Anachrony

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It is the late 26th century. Earth is recovering from a catastrophic explosion that exterminated the majority of the population centuries ago and made most of the surface uninhabitable due to unearthly weather conditions. The surviving humans organized along four radically different ideologies, called Paths, to rebuild the world as they see fit: Harmony, Dominance, Progress, and Sal…
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Awards

Dice Tower

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Thematic
  • Component quality
  • Reply-ability

Might Not Like

  • Feels bloated
  • Set up and take down
  • Play Time
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Description

It is the late 26th century. Earth is recovering from a catastrophic explosion that exterminated the majority of the population centuries ago and made most of the surface uninhabitable due to unearthly weather conditions. The surviving humans organized along four radically different ideologies, called Paths, to rebuild the world as they see fit: Harmony, Dominance, Progress, and Salvation. Followers of the four Paths live in a fragile peace, but in almost complete isolation next to each other. Their only meeting point is the last major city on Earth, now just known as the Capital.

By powering up the mysterious Time Rifts that opened in the wake of the cataclysm, each Path is able to reach back to specific moments in their past. Doing so can greatly speed up their progress, but too much meddling may endanger the time-space continuum. But progress is more important than ever before: if the mysterious message arriving through the Time Rift is to be believed, an even more terrible cataclysm is looming on the horizon: an asteroid bearing the mysterious substance called Neutronium is heading towards Earth. Even stranger, the scientists show that the energy signature of the asteroid matches the explosion centuries ago...

Anachrony features a unique two-tiered worker placement system. To travel to the Capital or venture out to the devastated areas for resources, players need not only various Specialists (Engineers, Scientists, Administrators, and Geniuses) but also Exosuits to protect and enhance them — and both are in short supply.

The game is played in 4-7 turns, depending on the time when the looming cataclysm occurs (unless, of course, it is averted!). The elapsed turns are measured on a dynamic Timeline. By powering up the Time Rifts, players can reach back to earlier turns to supply their past "self" with resources. Each Path has a vastly different objective that rewards it with a massive amount of Victory Points when achieved. The Paths' settlements will survive the impact, but the Capital will not. Whichever Path manages to collect most points will be the new seat for the Capital, thus the most important force left on the planet...

  • Ages 15+
  • 1-4 players
  • 60-120 minutes of playing time

Anachrony blew my mind when I first came across it on Kickstarter. A worker placement game with added minis - although you don’t need the minis to play. The game looks amazing, with its sheer size and quality I could not wait to get my hands on it.

At its heart, Anachrony is a thematic worker placement game set in the future where Earth has been rebuilt. The game play has a time traveling twist and fantastic art which is what peaked my interests.

Anachrony - In The Box

The first thing that strikes you with Anachrony is the sheer size and weight of the box - It's very big and very heavy. The version I have is the Kickstarter Leader box, this comes with some added game play modules and the minis.

The game has so many components I would be here all day explaining them all. The box is so full to the brim that once you have spent a good amount of time bagging up and punching out all the tokens you will struggle to close the box again.

Everything is of great quality and a mixture of card and plastic chits give the game a great feel of no expense spared. The exo-suits (minis) themselves are the star of the show. They are large moulds with great detail and the small slot on the top even has a purpose of holding in the pilot chits. I would actually say this is the most impressive game for components, for sheer amount and quality, I have seen.

The Game

As its main mechanic is worker placement, you basically have to place your Exo-Suits on parts of the main board to get resources. Anachrony adds so much more to this though and you have to power up an Exo-suit and select a pilot form a class. Each pilot has a job that they can do with more efficiency so selection is strategic.

The four classes are:

  1. Engineers
  2. Scientists
  3. Administrators
  4. Geniuses

If you are ever short of a resource you can make use of the time traveling mechanic. You can request workers, water, suits etc from your future self and have them sent to you. This can cause a time paradox and cause problems for you later on in the game.

The game is built around an impending disaster, when it happens it changes the game slightly by removing some of the worker placement slots.

You have projects to complete, a faction goal to aim for, your own player board to place your acquired buildings on, time travel and more….There is just so much going on the game is daunting at first glance. A play-through or two will have the rules nailed down and it’s not hard to learn at all but with so much going on it does feel convoluted.

The four classes are:

  1. Engineers
  2. Scientists
  3. Administrators
  4. Geniuses

If you are ever short of a resource you can make use of the time traveling mechanic. You can request workers, water, suits etc from your future self and have them sent to you. This can cause a time paradox and cause problems for you later on in the game.

The game is built around an impending disaster, when it happens it changes the game slightly by removing some of the worker placement slots.

You have projects to complete, a faction goal to aim for, your own player board to place your acquired buildings on, time travel and more….There is just so much going on the game is daunting at first glance. A play-through or two will have the rules nailed down and it’s not hard to learn at all but with so much going on it does feel convoluted.

Final Thoughts

Anachrony is great at making you feel part of the theme and the game is very fun at the beginning, but everyone soon got bored as the game dragged on. See for me and my group we like games that are fun, thematic and don’t out stay their welcome.

Great Western Trail is a game that some have moaned about being too long but I always finish that game wanting it to of lasted an extra turn or two, I don’t get that feeling with Anachrony. It’s not a bad game at all but the long-winded way of worker placement, time travel and each faction’s own path makes it over complicated and that really makes it less fun for me.

This game is big, and there are many variants, so replay-ability is high, but the size comes with its own problems. At first the game takes ages to set up and put away which may not be a problem for some but it was for our group. The number of different modules is also great for added replay-ability but selecting which one to use and getting used to the rules again adds time to the game.

I love the Exo-Suit design and the clever way they are used, unfortunately I think the game is better without them. They add an extra element to the already over complicated game and clog up the table even more, meaning one of the main highlights of the game are better off left in the box.

Sadly, this means it’s a bit of a chore to get to the table. I thought I would love Anachrony and play it over and over but, lots of the modules have been left un-played. There are a lot of positives to this game like the quality components and replay-ability but in my opinion, the negatives outweigh these.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Thematic
  • Component quality
  • Reply-ability

Might not like

  • Feels bloated
  • Set up and take down
  • Play Time