14+ (or younger - our 10 year old loves this)
Less than 30mins
If you find yourself reflecting on the relentless and ever quickening passage of time in a rueful manner. Or, if you enjoy anthropomorphic chickens then this is one especially for you.
To be honest, you had me at time travelling chickens. The theme of this pocket rocket of a game is an absolute joy. You are a group of chickens who have broken all the rules by fiddling about with time travel causing an endless time vortex to be opened. Let's be grateful chickens didn't get hold of the Hadron Collider. To escape the vortex you need an Escape Pod and impeccable timing.
First, you set out your timeline in countdown order: 10 down to Escape Window Open. Each turn - before playing your chosen card - players reveal another countdown card. This means that time flies and you career rapidly towards the escape window often without the requisite escape pod. Whenever a time slips away card is revealed, the highest face-up timeline card is removed from play. (It is possible to end up with only the Escape Window card- fortunately it is immune to the ravages and cruel whims of time.)
The clux capacitor (yes that's right - take a moment to enjoy that one) is a powerful card. It can enable you to cheat death and temporarily halt the relentless passage of time. It enables you to Turn Back Time and sing classic Cher songs at the top of your lungs.*
Time travel is fraught with danger and if you don't tread lightly, you can end up erasing your own existence and no chicken wants that. You get two chances though. The first time you draw a You Dead card and learn that a distant relative has killed you, you are frozen out of the game unless you can play a clux capacitor card. You place your character card on the timeline at the moment of your death. You remain there - frozen out, unable to play. You can only watch in tense horror as the cards are taken until either, a clux capacitor which revives you is played, or, until a time slips away card is drawn and you are not just dead but erased from existence. It's ok though, you're not so dead that you can't go to the bar and get the next round in while the rest of us try to escape.
Winning is easy - all you need to do is
Pick up the escape pod
Hold on to the escape pod
Play the escape pod while the window is open
That's all you have to do. Don't have the escape pod? Don't worry you can just swap hands, peek at other people's cards (legally - with a card, not just with strategic reflective surface placement) and steal it! Or failing that use reverse and cryogenic freezing to buy yourself time to get some more strategic cards. Time is critical in this game and there isn't much of it.
This is a fun, quick play, take that card game. It's portable which is always a plus. Great for families or groups of adults - we're definitely backing it. You can see by the photos how many different places we've played it in and we haven't even had it a week! (and I've spared you the flowery tablecloth of doom photos for once). You have two lives, limited time and a random selection of tactics. So how about it McFly - will you play.... or are you too.... CHICKEN??
*It's more of a house rule than a legitimate part of the game.**
** Actually it's only me that sings. My family just wait patiently for it to be over.
Come and play it at a Cards or Die event.