Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

#59. Anachrony

Designers: Richard Amann, Viktor Peter, Dávid Turczi

Anachrony runs the unique distinction of being the first Time Travel board game that I haven’t thought was pretty dumb. And that’s pretty good.

In Anachrony, you are part of a post-apocalyptic society heading towards its final destruction. You are part of a colony of survivors, using the limits of time travel in order to prepare the resources you need to flee the planet. Or something. Honestly, I got confused.

Interesting Mechanic: Mech Meeples. You have four kinds of survivors. To place them, you will need to send them out in the wild in big mechs (slotting them into little slots in the mechs).  DIfferent survivors are better at different actions – getting bonuses to resources, for example, or being able to perform an action without resting. The idea that some meeples are better at certain actions than others is a very rich design space, and one I expect to see a lot more of in the future.

Bonus Interesting Mechanic: Borrowing From Yourself. Missing resources you need to get what you want to do done? Why, just give your future self a phone call, and ask if you can borrow those resources! But if you do, don’t forget to get in your time machine later and repay yourself, or the resulting paradoxes may wreck your base.

Anachrony is a relatively heavy game and somewhat tough to wrap your head around. But if you like dense Eurogames, this is the one that finally manages to turn time travel into an interesting and believable mechanic.

Related image

(Photo Source: Punching Cardboard)


  1. No love for Time Agent?

    • Damion Schubert

      December 17, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      I haven’t played that one. I have played several Time Travel games that were confusing, un-fun messes, though.

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