In Sine Tempore, much like in other science fiction, Earth is passé… In Sine Tempore, you therefore enter deep space, after which you search for the ideal planet for colonisation. In this search, you come across a giant yellow planet that seems to meet all the requirements. The moment you land on this alien planet (Primaevus V), you find yourself battling all the dangers of this planet and find yourself in the middle of a battle against the Primaevi, an alien race that tries to stop you at all costs. Can you blame them? You guys are the invading species… Is this attempted colonisation a path to terraforming or rather terrorforming?
Together with a crew of 1 to 4 players, you carry out missions to terraform the alien planet into your new home planet. Make decisions, carry out battles or actions, such as securing an antenna or helping some friendlier-looking aliens on this planet.
In Sine Tempore, each player chooses the role of one of the available settlers (Ahab, Andromeda, Jukas and Alexandra). Each character has its own special abilities. On a map of Primaevus V, you can find the locations the Settlers must possess. The game itself is set up using the mission book. Using different tiles, the game board can be set up. The aim of the game is to complete the missions together and establish a colony on Primaevus V. If you manage to complete the mission in time, the settlers gain experience to unlock skills, which you can use for your next mission.
Time is your enemy
Sine Tempore is not just a complex game, it is also incredibly difficult. It is not the traditional dungeon crawler where all the enemies are already on the board, so you can already think about your various actions. Actions take time. In Sine Tempore, you use the momentum wheel to perform the actions of settlers and aliens, after which a number of actions follow. This goes as follows. Before starting the mission, you indicate on the momentum wheel how many cycles and on which phase the mission stops. Based on the number of Action Points of the crew member or alien, your hero token moves along the phases on the momentum wheel. After 12 phases have passed, the cycle is increased by 1. During this increase, an event also takes place, effectively giving the aliens an extra action, or triggering a certain event.
Experience is a must
The above statement applies to the experience points, which crew members gain during the mission to unlock skills which you can use in the further course of the story, but also to the game mechanics, Sine Tempore contains a lot of actions, reactions, but sometimes it seems there is information missing in the rules. This sometimes makes it difficult to properly understand and make full sense of a scenario. That together with setting up and breaking down the scenario can sometimes take a long time before you can finally start playing.
Sine Tempore is a very complex cooperative game with plenty of challenge and suspense. The storyline and gameplay make it a very interesting game. Everything you do is part of the search for the perfect planet for colonisation. This makes you to want to go further on your quest. Even if in that quest you might only end up shooting up a scary alien.
Sine Tempore has a barrier of entry due to its complexity and as a result it does takes some time to dive in properly. But once you get into it, it can be a very fun challenge. I think the way players deal with time via the momentum wheel a very original gameplay element in this style of game. This also leaves you with a certain time pressure. And who doesn’t want to discover a new planet!