For most of last year I attended a game night on Sundays that my friend and former roommate, Matthew, hosted. He put together a zine, Halifax Casual Gaming Federation Annual 2012-2013, commemorating the games we played. Matthew moved across the continent in December and passed the torch to me for organizing the events through The Halifax Casual Gaming Federation.
I’m going to do something a bit different. I’ll be blogging a short piece about games after we play them and then might collect things for a zine at the end of the year.
The first game of the year was Back to the Future: The Card Game, a simple time travel card game from Looney Labs. A timeline of events from the Back to the Future movies is created with 24 cards and each player is given an ID card that lists events required for the goals of a character to be met. The game otherwise follows the core play mechanics of Looney Labs’ Fluxx games: each turn players draw a card and play a card, with most other rules contained on the cards. This simplicity makes it very easy to jump into playing.
The game is very successful at capturing the feel and story of the movies; I was surprised at how faithful the game was to the source material while remaining fresh and fun to play. My memories of the films haven’t been refreshed recently, but it was clear to me that the zaniness and tone of them are retained. Knowledge of the films is not required at all, though some of the references on cards would only make sense to those who are familiar with the franchise.
Back to the Future: The Card Game is no longer available directly from its publisher, but can be found through other sellers. It was created using many of the rules for the company’s other time travel game, Chrononauts, which is still available.
Now you can jump into the action of the Back to the Future movies, with this ingenious new time travel card game! Your mission is to make sure pivotal events are not changed by other time travelers before time travel itself gets un-invented. Using a unique, patented game mechanic for simulating time travel, Andrew Looney now puts you in the driver’s seat of the famous DeLorean!
In this game you are a time traveler, a descendant of one of the characters in the Back to the Future movies. Unfortunately, other time travelers have been tampering with events in your past, endangering your very existence. You must put things back in the ways that seem right to you, then stop Doc Brown from ever inventing time travel, which will freeze reality the way you need it to be, once and for all. The game is played entirely with cards, but has the feel of a board game since important events are represented by a special grid of 24 cards called the TimeLine.