Review – Trekking Through History
Take a most excellent 3 day adventure through history...
Trekking Through History sees 2-4 players going on “Wayback Tours” through time, visiting historical highlights ranging from thousands of years in the past to events that have happened in the last century. As they collect different visits, players will try to make their trip one solid Trek from ancient times all the way up ’til almost the 2000’s. More points are awarded for the longer treks! Players will also try to collect specific Experiences to help fill up their itineraries, getting them even more points. So if you could turn back time, would you take the trip back to the past?
Like in its predecessor, Trekking the World, players will be attempting to collect various events represented by large cards, all with historical paragraphs on the back explaining their significance. But unlike TtW where you might end up with 4-6 places visited total, in TtH players will collect that many events each day of their trip, with a full game made up of 3 days. Players want to collect their historical events in order because you’ll get more points for more visits in a single trek. However, players will also need to juggle the different experiences on their itinerary if they want to get the most Victory Points by the end.
Itineraries award bonus points and Time Crystals when players fill in certain spots and rows, giving savvy players chances to score an extra 2-10 points depending on their card. Itineraries also change every round, keeping things fresh and putting everyone on their toes. The aforementioned Time Crystals help players slow down their steady advance on the clock: each card they choose will make them advance their pocket watch 1-5 spaces. Each Time Crystal spent will take an hour off of how far they have to move, to a minimum of 1 hour. Also any player that lands exactly on the 12 spot of the clock gets a Punctuality bonus of 3 points.
It seems simple at first, collecting events in order and filing in your itinerary, but especially with 4 players you start to see there’s a lot of strategy involved, even before you add in the optional Time Warp cards that give you even more options. If ever you can’t bring yourself to take any of the cards because it’ll break your trek or for some other reason, you can also take a “Visit your Ancestors” card, letting you fill in 1 wild experience for a 3 hour cost. At first, this seemed like a lot of time, but if you’re stuck you really want to get a few spaces ahead to give other players time to make new cards come out.
At the end of the 3 day tour, points are tallied up. More often than not, it’s not just the player with the longest trek, but the player who put together long treks and filled out their itinerary that wins. There’s a fair bit of strategy knowing when to keep pushing on a long trek and when to start over, but the game isn’t so deep or filled with decisions and consequences to scare away children or non-gamers.
Underdog Games has done a good job again of making an accessible, strategy-filled game that also has the potential to educate and help people learn a little more about the people and events that shaped the world, this time through the lens of history. It’s different enough to warrant playing if you liked the other Trekking titles, but also familiar enough to be accessible. If you have the means, I highly suggest checking it out.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
The Bottom Line
If you have the means, I highly suggest checking out Trekking Through History.