points for each card you have of another specific symbol. e.g. The (Throne) card will score you points for each (Garden) you have.

The second, will give you points for having the most of another symbol. e.g. The (Throne) card will score you points if you have the majority of (Towers).

The third card is different for each suit and each one has a unique scoring system.

Finally we have the 3 cards that have no suit on it, which has different skills that where not definitive from the version we played

Overall the game plays very smoothly and quickly; the mechanics are simple but the decisions are not immediate, as you are always trying to outsmart your opponent and second guess what he will pick this round. It has a strategic feel to it, given that some of your cards remain from one era to the next one, but also has the tactic aspect of 2-player drafting. Both me and my friend where very impressed by it and I will sure be looking for a copy of the finished product as soon as it is out.
The game felt very adequate to play with your partner while waiting for another game to start, an airplane to leave or during lunch-break, as it plays quickly but it has indeed lots of meaningful decisions. We only had the opportunity to play once and I don’t know if my opinion would change with repetitive plays, but the feeling I have is that it will stay strong.

Another big hit for Portal is coming, this game is Amazing!! check it out! and thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.
Esteban
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Runar Dankel
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Thanks for the review! Well writen and easy to follow.

What are your thoughts on replayability?
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Esteban Garbin

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Thanks for the kind words, Is the first time I write a review so I was worried was going to be confusing.

On replayability, I'm not worry; I think given that it has this very tactical feeling with the 2-p drafting, trying to react to what your opponent does while also trying to gain the most possible points, it will last long time.
Also every time the combination of cards you have available at the beginning and which card come out each era, make it highly replayable in my opinion.
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Mike Jaquette
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Egarbin wrote:
Overall the game plays very smoothly and quickly; the mechanics are simple but the decisions are. We only had the opportunity to play once and I don’t know if my opinion would change with repetitive plays, but the feeling I have is that it will stay strong.
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Stephane Brochu
Canada
Outremont
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Is it just me or does this sound a lot like Eminent Domain: Microcosm?
 
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Sergio Macias
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It seems like there is quite a lot of game with just 18 cards. Colour me impressed and count me in!
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...do not calle up That which you cannot put downe; either from dead saltes or out of ye Spheres beyond.
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Downblaw wrote:
Is it just me or does this sound a lot like Eminent Domain: Microcosm?


I have both. In real broad strokes Eminent Domain: Microcosm (EDM) is the American version while Tides of Time (ToT) is the Euro.

EDM is more swingy with conflict in the form of destruction and stealing, as well as hidden values that makes some actions a gamble (like rolling dice) while ToT is more about planning a build around a finite set of resources while attempting to read what your opponent is doing and creating barriers to their success.

I like them both but as a left coast Euro player I personally favor ToT by a score of 8 to 7.
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