Timeline is an ingeniously simple game. A large deck of cards (over 200) depicting historical events is shuffled and players are dealt four cards each in front of them – make sure when you deal that the number on the card (the year of the event) is facing down so none of the players can see it.
Then a final card is turned date-side-up in the middle of the table – this is the start of the timeline. Players now, on their turn, announce where – or more accurately, when – they think the event on one of their cards occurred, and flip the card over to reveal whether they were correct or not. If they are, the card stays in the timeline. If they are wrong, the card goes into a discard pile and that player takes a replacement card from the deck. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards first, and as soon as one player achieves this that round is the final round (although everyone gets the same amount of turns, so the round is played out, so the last player to start also finishes the game).
Timeline combines knowledge with both educated guesses and wild shots in the dark. It also comes in various sets: inventions, discoveries, diversity – you don’t need them all, but enthusiasts can mix different sets together to make one humungous set of Timeline where remembering all the dates would be nigh-on impossible.
Timeline is a lovely little game where historical knowledge can be an advantage, but equally the game can be (admittedly less often) won by educated or even wild guesses. Most of us know the dinosaurs came before the saxophone, but not everything is so straightforward – and as the game closes out your guesses need to become progressively more accurate. A very good game.
None, although at second glance you'll note there is strategy in the game - jettisoning cards you are less confident of early in the game is a good move, because as the timeline gets more populated the spaces between the cards, which were once hundreds of years, are now down to mere decades or less...
Next to none.
There's no brain-burning in the sense of heavy rules or deep strategy - only the racking your brains to remember history lessons of the past!
Extremely simple rules and lots of cards make Timeline very re-visitable, but the historical content mean it is more suited to older players.