We got a preview copy of Complicated Board Game The Card Game: Time 2 Play, with the option of requesting a finished copy. We weren’t otherwise compensated for this preview. Some images from the Kickstarter page.
Time 2 Play is a new standalone expansion (expandalone?) – it can be played all by its lonesome, or integrated into the original game. But for the uninitiated, the quick summary of Complicated Board Game goes like this: each player wants to win by either playing all of their Piece cards, or by completing some other goal (to be addressed in a moment).
Piece cards can only be played one-per-turn, and can only be played ‘on’ (which normally means ‘adjacent to’) other cards in a rock-paper-scissors style circle:
- Hats play on Soldiers
- Soldiers play on Sheep
- Sheep play on UFOs
- UFOs play on Castles
- Castles play on Hats
See, perfectly logical. If you can manage to get rid of all your piece cards, congratulations, you’ve won! Probably. I’ll get to that.
Now, where Complicated Board Game gets interesting are the Complication cards. These cards fundamentally change the way the game works, imposing new rules and goals, and generally making it possible to screw your opponents’ attempts to play their Piece cards. Some of these cards change the game a lot, like the cooperative variant, while some just allow for little changes such as the ability to cycle more cards or tweaking the cost of cards entering play.
And that’s a basic look at Complicated Board Game and Time 2 Play. At their core, they’re the same game, so if you liked one, you will probably like the other. Something to keep in mind is that Time 2 Play is an expansion more than a new game (though it can definitely be played on its own), so the core game is (somewhat ironically) the same.
Time 2 Play does add to the original formula, though. Time 2 Play features a new piece, the Golden Meeples, which are wild but can’t be played ‘on’ (at least at the beginning of the game), which makes them very easy to play and hard to work around. It has a pile of new rules and game types, poking fun at common (and esoteric) game design concepts.
In our review of the original game, we had this exchange:
Broadly speaking, we agree with our past selves – Time 2 Play is a great idea, but doesn’t quite take itself far enough. We feel like it could have been way more fun (for its highly contentious definition of fun) if there had only been more ways to lean into what makes Time 2 Play unique – the whole ‘shifting rules to mess with each other’ style of gameplay.
And ultimately, that’s where Time 2 Play delivers best – integrated into the original game, adding more chaos and disorder. Both ‘base’ games feel just a little neat and tidy – an ironic departure from their stated theme – but once they work in concert, we feel like Complicated Board Game finally becomes the game it was intending to be all along. So we say if you’re going to get in, go all in – get the original, get the expansion, and have fun messing with each other.
Time 2 Play still isn’t going to be for everyone – it’s aggro and convoluted and also somehow thinky and simplistic at the same time – but if you like Fluxx, you’ll love this; it’s (still) a way better game. And if you don’t like Fluxx (and Team Gameosity doesn’t), you should still give Time 2 Play a look – Time 2 Play could be that great, mean, fun little filler that might just fit your next game night perfectly!