Game Title: Tides of Time
Designer: Kristian Curla
Manufacturer: Portal Games
Tides of Time is the first GenCon 2015 release that has crossed our path. I was so excited to find the last copy of the came in the Compleat Strategist on our recent trip to New York. I quickly purchased the game, having heard good reviews of this little card drafting game. Its small box size and the fact it is only for two, definitely helped my decision.
Tides of Time is a 2-player card drafting game. It is a pleasingly simple game in which the 2 players draft two hands of 5 cards in each round, taking one card each and passing the remaining cards to their opponent. Most cards have a symbol (one of 5 symbols in the game) and an objective. The aim is to get the most points by completing the objectives on the cards you have collected in each round.
|The game set-up at the start of round one. There are 4 cards each which remain to be drawn in later rounds.|
The element that makes the game slightly more complex than a simple card draft is that at the end of the first and second round you must keep one card from your tableau and discard one from the game. You will likely keep a card that you think can obtain you many points based on the cards you know are already in the game or the cards that will be added to the next draft. You will likely remove a card that isn’t that useful to you, but may be very useful to your opponent.
There are also 4 cards in the game that have no suit, but may dramatically alter the points scoring either by artificially increasing the number of cards you have in some suits, meaning you win ties or giving you objectives involving the whole collection of cards you have at the end of the round. At the end of the third round, the player that has the highest total of points across all 3 rounds is the winner.
This game is super quick, easy to learn, but the way you have to balance your own goals against your opponent’s intentions really gives the game enough depth to make it really re-playable. We can play this numerous times in one sitting. Like most 2-player games it certainly can cause arguments when your opponent ‘steals’ the exact card that will take you to victory, but because the game is quick, there’s always next time.
I love card drafting, but I’ve never played a game where it is so simplistically, yet effectively used as the only mechanism. This game is getting a lot of play for us as a couple and I give it a 7.5/10.