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Remember all those dates they asked you to learn in school? Of course not.
That’s too bad because, if you still had them in your head, playing Chronology would be a breeze for you.
Maybe there are still enough dates left upstairs for you to do well enough in this game. Take a little time to read this review to see if you think you have the right stuff to win.
How Do You Play Chronology?
Chronology is a simple card game. There is essentially one deck of cards that you leave in the box most of the time.
You pull out one card on your turn. The first card you draw becomes your starting card. You read the description of the event and the year in which it occurred and place it on the table in front of you to start your row of cards.
Technically, you don’t really have to read this first card aloud, but it’s interesting enough so you might as well.
In the second round, the card you draw will not become your own. You read only the description, not the year, aloud for all to hear.
The player to your left tries to determine whether the year on this card comes before or after his initial card chronologically. If he is correct, he gets to keep the card and places it in the proper position relative to his first card.
In later rounds, he might choose to place the new card between two others already on the table.
If he was incorrect, the next player gets a shot. If no one guesses correctly, you tell everyone the year on the card and discard it back into the box behind all the other cards.
And so it goes. The first person to collect 10 cards is the winner.
Some of the cards have a “c.”, for circa, meaning “about”. This is usually found on cards with BC years on them. They’re usually pretty easy to place in your row.
If the card in play shows the same year as one in your row, you can guess either immediately before or after it and be correct.
What’s the Verdict on Chronology?
There’s no strategy involved here. This is really a trivia game. If you know your (mostly) important dates from history, you will do well and may win.
There is a definite advantage to being the first person to guess the year in the second round. If you get your first 9 guesses correct, you win. There’s nothing the other players, who happen to get turns after you, can do about it.
It’s obviously very important then not to miss a card. If you do and someone “behind” you gets it right, all you can do is hope that they miss a future guess and that you don’t miss any more.
The cards themselves look rather drab. The producer could have added a little more color to the scheme, but I suppose that would have added to the cost.
When putting the cover on the box, you’ll find that it doesn’t fit very well. Either the cards are too tall or the the cover is too short. The cover hits the top of the cards making it feel like it’s not on all the way. That’s a small problem but one that should have been considered during production.
This is far from being my favorite game, but I will play it on occasion. It’s fairly quick, if there aren’t many players and no one takes extremely long debating with themselves over where they think a card should be placed. If you have a player like that, you might consider adding a timer to the game.