English reviews Familie spellen

Books of Time


A game for 1 – 4 players
Playing time is 45 to 60 minutes
Publisher is Board & Dice


Look at all the beautiful things we achieved in the history of humankind. Our technological advancements, geographical discoveries, and our will to prosper are all documented in books that tell the story of our time on Earth. Now you have the chance to shape this story. Your history awaits as you construct three great books, combining unique special abilities! Open these books and tell your own story that will be written and make history yours!

Setting up the game

Set up the Civilization board in the center of the table. Give each player a Player board and a Bookmark in their chosen color. Place Files, Paper, Science, VP, and Pen tokens within reach of each player, which will be the general supply.

Then each player will start with 3 books: 1 x Industry book, 1 x Science book, and 1 x Trade book.

Also, each player gets 3 sets of Objectives consisting of the following: 1 set Industry, 1 set Science, and 1 set Trade.

Place the player markers on the bottom of the Science, Industry, and Trade tracks. Then stack a player marker on the 10 Victory Point position of the Victory Point track. Shuffle all non-starting pages to create a common deck. Each player receives a Reference sheet, 2 Pens, and 2 Paper tokens. Now draw 6 pages from the common deck. Choose and write 1 of these pages for free. Next, place another 2 of these pages in the leftmost spaces above your Player Board and discard the remaining 3 pages. Draw 4 pages and place them in a row next to the common deck. Shuffle the Chronicle pages and randomly remove 8 of them. Add the remaining pages to the Chronicle and start on page one. Select the Starting Player and let’s rewrite History.

Let’s play

Books of Time is played over a fixed number of rounds. These are related to the pages of the book of Chronicle.

During your turn, a player can always take one of the chronicle events before or after their round and resolve it. You are allowed to simply pass on using any of the abilities.

Besides the book of Chronicle events, each round a player can also choose between one of the following actions:

Activate Pages
Choose one of your books and activate the abilities depicted on both visible pages in that book. You may perform them in any order, but you must complete one before starting the second one. These page abilities are not mandatory; you may choose to perform both, one of them, or even none of them.

Write Pages
To write a page, choose an available page from one of the sections of your player board, pay the depicted cost, and place it in its corresponding book, placing it on top of the right-hand side of the book. The type of page must match the book type. You gain the instant benefit indicated at the bottom of that page.

Close Books
You may close any of your open books before you have reached its end.

In this case, you only gain the benefits indicated at the bottom of pages, to the left of your current page, then close the book and open it again at its first page. When gaining the benefits, you may select the order you receive them in.

When closing a book, you may use the Bookmark to help you with counting your benefits.

A Book also closes automatically when you turn its back cover. If this happens, you simply receive all the immediate benefits depicted at the bottom of its pages, and then open it again at its first page.

Choose exactly 2 pages from the offer or the top of the common deck. Add them, one by one, to your player board, moving any pages already there to the right when needed. If a card is pushed from the rightmost position of your player board, it is discarded. Immediately after drawing each of the pages, replenish the offer if needed.

As a free action, before selecting pages, you may pay 2 Victory Points to put any of the pages currently in the offer into the discard pile, and then replenish the offer.

Pay to advance your marker on one of the three tracks. The costs are shown to the right of the spot you are advancing to.

After your marker has advanced, you must choose one option:

1. Gain the benefit indicated in the spot to which you advanced, or

2. Advance your corresponding Objective.

Turn the Pages
Select up to three of your books and turn the page in any of them. After turning the pages, gain the instant benefit on the current page of each of your books. Pages can only ever be turned from the right position to the left.

After each player has finished their round, the last player makes sure to turn the page of the Book of Chronicles. This is so a new set of usable Events will be revealed.

If this action closes the Book of Chronicles, the game ends, and the final scoring will take place.

Conclusion & final score

Difficulty: 2.58/ 5
Re-playability: 7
Our score: 7 out of 10 dice

For final scoring, each player evaluates their 3 Objective tiles on top of each of their stacks and gains Victory Points accordingly. If the top Objective tile of any type is fulfilled, they gain Victory Points for that objective. Then, each player with a player marker on the topmost position of a track on the Civilization board scores 2 VP per page in their corresponding book. Finally, each player gains 1 VP for every 5 leftover resources in their player area. The player with the most Victory Points is the winner.

First, we had a playthrough of Books of Time at Spiel last year, which did not make us very fond of it. But after playing the game several times, we started to see the beauty of this game. It’s nicely done and has some neat gameplay, which can easily be picked up by new players.

We truly like the artwork and how the Books are used during the play. Also, making the decision for the Objective tiles during the game doesn’t give you the VP if you don’t pay attention. Nicely done and really gives the extra boost.

Unfortunately, some kind of inlay would be very appreciated, which leads to an unnecessary startup delay. We did notice that after a few games, the pages do get damaged by clicking them in the books and turning them several times during a game.

Still, a nicely done game and fun to play. Also, a small interaction occasionally makes it good. Surprised at how small the player aids look, it finally takes a big part of the table.

So, for everybody who likes the theme and not-so-difficult games, The Books of Time is that type of game.

We want to thank Board & Dice for this review copy and the opportunity to write about this game.

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