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This Didn’t Happen Preview

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Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.

This Didn't HappenYou remember that one time in high school when you asked the cute girl out, she said no, laughed, told her friends about it and you just about wanted to DIE of embarrassment?

Or do you remember that time when you forgot that your speakers were connected via Bluetooth and you accidentally broadcast something that was better off NOT being broadcast?

This Didn’t Happen won’t correct these… incidents.

That is because This Didn’t Happen is a cooperative time-traveling card game for one to four players to try and prevent the Apocalypse from occurring, not a functioning time machine.

Sorry.

Gameplay Overview:

There is a lot going on during the 5 phases of a round. I will briefly describe them:

Phase 1: Travel Through Time – there are 3 eras in the game (Medieval, Great War, and Lunar). Players choose to either remain where they are, time travel back to the time machine from where they are or time travel FROM the time machine to anywhere in the Time Stream.

This Didn't Happen Event
An example of an Event cards and the trials you might face.

Phase 2: Actions – players can choose to perform one of eight possible actions, such as researching cards before their time period or intervening and trying to alter time to stop the Apocalypse.

Phase 3: Events – each player draws and resolves an event, unless they are on an End of an Era card (draw a resource card) or an Apocalypse card (take damage).

Phase 4: Experience History – this is a free research action and lets you look at the red symbols of the card you are on.

Phase 5: Time Moves On – the Time Machine and each player moves one card forward in their era.

The goal is to intervene and protect time on the correct tiles so that altered time cards match the five red symbols on the Apocalypse card without causing chain reactions that could destabilize an era and change the End of an Era to its Apocalypse side.  Simple, huh?

This Didn't Happen Gameplay
Uhhhhhh……think we can find another dimension? This does not look good!

Gameplay Impressions:

If you like the idea of reliving your inner Loki and messing with time, this game may be for you.

This Didn't Happen Characters
The Four Dr. Who wannabes (the flipside of each card is the opposite gender) with their “mode” that generates assets (black when healthy, red when injured).

The main brain teaser is manipulating time to match the red symbols on the Apocalypse card. You will need to research cards to know where the red symbols you need are located. In an interesting balance, Medieval cards are the easiest to alter, but have the biggest impact on the time stream (one black symbol, three red symbols), while the Lunar Era is the hardest to alter and have the smallest impact (three black symbols, one red symbol) with the Great War being in the middle.

Puzzling out moving through time and best utilizing your one action per phase makes this fast playing game stressful. You have to protect time by spending precious resources on cards that would otherwise be altered due to a chain reaction (altered red symbols are compared to EVERY future card and End of an Era. Worse, if the End of an Era card is altered, it needs to be flipped back to its unaltered state before you can win.

This Didn't Happen Cards
A fresh setup – now all we need to do is stop the Apocalypse.

This MIGHT be manageable if you didn’t have to worry about your Time Machine being damaged or events ruining your well-laid plans. The game includes four character cards, with a unique male and female character on each card with their own special power and skills (note: if you are on a card when time is altered… boom… you flip your character to the other side). These skills will be put to the test (sorry) during events. If you do not pass them, bad things happen, such as your time machine getting damaged or the creation of a time paradox. Paradox cards add another level of complexity as they add an additional modification that must be followed, such as switching places with another character at the start of each round or moving backward in time instead of forwards during “Time Moves On”.

Finally, there are multiple Apocalyse cards included in the game, some with rule changes that impact how the game is played. As you can see, the game has plenty of replay value!

Final Thoughts:

If you have ever wanted to channel your inner Doctor Who, this game may be for you. It is easy to set up, requires cooperation to succeed, and has plenty of replay value.

If This Didn’t Happen sounds like a game you would like to play, you can find out more information on its Kickstarter campaign page.

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While he will play just about anything, Tony loves games that let him completely immerse himself in the theme. He also is a bit of a component addict.

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