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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

T.I.M.E. Stories - Time Keeps on Slippin'

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16 Feb 2016 07:18 #222618 by Egg Shen

T.I.M.E. Stories is something of an odd design. It's odd in that it doesn't do anything really well. It's odd in that it doesn't do anything particularly innovative. It's odd, because it's just well, odd. This game shouldn't exist. It shouldn't be popular. Yet, here we are.

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16 Feb 2016 10:56 #222619 by bfkiller
"T.I.M.E. (already tired of typing this insufferable acronym) Stories is what you get when you combine the following things: Fighting Fantasy Books, Myth, Quantum Leap, Groundhog Day, and probably drugs."

I had the same trouble coming up with comparables as well. I listed Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap, but also video games like Resident Evil and Nintendo DS puzzle games like Professor Layton or Phoenix Wright. I couldn't think of anything I've played on a table top that's comparable.

I actually don't like the game that much. It's fairly fragile and feels redundant after a few failures. We should finish the base game's scenario next time we play (though I've said that before). I don't think I'll join in on future scenarios.

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16 Feb 2016 11:18 #222622 by charlest
Absolutely love this game and I'd actually take an opposing view on some of your points.

Transferring the Point 'n Click adventure game into a tabletop design is innovative. Relying on a first person view with panoramic art that is integral to the story telling is pretty radical. Getting away from the text-based approach of Sherlock Holmes which can feel detached at times and bringing you down into a first person view is huge.

I also DO think the game is about time travel, at least from a macro level. It's not completely a gimmick as I believe there's a story going on in the background that will eventually be told over the many different individual stories. There's a couple little hints of some larger plot already.

This is a game that we had 7 people show up for to play the Marcy Case. We had 5 when we played Asylum. I think we'll have 8 or 9 when we play the next one as everyone is hooked.

We share characters and everyone discusses. It's fantastic and the most engaged I've been over a two-three hour span.

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16 Feb 2016 13:19 #222634 by Ken B.
I've held off on this one because of the feeling that when you're sitting down for your "learning game", you're actually committing to the only time you'll get to play the base game. Sounds like from this review it can actually take multiple sittings to solve a case? I like the sound of that much better.

Getting info like this about this game is made more difficult by the fact that I can't dig too deeply without finding out spoilers. I hate spoilers. That makes getting info about this game pretty tough.

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16 Feb 2016 14:39 #222640 by bfkiller

Ken B. wrote: I've held off on this one because of the feeling that when you're sitting down for your "learning game", you're actually committing to the only time you'll get to play the base game. Sounds like from this review it can actually take multiple sittings to solve a case? I like the sound of that much better.


My group has played the base game scenario 7 times and we've yet to successfully complete it. We suspect we'll finish on the 8th try.
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16 Feb 2016 14:51 #222641 by charlest
That's crazy. We finished it in less than 3 hours in one session.

Marcy Case took us about 3 hours and one session as well.

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16 Feb 2016 15:56 #222643 by Egg Shen

charlest wrote: Absolutely love this game and I'd actually take an opposing view on some of your points.

Transferring the Point 'n Click adventure game into a tabletop design is innovative. Relying on a first person view with panoramic art that is integral to the story telling is pretty radical. Getting away from the text-based approach of Sherlock Holmes which can feel detached at times and bringing you down into a first person view is huge.

I also DO think the game is about time travel, at least from a macro level. It's not completely a gimmick as I believe there's a story going on in the background that will eventually be told over the many different individual stories. There's a couple little hints of some larger plot already.

This is a game that we had 7 people show up for to play the Marcy Case. We had 5 when we played Asylum. I think we'll have 8 or 9 when we play the next one as everyone is hooked.

We share characters and everyone discusses. It's fantastic and the most engaged I've been over a two-three hour span.


While I agree that transferring a point and click adventure game into a tabletop experience is a novel concept the end result is still a story telling game that doesn't feel all that different from others. The main difference being the fact that you can't share all the information with one another...which as I mentioned is pretty damn savvy.

Yes at a MACRO level the game is about time travel. However,the specific theme/genre of the module comes through more than anything. As such I'd recommend the game to a horror fan or zombie fan with the first two modules. Someone interested in a game about Time Travel will be disappointed in that aspect of it. Which I think is a testament to the crazy powerful engine that they designed. I could see the designers doing some really crazy stuff since they're free to add rules and ideas pretty much as it suites them.

