Players: 1v1 and 2v2
Length: 20 – 40 mins
Created By: CGC Games
Published By: Level 99 Games
Kickstarter Date: Late August 2017
Release: Early 2018
Temporal Odyssey is a drafting battle card game about dueling Time Travelers. Open portals to different parts of space and time to draft characters to your cause! Collect powerful artifacts to gain unique abilities and pay off the wrath of Lovox the god of time.
When defeated, a Traveler will travel back in time to prevent it, but the more they meddle, the more their own timeline becomes unstable. Each time you collect an artifact or defeat an opponent Traveler, you reduce their stability. After the opponent’s stability has been reduced to zero, defeat them again to deal the final blow!
Temporal Odyssey is unique fusion of battle card games and drafting games that involve set collection. You will find yourself making decisions from both genres with strategies from both being equally viable to win the game!
Reduce the opponent’s stability to zero, then defeat the enemy Traveler.
Temporal Odyssey’s status as a fusion of the battle card game and set collection genres has lent it many unique qualities and innovations. Here’s a few of the most notable.
In battle card games with constructed decks, every card has to be balanced to exactly the same power level or else be discarded as useless or warp the rest of the game around its effects. Failure to achieve this impossible design goal is is what leads to the same handful of netdecks squeezing out all other decks from the metagame and causes the game to stagnate as only the decisions involving the most powerful cards really matter in competitive settings. This quickens the rate at which a game gets boring, not to mention makes assembling a respectable deck a sometimes financially daunting task.
Temporal Odyssey solves both these problems with drafting. Because players create their deck new as they are playing, they can truly adapt to a problem in their game and no two games of Temporal Odyssey will ever play out the same. This also means that when it’s time to start a new game, you can open the box and not worry about having a deck that is out of date compared to everyone else’s.
Drafting in Temporal Odyssey isn’t your traditional “pass the pack” method. At the end of each of your turns, your Traveler will open a portal to either the Past, the Present, or the Future. Draft by picking up the top three cards from one of those time periods, add one to your hand, banish one from the game, and put one face-up back on top of the deck. This not only allows you to choose cards that benefit your strategy, but to actively put a stop to opponent strategies as well.
In Temporal Odyssey, your attacks deal damage exactly as you expect and the opponent can’t interfere with surprises or traps. But that doesn’t mean your opponent is defenseless! While a lack of out of turn play makes for quick and clean gameplay where your tactics play out just as you envision, each player has the ability to group their cards in synergistic ways to counteract the opponent.
At the end of each player’s turn, they arrange the cards on their board into multiple groups comprised of one leader and one support. Only leaders can be attacked directly, so critical targets can be protected by grouping them as supports. Further, many characters share their abilities with the other character in their group, making them ideal support characters.
As one might expect, a well organized group is a hard to defeat group, so effective use of grouping and ability sharing moves decisions like “I block with this guy” and “I use this spell in response” to the regroup phase of each player’s turn. The better you are at grouping, the better you can mitigate and punish your opponent’s attacks.
Instead of being bogged down by the potential for response at every move, Temporal Odyssey minimizes downtime by letting players use their opponent’s turn to consider the reinforcements they will draft from the time portal. Drafting and grouping are the heart of TTemporal Odyssey and put the key decisions you make onto team composition and tactics, not if your staring at your opponent hard enough.
A Grouping Example
Let’s say you have a Paladin on the field with an ability that shares Armor +10 to their group. If you think your opponent will try to hamstring your offense by taking out your high attack Mercenaries, you can group one of them with your Paladin to share the Armor ability and make it more costly to defeat.
If your opponent REALLY wants to destroy that Mercenary, they might be able to, but it would definitely cost them more time, life, or other resources. Instead, maybe your opponent will decide to go for a less bothersome target, but if you can predict this you can effectively lead them to only attack what you let them. With a constant stream of reinforcements coming through the time portal, managing your resources and groups to gain the upper hand is far more important than securing opportunistic kills.
Temporal Odyssey features 6 unique Travelers with unique playstyles to play as. Each Traveler combines the 6 elements of the game into a Basic, Advanced, and Ultimate Spell. These Spells power up to devastating effect as you field cards with the same elements as the Spell, but can only be used once before your Traveler has to take time to rest and recover them. Save your spells or sling them, but always draft wisely and make sure you get the elements you need!
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Jin and Zowie: A Timeless Family Bond
If instances of reality are numbered, Jin’s would be the first. Jin was a brilliant engineer and machinist who grew, innovated, and seemed to carry limitless potential for his home world of Terreria. On the day that Jin was unveiling his proudest invention, a malfunction caused a wild burst of energy to be released causing a yet unseen catastrophe that completely obliterated Jin’s home village. Jin’s heart and mind were lost that day as he failed to cope with the loss of his entire family, including his beloved sister Zowie. Dealing with it the only way he knew how, Jin allowed his ambition and dogged obsession with progress to overtake him and eventually spiraled down a path that brought a mechanical tyranny upon the world of Terreria.
A New Discovery
Years later, Jin invents a machine beyond anyone’s understanding–a machine with the power to travel between Worlds and Times. This machine, the “Scout,” knows that continuing further down this path would bring doom not just to Jin’s world of Terreria, but eventually to every instance of reality. So instead of the time and destination indicated in Jin’s tests, Scout travels back in time to the critical moment in Terreria’s history.
A Past Altered
Having returned to the past, Scout encounters a young optimistic girl with a familiar charm. Curious, she brings Scout to her brother, who happens to be a talented machinist. Despite the clearly wondrous capabilities of the machine, this young genius’s first reaction is not to dissect the machine for the secrets of its design, but to extend a hand of hospitality. Scout has arrived just moments before the catastrophe that caused Jin to relinquish his former self, but realizing this too late the malfunctioning invention is set into motion anyway. Unable to prevent the catastrophe outright and still charging for another jump through time, Scout evacuates Zowie to a safe place and relates the story of the future to her. Despite the rescue of Zowie, Jin continues to assume that his entire family dead, knowing that it was planned for the family to gather and watch the unveiling of his new invention.
A Deal with a God
As Zowie rushes home after the catastrophe, the moment she steps foot into the ruins of the village she is displaced. The movement of time around her has ground to a stand still and an imposing shadow approaches. Loxov, god of time, reveals himself to Zowie.
“A time paradox has been created. I’m here to rectify it.”
“You mean me?” Zowie asks clutching the metal charm around her neck, a memento of Jin.
“Yes. But I’m due for some amusement. Let’s make a deal.”
“Give me the necklace and you may continue to exist.”
An Encounter of Fate
With the deal complete, Lovox turns to leave.
“What must I do to save my brother?” Zowie cries out.
“What amusing audacity. How about this, kill Jin and I’ll rewrite the timeline as you see fit.”
In a flash, Zowie is returned to the world of the future. She looks forward and there he is, her brother – or at least, the future incarnation of him. With a knowing smile, Jin finishes the machine he is working on, activates it and is transported into another time. Zowie is faced with an impossible decision, can she kill her brother to save herself and her world?
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