Whether and, if so, how time travel is possible is still a great mystery for science. At least in board games you can already use this fascinating way of traveling. It doesn't matter whether the story is in the foreground or whether it remains more abstract: there is something for every taste. There are five good games on this list that do a nice job on the theme.

In the classic film from 1985, you need a DeLorean, a flux capacitor and a lot of energy, among other things. Thanks to these five board games, the utensils required for a journey through time are much more space-saving and cheaper to obtain. Regardless of whether you want a lot of story, are looking for a perfectly dovetailed, complex Eurogame, or prefer a fast, abstract 2-player game: Time travel is possible for everyone.

Anachrony - Time travel for experts

board games time travel 1

Anachrony is aimed at board game experts. Image: Publisher

To start with, there is the most complex game that will be found on this list. If you look at which publisher published the game, the complexity is not surprising either. anachrony is from Mindclash Games. The players take the leadership of one of the four factions (called "paths") that live on a destroyed earth of the 26th century. Almost completely isolated from each other, they only meet in the last remaining major city, simply called Capital. 

During the catastrophe that occurred centuries ago, which changed life on earth so permanently, a previously unknown substance was found: neutronium. With this material the time rifts can be used. Only those who use them efficiently can save their followers from the next impending catastrophe. The approaching asteroid brings with it plenty of valuable neutronium, but time after impact may be too short to use it.

In anachrony various actions can be carried out in the classic worker placement manner. In order to carry out actions, however, you have to consider several things at the same time. In addition to the worker itself, which is one of four possible types, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, most actions also require exosuits to protect the workers from the hostile outdoor conditions. At the beginning of each round you have to decide how many exosuits to load up.

Resources can be collected or traded, research carried out, new workers recruited or buildings and super projects constructed at various locations. So far, so classic. The time travel element offers many opportunities to make great progress right from the start.

Before the actual worker placement phase, you can place zero to two of your own warplates on the current timeline segment. The resources or workers depicted on these are obtained immediately. In the following rounds, the person who has the most warp tiles in a section must roll the dice to see whether "borrowing" the resources from the future creates paradoxes. If you have three paradoxes you get an anomaly that blocks a building site on your board and costs you victory points. To avoid this, you can travel through time with buildings of the yellow type and "give in" the resources that have already been used in the past. 

This mechanic for time travel feels impressively themed. Over four to seven rounds (depending on when the end of the game is triggered after the impact of the meteorite), everyone tries to collect the most victory points. The person who does this best wins the game and secures victory.

The game can be played with 1-4 people aged 15 and over. The playing time is about 30 minutes per person.

Preview Product Rating Price
Mindclash Games AN08 Accessory Mindclash Games AN08 Accessories * 55,10 EUR

TIME Stories - experience instead of play with many extensions

board games time travel 2

TIME Stories is an experience with many expansions. Image: Publisher

Somewhere between RPG and board game you will find them TIME Stories. As time travel agents of the TIME Agency, it is the task of the players to work together to eliminate problems and dangers that arise from illegal time travel. The time travel is made possible by the Tachyon Insertion technology. The base game comes with only one case. Due to the numerous expansions, there is still a lot to discover based on the basic game.

Players are never permanently stuck in the past or any other reality. If the mission fails on any attempt, the agents will be transferred back to their base and they can start the mission again from the beginning and with more knowledge.

A run lasts until all time units are used up. Until then, two phases are always alternately run through. First, a location is laid out and its description is read out. This can then be entered and explored. Actions cost time units. 
When the party is done exploring the current location, they can exit and move to a new location. This change of location costs time units again. How many there are is determined by rolling a dice. During the journey through time, a wide variety of situations (e.g. fighting monsters, picking locks or convincing people) are also resolved using dice rolls.

In a way, this position in the list is also representative of other escape and puzzle games with a time travel theme. Here, for example, the ChronoCops series by Pegasus, which approaches the subject with much more humor, the Time Guardians series by Ravensburger, which combines the theme with 3D puzzles, or the Unlock! Box "Timeless Adventures" that works more like a "classic" escape room and with Lost in the vortex of time contains one of the best cases in the Unlock! series.

TIME Stories can be experienced with 2-4 people aged 14 and over. Depending on the scenario, the playing time is at least 60 minutes.

That Time You Killed Me – Abstract Time Travel Duel

board games time travel 3

That Time You Killed Me by Pandasaurus Games is something more than an insider tip. Image: Publisher

From a lot of story it goes here to very little story. That Time You Killed Me is an abstract 2-player game that develops over different scenarios. On three time boards consisting of a 4×4 grid, two people duel and try to delete the other person from the story. The three time tables here represent future, present and past. At each of these three times, the “I” of each person initially exists once.