Also I agree with Charlie...play with a bunch of people and share characters. It works perfectly fine in doing so.

Ken - ideally each game scenario is meant to be played multiple times. Also, the mechanics are so basic that a "learning game" isn't really all that necessary. I played it with family and non typical gamers and after a round or two they all got the gist of it. It's all very basic and easy to pick up.

Another point...if I had a like a 15 year old kid this would be their favorite game. It's really in a teenager's wheelhouse. They would need to be OK with slightly more mature content, but man if I played this when I was 14 it would leave a LASTING impression on me.

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16 Feb 2016 16:03 #222644 by Black Barney
A Wild Ken Appears!

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16 Feb 2016 16:16 #222645 by charlest

Egg Shen wrote: While I agree that transferring a point and click adventure game into a tabletop experience is a novel concept the end result is still a story telling game that doesn't feel all that different from others. The main difference being the fact that you can't share all the information with one another...which as I mentioned is pretty damn savvy.


I think we see this differently. Having 7 people show up to play for our second story of this was pretty crazy. Everyone was like - "Don't play without me!"

These are people that don't enjoy Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective.

It feels extremely different IMO. Much more immersive and enveloping. The engagement level is much higher and everything feels less abstract. Atmosphere is legitimately a thing in TS where I don't think it fully comes through in other storytelling games.

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16 Feb 2016 17:16 - 16 Feb 2016 17:18 #222650 by bfkiller

charlest wrote: That's crazy. We finished it in less than 3 hours in one session.

Marcy Case took us about 3 hours and one session as well.


I'm glad I'm not the one who spent money on it. Even with the 8 hours we've spent with the base game so far, I often think to myself, "you spent how much on this?"
Last edit: 16 Feb 2016 17:18 by bfkiller.
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17 Feb 2016 08:46 #222669 by charlest
That's true, the price is a real hangup for many people.

All the people I've talked to who enjoy it (which spans across Euro and ATers), look at it more like paying for an experience. In that way it's most similar to an escape room which would cost much more for our group to participate in.

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17 Feb 2016 09:16 - 17 Feb 2016 09:39 #222671 by Josh Look
I don't want to come off a completely abrasive, just a little (see how I've mellowed in my older-ish age?) but so much of what I've read in defense of this game is flatout, indisputably wrong. It's like the game gives off glue fumes and people are inhaling that shit.

Listen, the honest truth about this game is that, as it stands, the overall experience is by and large fucking stupid as hell. The writing SUCKS and the mechanics truly are nothing to write home about. That being said, the system itself is admirable. You can do anything with it, and that's impressive. What's been done with it so far leaves a whole lot to be desired. It's about time travel if you're only counting what's commonly represented in board gaming. The asylum is only a little different, but really, zombies and a fucking dragon? Get out of here. Why not the Old West or dinosaurs, two criminally overlooked subjects in gaming.

And holy shit, don't get me started on the fact that the game IS pay to play. The same shit we jump down the video gaming industry's throat about some how gets a pass here. Defend that and you're goddamned moron.

Bringing it back though, the system itself is really, really cool. I just want to see something new and actually _good_ done with it. Currently it's a b-movie simulator.
Last edit: 17 Feb 2016 09:39 by Josh Look.
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17 Feb 2016 10:52 #222673 by Egg Shen
The B-movie simulator is really the only thing that kept me interested in the first place. But you're right, the game needs to get into better genres and stop catering to stuff that gamers lose their minds over. I'm hoping it's just to get the thing to sell well before they take some chances...but probably not. I think the designers could do something special with the engine they've built. I'm just hoping they realize that and start taking some real chances. If they don't though I'm content to play through some shitty Italian, rip-off level, b-movie. Bring on Star Crash, Contamination, or some other Luigi Cozzi schlockfest!

Also I'm not buying the "atmosphere" thing about this game. I've played it now with three completely different groups and each time it turns into a cheeky, laughing, ridiculous evening. It's not like we sat down for a seance and had some life changing moment when we played.

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17 Feb 2016 11:36 #222675 by ThirstyMan
Given my history with gushing reviews, I think I'd better stay away from this one.

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17 Feb 2016 12:07 #222676 by Josh Look
As a board game, it's mechanically dull and terrible value. As an RPG/adventure game in a box, it features writing below Dragonlance level and the puzzle solving is essentially trial and error. The system shows potential, but I'm not going to start praising something that doesn't exist.

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