Product Review of Frédéric Henry’s Timeline: Historical Events by Asmodee Group

Starting Timeline Game

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Three Turning Into Timeline Game

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After discovering the game Timeline, I read up about it. What I read made me think it would be a fun way for my girls to review their history facts. So I bought the game. Timeline turned out to be a fun and dynamic game, however, it was not well suited for reviewing my daughters’ history.

Timeline was indeed an entertaining way to pass the time. It is a simple concept. Put the events in order one historical event at a time. But the number and variety of events makes for unlimited fun. When did they first introduce fast food? When was the first parachute jump? Each historical event has colorful detailed artwork. (In the Mutiny on the Bounty card you can see each tiny sailor rowing the rowboat and one standing and shaking his fist at the Bounty.) Moreover, the cards are a conveniently diminutive size for creating long timelines. My family enjoyed piecing together these obscure historical references into a colorful miniature timeline.

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What is more the game is versatile and dynamic. The Asmodee Group recommends the game for ages 8 and above but with minimal assistance my five and seven year old daughters were able to play. And because you play in age order even the youngest player has a chance. (The game gets harder the more people have played, so it is like a built in handicap.) So the game can be played by a wide range of people. Additionally Asmodee recommends playing with 2 to 8 players but with an expansion pack you could easily accommodate more. So the game can be played with just a friend or as a large scale party or classroom game. Finally the game is estimated to last fifteen minutes, but by altering the number of starting cards you can alter the play time required to complete the game. So, this game can be played by a range of people and a variety of group sizes for a span of time periods making it not only fun but extremely adaptable.

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Seven Turns Into Timeline Game

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Ending Timeline of Game

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However, in regards to the games uses for history review, I am afraid I was disappointed. While there were a few facts from my daughters’ history studies (like the American Civil War and the Trojan War) most of the facts were more obscure. While it is fun to learn when the first crop circle was discovered it is not something I want to focus on for my daughters’ history class. Also a couple of the events had dates speculated by scientists and not agreed upon by the scientific community as a whole or studied at all by historians. So, unfortunately, until Asmodee recognizes the potential market in educators and homeschoolers and designs a version of the game focused on retention of basic history facts, we will play the game during family game night but look elsewhere for our history review games.

In conclusion, the game proved entertaining for the whole family – young and old, can be used by a pair of children or an entire classroom, but is not useful for basic history review. Therefore if you are looking for an entertaining imaginative game look no farther, but if you are looking for a game to review basic history you will have to keep searching.

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