Spiel x Press Review of Timestream
Posted by Nathan P. on October 6, 2006
German gaming mag Spiel x Press has published a short review of Timestream. Many thanks to them, and to Christian and Harald for the translation help. The review in the original german can be found here in PDF form; below is the translation.
The stream of time is unchangeable. Or maybe it isn’t? In the roleplaying game “Timestream” the protagonists can influence the stream of time immensely. Time travels are possible, time can be slowed down, and different situations can be lived through over and over again.
The details are left to one’s own imagination in “Timestream.”
“Timestream” is not a highly professional product of a large company. Accordingly, the focus of the Timestream rule book does not lie in impressive illustrations and the optical design, but in simple rules provided in a way as to be understandable. Timestream does not commit itself to a specific world or specific mechanics that are needed to time travel, but leaves these parts to the individual play groups. In this way, each roleplaying group can play time travel adventures according to its own preferences.
For this reason the rule book of Timestream is kept simple and general. Characters are created quickly, there are only three rough classes of characters and few attributes, which leads to not getting lost in rules but focusing on on the playing-out of the story.
Timestream is a roleplaying game that has its strenghts–such as flexibility and simplicity–but also its weaknesses. For example, an evening of Timestream means quite a bit of work for the game master. To pull an adventure out of nothing without a lot of background is tedious, and that in a roleplaying game about time travels almost any unforeseeable event can happen doesn’t make the whole thing any easier.
Anyone who wants to play a time travel and time manipulation game without fighting their way through endless constructions of rules and theoretical foundations will be in the right place with Timestream. The whole game is kept very simple, and while it’s not an optically professional product, it’s thought through very well and piques one’s interest.
So I think I’m going to get working on some situation generation tools for the game. Seems like that would be good thing.