Tides of Time is the original card game consisting of a small deck of cards with 5 suits — 6 if you believe no suit counts as a suit. Players play a card and pass the hand back to the other player every turn in this simultaneous drafting style game. Players try to build their city to create symbiosis between cards for scoring points, and sometimes just to prevent your opponent from scoring points. You score points at the end of each round. After scoring points, and at the end of round 1 and 2 (out of 3), the players choose one of the cards to keep in their city for the rest of the game, and one to banish from the deck. All other cards are put back in your hand, draw 2 new cards and play continues as the previous round(s). Most points at the end of the game wins.
Tides of Madness keeps the basic rules from the above game, but adds another variable to the mix. Madness tentacles appear on higher scoring cards to “grant” a madness token to the player who played it. Have the most madness in a round and you receive 4 bonus points (or remove a madness), but receive too many (9) and you lose outright.
Honestly, I think the original game was just the right amount for me. I don’t want to have to worry about madness… I just want to build my city as best I can. That being said, I’m probably simple-minded because everyone else I’ve talked to prefers the madness version. That’s up to you. I have links below to both versions of the game on BGG. I’d give Tides of Time a solid 7/10 and Tides of Madness a solid 6/10. That just happens to be the opposite of everyone else, but this isn’t their blog, it’s mine. :o)
Tides of Madness is a sequel to Tides of Time and features gameplay similar to that design. Tides of Time is a drafting game for two players. Each game consists of three rounds in which players draft cards from their hands to build their kingdom. Each card is one of five suits and also has a scoring objective.
After all cards have been drafted for the round, players total their points based on the suits of cards they collected and the scoring objectives on each card, then they record their score. Each round, the players each select one card to leave in their kingdom as a “relic of the past” to help them in later rounds. After three rounds, the player with the the most prosperous kingdom wins.
Tides of Madness adds a new twist to the above game: madness. Some cards, while powerful, harm your psyche, so you must keep an eye on your madness level or else risk losing the game early as your mind is lost to the power of the ancients. More specifically, eight of the eighteen cards in the game feature a madness icon, and while scoring, you receive a madness token for each such icon in your collection of cards. Whoever has the most madness in a round either scores 4 points or discards 1 madness token — and the latter option is valuable because if you ever have nine or more madness, you lose the game immediately.