Review – Timeline Twist: Star Wars

A world between worlds?

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Designer Frédéric Henry, Corey Konieczka

Artist N/A

Publisher Zygomatic

Category Timeline Game

Length 15-30min

Release Date 2023

Player Count 2-6

Since the original Timeline Twist came out in 2023, there have been 2 other editions: Pop Culture Edition and Star Wars. In Timeline Twist: Star Wars, players will work together (or compete) to place scenes from the Star Wars universe correctly along the timeline. 

Review

Players will play cards from their hands of four onto one of the two timelines available: the rightmost timeline is the main timeline where each card is worth 2 points, and the leftmost timeline cards are only worth 1 point. Players can play 1 or 2 cards on their turn, or they can discard a card that matches the symbol of the card in the discard pile (discarded cards are minus one point). After each turn, players replenish their hand to four. 

Players are allowed to communicate openly, and while each card’s number is hidden from players, the card’s pictures are not, so a knowledgeable Star Wars fan can help everyone keep the timeline straight. When a card is played to the timeline, the card needs to be above or below the timeline, so you can’t slide cards in between other cards; they must be played chronologically. The game ends when either players can’t play or discard any of their cards, or when all cards have been played. In the case of the former, the cards remaining in players’ hands and in the deck are minus one each. The instruction booklet includes a scoring-rating system so players can try to beat their last highest score.

The general idea is simple, and many Star Wars fans may be thinking: “Of course I know that Anikan chops off Mace Windu’s hand before the Death Star blows up!” That may be true, but with the inclusion of Han Solo and Rogue One, along with all nine Skywalker Saga films, a few of the timeline scenes get tricker than expected, especially the flashback scenes. Moreover, there’s strategy beyond timeline knowledge. When to play certain cards in a timeline is key to scoring well, as is when to cut your losses and discard so you’re not skipping a large portion of the timeline. 

Unfortunately, because you can only discard a card from your hand if it matches the top discard card’s icon, strategic discarding is often a rarity. The short of it is that Timeline Twist: Star Wars is far too luck-based to be of any enjoyment to me. However, we found playing with the house rule that you can discard any card to be a much more enjoyable experience, though the strategy is still pretty light. 

The competitive mode is slightly more strategic as players try to slide their cards into the timelines. This mode lets the players’ Star Wars knowledge shine the most, for better or worse. 

Timeline Twist: Star Wars is an enjoyable experience for those familiar with Star Wars. You likely won’t play it more than 2 times in a sitting (otherwise you would have repeat cards), and like any timeline game, repeated plays will result in memorizing numbers, effectively removing the fun guesswork. If you’re interested in a chill Star Wars game, this might be a fun, inexpensive way to spend 20 minutes or so of an evening. 

Zygomatic (Asmodee North America) kindly provided a review copy. 

The Bottom Line

With a few house rules, this can be a fun if short-lived Star Wars timeline game. 

 

5.5

spencer
Author: Spencer Patterson

I'm a resident director, writer, and board game reviewer. My wife is my favorite gaming partner, and our daughters are my favorite reading partners. X: @unstuffedwhale