What Is This Game App?
Timeline turns learning historic facts into a game. Each of up to four players is dealt five historic event cards to place on a constantly expanding timeline found in the center of the game board. The cards present historic events, such as the invention of adhesive tape or the arrival of the Statue of Liberty. Players take turns adding their cards to the timeline.
At first, it is easy to place a card on the timeline, since there are so few dates; but as more cards are added, specific knowledge is needed to place the cards correctly. If you are wrong in your placement, the card briefly shows you the correct date and then disappears. That card is replaced with a new one in your stash. The first person to get rid of all his cards wins.
Analysis of the Game
Timeline does a great job of making history fun. By having players think through where their cards fit on the communal timeline, the game helps kids to order historic events. I also like that before playing, the game does offer a practice area called the "Library" where you can study all of the cards in order. Some of the cards offer a light bulb icon which, when tapped, reveals additional information about the event. I wish all of the cards provided this extra learning.
If you incorrectly place a card on the timeline, it briefly -- too briefly -- shows you the correct date and then disappears. This seems like a missed learning opportunity, since the correct date appears for such a short time that it is hard to learn from your mistake. It would be better if the misplaced card appeared on the screen until you decided to dismiss it. My family felt that the base game should come with more cards initially, instead of making you purchase more of them. With only 116 cards, the game quickly started to feel repetitive. The additional cards can be bought for $.99 as an in-app purchase.
Timeline for iPad is best for families interested in history. It offers head-scratching questions, such as which came first: sign language or the tuning fork?
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.