There are 429, double-sided “event cards.” Each card, as advertised, describes an event. Below the event, in satisfyingly large numbers, is the date in which that event occurred.
The cards are designed so that as long as they are in the box they came in, you can’t see the dates. Clever, in deed.
To begin the game, each player takes the first card in the box, reads it aloud (just the event, not the year), and then places the card in front of her on the table. For added fun, and to get players in the mood of the game, we read the events as they were drawn, asked everyone to guess the date, and then placed the card, face-up, in front of us. It was a free guess, but got us ready to play.
After the first round, the game continues in earnest, or wherever you happen to be playing. The first player takes an event card, reads it to the player on her left, and that player points either to the right or left of the card already in front of him, depending on when, before or after the date on that card, he thinks that event occurred. If correct, he gets to put that card in his timeline. He then picks the next card, reads it to the player to his left, and on, and on.
As the game progresses, each player’s timeline grows longer and, hopefully, longer; the goal being to be the first player to accumulate 10 cards, all in time order. But, the more cards, the more difficult the challenge. If a player is incorrect, the next player guesses, and on and on until someone guesses correctly, or it returns to the player who drew that card in the first place.
The game is very easy to learn. There is just enough luck involved to keep everyone interested. The rules are simple, so it takes only a few minutes to get everyone under play. The game works as well with a bunch of players as it does with only two, and, depending on the depth and brilliance of between-turn conversations, takes about a half-hour to play. Or an entire evening.