Review: Time n Space – time is relative in space

Time n Space - packaging

Never trust the stars. Whenever a person gets closer to them, everything is suddenly completely different. Time starts to run differently and sand in an hourglass stops flowing at all. The gravitational force loses power, but various planets and other objects will drag for your body. Such an inhospitable place will be our home and time will be our guide.

Time is the game. At least in Time ‚n‘ Space board game, where it plays an important role. Its author is , whose idea was seen as interesting in publishing company . It finally arrived on the market in with illustrations by .

Box shows clearly at first glance, that there is a universe inside. When you lift the lid up, you will feel as the vacuum is filled with oxygen. Fortunately, this game can be played on the ground and you do not have to reside in orbit. This is guaranteed by game board with colorful planets and moons between them. It’s all connected by wormhole tunnels, which serve you will travel. One side is for three and second for four players.

Time n Space - game is ready

Bigger dimensions also have large cardboard panels representing control centers of players. These bases contain hexagonal spaces for construction of various buildings. Each center is located on another planet and you easily assign them according to color on common board.

What for would you have all those wormholes, planets and other components, if you had no ships to fly there. Together with 96 tokens orders (including colors and different values) are also part of ships punched out of sheets – a hull and two wings connect and they become an elegant vessel. Among the cardboard components are hidden also buildings, each composed of three hexagons. Every part has its own symbol, while the middle (just like on the ship’s hull), you can see hourglass symbol, which will help you with the production, trade or transport.

Indeed, the hourglass are precisely the thing, around which will everything in this game spin. You will find eight of them in the box and you will definitely need them also to transport goods, which are represented here by 48 cubes in four colors. They are technology, healthcare, luxury goods and raw materials. We did mention only a six pages long rulebook and we are at the end of our talk about packaging.

Time n Space - game in progress

At the beginning of the game, players put a game plan between them, corresponding to their number (three or four). Everyone chooses a color, sits next to his planet and takes the apropriate board. He puts his spaceship on home planet. Each participant will also receive two hourglass and a pile of order tokens with his symbol (printed in the upper left corner of the gaming board). He must now secretly choose two orders and put them into his base on any open field.

Bonus white tokens are spread on the planets. Shuffled building pile must be distributed equally to all moons. They should all be facing with building level II side up (on their opposite side is level III). Players will also need a stopwatch, that will mark end of a thirty-minute game time. They are not part of the game, but the creators offers the possibility to download soundtrack for the game serving as a timer at the same time. On top of it, it also will improve atmosphere of the space battle.

During the match, you would expect players to take turns. But that’s not true, there are no turns here. Instead, all players will pursuit their strategy at the same time, trying to manage grains of sand in an hourglass. At the beginning of the game (once main clock is started), players can turn their clocks and start the countwodn. At the same time, however, they must put them on any hourglass symbol somewhere on their planet. This is, how action is always selected in this game. And they can perform it, after the sand has run out. After first placement, there is a short delay of waiting for everyone.

Time n Space - game in progress

At the moment, sand is gone from the top part of hourglass, player can pick it up and immediately take action, that is guaranteed by this box. Only then can turn hours around and put it on a new (or the same) place, which will be activated after other 30 seconds. Since the players have two hourglass in their possession, they can simultaneously charge two things.

Clock can be placed on a number of different places. In total, there are five different types and it all starts of course with space ship. When sand is collected, then players can move their vessel through a wormhole to a neighboring planet or moon. There is immediately a reward expecting them – new building on a moon, which can player place on his research center, while in the case of a planet opportunity to deliver goods for any of the orders of player living there.

Each player has two active orders at the beginning, which show the color and amount of goods required. A player must have cubes of this type available in his teleport. He gives them away and can immediately take token of fulfilled order.

Time n Space - game in progress

But road to this success is long. Players must first use their factories and produce needed goods. It is obvious, that this can not be done without participation of an hourglass, but resulting action gets player several cubes – completion fills each of available (= free) parts of factory. But that is still not enough, because players need to get them ready for transport. And warehouse is not that place. By activating a beam station (= teleport), player may move any cubes to their new position on beaming platform, where its finally ready for delivery.

Last possibility to influence course of the game is to create a new order for goods. At the moment, when player picks up an hourglass from marketplace, he can immediately play order counter on vacant spot in his station. But why would he actually do it, if he is helping opponents to score points? Because incomplete orders provide negative points at the end of the game.

