It is well known that my movie knowledge isn’t the best, but I have seen Back to the Future, so I am totally qualified to review the Back to The Future Board Game. This is a two to four player co-op game for ages ten and up which lasts around an hour, where you need to move throughout time trying to stop Biff and return all of the items that have been lost in the various time periods.
On the board, there are four different timelines, each with their own Biff character — there’s also a matching car if a player has chosen that timeline to start in. The game works in rounds — starting with the player that will be going first. They must draw a set number of cards (depending on player count) and start placing them around the board or resolving actions. Many of these cards are negative — moving Biff around through the set timeline or adding issues that need to be resolved to different spots on the board. Then, everyone must roll their dice. Once dice are rolled, the game begins. Starting with that first player, they must resolve all of their dice and end their turn.
There is a lot that you can do with your dice; using them to resolve issues on the timeline that have cropped up, leaving them on the tile their car is in to send them through the timeline, etc. Depending on what you roll, you can also follow your player card to see what your individual rolls can do. In addition to using them to move, or using their abilities, you also have to use them to resolve issues, which certainly means that there’s a lot to consider each round.
In each timeline, there are lost items which can be earned by resolving some of the event/issues that have been placed out. If you get a missing item card then you need to get your character to the right timeline and place the item in the right area. Biff can stop you from both resolving events or placing items, by just being on a spot, meaning you’ll need to spend dice moving him about. Not only this, but if there are events on the spot, they will need to be resolved before you can drop the item.
After everyone has taken their turn, hopefully resolving issues and lost items, you can then move onto the next phase. You must add OUTTATIME markers to the timeline full of the most events, add Paradox tokens to the token marker at the top, and move closer to the world ending. If these OUTTATIME markers continue to keep their spot until the next turn, without being resolved, you can end up running out of time to complete the game.
Back to The Future Board Game is quite a complex game, where you do need to focus on helping your friends and knowing when it’s the best time to use items that we have collectively gained. The game itself does take some planning ahead, a bit of luck, and a lot of good timing — but it does have a good number of references and is fun mechanically.
Though it’s a longer game, our group did enjoy it and we had a fun time trying to fix a bunch of timelines all at once — although a lot of the same events kept coming up, stacking on each other, despite them already happening and being on the tile. If you are a fan of the movie, you will enjoy this board game though!
You can purchase the Back to The Future Board Game on Amazon.