In each turn you carry out two actions with a copy of your "I". The copy must initially be on the time board next to your focus marker. Once you have carried out the actions, you must move the focus marker to one of the other two time boards. Until a person only has copies of themselves on one (or none) of the timetables, the turns are alternated. 

An action is moving. Here you move the copy to an orthogonally adjacent field. Pushing an opponent away as an action is not really different. Here, the target field is occupied by an opposing copy. This is simply pressed on the next free field. If there is no longer a square but the wall, the copy is crushed and removed from the game. If you slide an opponent's copy into a second copy of this person, a paradox arises. Both copies are removed from the game.

If you travel to the future with an action, you simply move the figure from the current time to the next time. Traveling backwards, one copy remains in the now and the other copy appears in the past.

The game ends when, at the end of your turn, there are no opposing copies left on at least two time boards. A draw is also possible.
In addition to these basic rules, there are other objects and additional rules in the various scenarios that make the game more variable. 

The exciting time travel duel takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Time travel is approved here for ages 10 and up.

The Loop – Weirdly cooperative

board games time travel 4

The Loop works with humor. Image: Publisher

This is where cooperative play comes in. In The Loop are the playing agents who lead the insane Dr. Foo have to stop. He travels with his time machine in time loops from era to era in order to create an army from his duplicates there. Defects in his machine create time rifts that threaten the entire universe. The players must stop him together. Everyone takes on the role of a time travel agent with individual abilities.

All players take turns one after the other until they either win or lose together. At the beginning of each turn, Dr. Foo trouble. New duplicates are created and a new card is made available. This map is now available to the players. Foo goes straight to a card of his own. This determines the era to which he travels next. Now new time rifts are coming into the current era. If too many time rifts have accumulated, that era becomes a vortex. 

after dr Foo it's the player's turn. The active person can perform any number of actions. For one energy you may move to an adjacent era. If you exhaust a ready-to-use card in your display, you may use its ability. This mainly places new energy cubes, removes time tears, moves duplicates, performs movements or can be used to interact with artifact cards. 

The group's "secret weapon" is the LOOP action. With this, used cards can be made ready for use again. 

At the end of a turn you may choose an artifact of the era you are currently in.
If all dice required to complete this mission are on a machine part in the era the active character is in, the machine part goes into the trophy pile. Now only your own playing area is “tidyed up” and everyone draws three cards.

The game continues in this way until the victory condition or one of the three defeat conditions is met. The group wins when the fourth machine part has been collected. As soon as the second vortex has to be placed in an era, the fourth vortex has to be created on the game board, or the Foo deck has to be shuffled a fourth time, the players lose. Some game modes have additional victory conditions. There are four different ones, each with three levels of difficulty. 

Whimsically and humorously designed The LOOP 1-4 people aged 12 and over about 60 minutes of fun.

Vivid Memories - Journey into your own memories

board games time travel 5

Vivid Memories touches on the time travel theme indirectly. Image: Publisher

The abstract drafting game has no time travel theme in the narrower sense Vivid Memories. Still, it deserves its place on the list because of its subject matter. The players collect memorabilia from their childhood and connect them to their memory board in order to fill as many core memories as possible. 

On your turn you may draw one, two or three souvenirs. If you only choose one, you can move memorabilia that have already been placed on your own tableau. If you choose two, they must be the same color and if you choose three mementos, they must all be different.
The memorabilia can be found on the moment tiles in the middle of the table. Only the memorabilia of the outer two moments are available. When a moment is emptied, it is given to the person who took the last memento from there.

If there are no more moments left, the next phase follows. Now the actions of the tableau and the collected moments can be used. This allows you to further influence the distribution of memorabilia on your tableau. 

The current round is then evaluated. You have to score every moment whose required constellation you have on your memory board. They are then placed in your personal discard pile. If you have connected individual slots of the core memories with the appropriate color, you score these connections and fill the two slots with memorabilia of the connection. If you have filled all the slots of individual core memories, these are now also rated.
At the end of the game there are still points for memorabilia on the moments, the memory board and in the core memories that correspond to your goals. At the beginning of the game, each person is secretly assigned a color, which is their goal.

After three rounds the game is over. Whoever was able to collect the most points wins the journey back to childhood memories.

The abstract game can be played with 1-4 people aged 13 and over. The playing time is between 30 and 60 minutes.

Last updated on 9.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API