At the beginning of the game, players have only a limited number of buildings, with less spots to produce/store goods in. Research station can fix that and allow them to research new buildings gained from moon. Their more efficient technologies will create more space and better use of technology. At the beginning of the game, factories produce only one cube instead of a maximum of three, as well as beam stations and marketplaces have inferior properties. It is therefore in your own interest to strive for their improvement.

Time n Space - game in progress

Game ends, when alarm goes off announcing expiration of a thirty-minute period. Players still have a chance to activate all actions with hourglass on them. Only then is a moment, when everyone counts victory points for delivered orders. But only those colors, from which they themselves have no order tokens left. Player with most points left is the winner.

Time n Space is an interesting action and rapid achievement game, that is different from classical thoughtful strategies. Yet it still contains a good dose of tactics. But what you will need most of all is self-control and overview. Without them, you certainly can not do in here, because of large amount of things to monitor. Every second is precious here.

First game is full of mistakes and moments, when you learn to use both hourglass correctly and effectively. The problem is, that bringing new players in this game is not easy and they will have a decent disadvantage. It is not a moment to stop and think about your problem for some time, because sand in hours relentlessly pours away, regardless of your wishes.

Time n Space - board detail

Whole mechanis of Time n Space recalls some sort of simple computer/mobile game. In these, you always have some gradually charging skill and you have to wait a while, before you can re-activate it. But its all more difficult here, because you must know in advance exactly, what you want to do. And even if you decide later, that you do not want this action, you must never move the clock away before the sand runs out. So if you change your mind, you lose time, that is so precious here.

Game system is pretty fanciful, but overall impression is still a bit messy and on the other hand full of exciting moments. This can be a great advantage for some, while players loving quiet contemplation without stress will immediately reject this game.

It would seem, that each match must be very similar and there will be always similar way to victory. But fortunately, it is at least partially prevented by random distribution of buildings on moons. And above all players, who trade with each other and discuss their orders. But its still a lot alike.

Time n Space - tiles

It is much better in four-player game, because opponents have wider options for trading. Decision where to flying with your ship can decide not only about your success, but also provide chance for another rival to successful completion of his orders. It is this scoring mechanism, that guarantees tension until the last minute, when players will fight for successful supply. Game is nicely balanced and time is so-so to do all you need to.

Game time is clearly apparent, which is excellent news. Thirty minutes is simply a limit over which you can not get. But this is even worse for you, because there are clear limitations in number of actions, that can be completed. Mistakes are not allowed. Any decision must make sense in the long run and it is up to the player, how well he combines his actions.

As the game goes on in real time, it can happen, that clock expire for two players simultaneously. And when they try for the same thing on the board, then only speed decides, whose ship will fly to this planet.

Time n Space - spaceships

Processing is nice and goes down to common board. But its true also for assemled spacecrafts, which acts as a nice hourglass stands. Everything is arranged well, including rules containing plenty of examples.

Time n Space brings the universe to you, with lot of fun for all players, who do not mind the crazy tempo, limited time for decision making and continuous contact with each other. Orders and their fulfillment are heart of this game, which is surprisingly entertaining. Mostly Time n Space benefits from time element, which is processed to perfection.

DesignerTobias Stapelfeldt
ArtistMarc Margielsky
Publishereggertspiele, Pegasus Spiele, Stronghold Games
Year Published2013
# of Players3 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 3, 4 players
(11 voters)
Playing Time30
Mfg Suggested Ages10 and up
User Suggested Ages12 and up
(4 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(6 voters)
CategoryEconomic, Negotiation, Real-time, Science Fiction, Transportation
MechanicAction Timer, Pick-up and Deliver, Point to Point Movement, Set Collection, Simultaneous Action Selection
FamilyComponents: Sand Timers
Primary NameTime 'n' Space
Alternate NamesTime & Space

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Time n Space – time is relative in space
Final word
Time n Space is an interesting game, that lets players trade in space in real time. Everyone operates with help of an hourglass, which allows you to activate position, on which it stands, when sand runs out. Every decision has a lot of weight, but because entire game takes place without any breaks, it can get a little messy. Yet everything is clearly defined, players may sometimes encounter fighting for the same business. Game has a fixed game time set and works in both numbers of players, although four seems a little better for business. A range of options ensures, that although the path to victory is the same in every match, its at least a little different thanks to buildings. Although Time n Space takes place in a universe, where there is seemingly enough space, you will experience nudging, but especially well done tactical play.
Reader Rating0 Votes
interesting idea
need to combine
tactic is crucial
exciting until the end
subtraction of incomplete orders
can only be played in three and four, while three is not so good
no timer
not suitable for players, who do not like chaos
matches are similar
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