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Tides of Time

October 30th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

I liked “Fairy Tale“, though all the information displayed on the cards resulted in sensory overload my first few times out.  Despite the learning curve, I began to appreciate it more and more over time…so much in fact that I sought out other games with a similar drafting mechanic.  “Tides of Time”, while only supporting two players as opposed to Fairy Tale’s five, seemed interesting enough to pick up.  I admit, the attractive $12 price tag (on Amazon as of 10/21/15) had something to do with it.  Let’s see how it compares with “Fairy Tale”, shall we?


Tides of Time

Tides of Time: 2 Players, Ages 10+, Average Play Time = 20 Minutes



The game includes 18 game cards, 1 reference card, 1 pencil, 1 notepad, and 4 relic tokens.

Setup & Gameplay

The cards are shuffled and five are dealt to each player to form their starting hands.  The rest of the cards are placed face down to form a draw pile.

The game is played over three rounds. At the end of each round, players total their victory points based on the fulfilled scoring objectives on each card. After the third round scoring, VPs are totaled and the winner is determined.

Round 1

Players simultaneously choose a card from their hand and place it face down in front of them.  They all reveal them at the same time, keeping them face up in their individual kingdoms.  Players then pass their hand clockwise and repeat the process until all cards have been played.  Scores are recorded on the notepad.

After scoring, players take all the cards from their kingdom back into their hand.  Each player chooses one card which they will leave in their kingdom for the rest of the game (called “relic of the past”) and a second one to discard from the game. Players reveal their chosen cards simultaneously.  The cards remaining in play should be marked with the Relic tokens as a reminder to the players that these cards stay in their Kingdoms, and provide their suit and ability for the remainder of the game.  The discarded cards are returned face up to the game box and they will not be used in the remaining rounds.

Each player draws 2 new cards from the Draw pile so that they each have 5 cards in their hand. They can then proceed to the next round.

Round 2

Same as round 1, except that at the end of the round (after VPs are calculated), players only take the cards played in round 2 back into their hand.  The “relic of the past” from round 1 stays in their kingdom.  Players will still choose one card to place in their kingdom (as a second “relic of the past”) and one card to discard from the game.  At the end of this round, players will have two relics in play and five cards in their hand.

Round 3

Same as round 1, but it ends when VPs are calculated.  The VPs from all rounds are summed and the player with the most, wins!

Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.

The Review

I’d have to say that “Tides of Time” is a much lighter version of “Fairy Tale”.  The latter is accessible to more players (2-5) and offers more in terms of content (more cards, etc.).  With that said, it’s also a bit more confusing to play at times, especially when utilizing the expert rules.  It could just be me, but I occassionally look at those cards and get sensory overload.  I didn’t have that problem in “Tides of Time” as the set collecting rules are pretty straight forward…”for each X you gain 3 VPs” or “If you have more X than your opponent you gain 7 VPs”.

Unlike “Fairy Tale”, all cards in front of you are placed back into your hand after scoring in the first or second round…though you can keep one out as a “Relic of the Past” for a future round.  Players also discard one for the rest of the game.  These two little differences offer some strategic opportunities for both players, allowing them to possibly reuse cards they’ve played in a prior round or get rid of something their opponent might find favorable.

All things considered, “Tides of Time” offers a lighter drafting game but still provides players with a good bit of choices to make.  The cards are larger than what I expected and the artwork is well done.  Further, the price ($12 on Amazon as of 10/22/15) is on par with other games on the market.  For that, it gets my recommendation.

Final Verdict: 8/10

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