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Back to the Future: The Card Game
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Back to the Future: The Card Game

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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 2-30 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Andrew Looney

Publisher(s): Looney Labs

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Product Description

Now you can jump into the action of the Back to the Future movies, with this ingenious new time travel card game!

Play as the descendants of Marty McFly, Biff Tannen, Doc Brown and others, as you travel back to the events depicted in the movies. Your mission is to make sure pivotal events are not changed by other time travelers before time travel itself gets un-invented.

Using a unique, patented game mechanic for simulating time travel, Andrew Looney now puts you in the driver's seat of the famous DeLorean! 100 cards + instructions, in a two part box.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Andrew Looney

  • Publisher(s): Looney Labs

  • Year: 2010

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 2 - 30 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 200 grams


  • 100+ cards
  • instructions
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3 in 1 review

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by Daniel Zuccarelli
Perpetual Geek Machine review of Back to the Future the Card Game
September 06, 2010

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Back to the Future had a decent impact on my life. The movie came out when I was 7 years old and still remember my parents taking me to see it in the theater. I also remember demanding to sleep in my clothes that night cause McFly does it in the movie. Sadly there was no eccentric scientist living nearby or I’m sure I would’ve befriended him as well.

In Back to the Future: The Card Game you’ll play as one of the decedents of the characters from the movies (most likely a McFly or a Tannen). You’re job will be to manipulate the timelime of events of the films in such a way to guarantee your place in the universe. To put it simply, if you’re a child of Lorraine and Biff, then you need to make sure her and George never get together at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. That change will ripple down the timelime and contribute towards your walking the Earth.

The game does a great job of incorporating the Back to the Future world. There are a bunch of items you can play that tie back to the movie (like a hoverboard or plutonium) that really help you get into it. It’s all very thematic too for instance to be able to use the first version of the Delorean you’ll need to also have plutonium to power it. 24 cards make up the timeline of the 3 movies and are laid out in a grid on the table. These cards depict the events of the movies as they are seen on screen. The opposite side has the alternate version of the event (Doc Brown getting shot in the parking lot, or surviving cause of the bulletproof vest). They start from the wild west in 1885 (Back to the Future 3) and carry though into the future (the beginning of Back to the Future 2).

There are two different kinds of events in the timeline, Linchpins and Ripplepoints. In the course of the game you’re never able to change a Ripplepoint directly, only the Linchpins. An example would be the McFly children not being born, which is a ripplepoint. You can’t just change that event and make them have or not have kids. If you want to guarantee the kids are born you’d need to go back to the Linchpin event of George and Lorraine kissing the first night at the dance. Changing that event causes other events down the timeline to change, and those are the ripplepoints. Why does this matter?

At the beginning of the game each player takes a role card to see who they’ll play as (mostly grandkids and kids of the characters of the movies). So you might play as one of Biff and Lorraine’s kids. You job is to change the timeline of the movie around on the board so it lines up with your reality. Each character has 3-4 things they need to change on the timeline in order to win. Once you’re setup timeline wise, you win the game by jumping back in time and un-inventing time travel, by making sure Doc Brown hangs the picture in his bathroom without incident (like not falling, hitting his head on the toilet and dreaming up the Flux Capacitor). With everyone changing history back and forth though this is a little harder than it sounds I assure you.

The game is a bunch of fun I think in general, but even more so for fans of the series. There’s a ton of great little nods to the movies and the idea of zipping around in time changing events is an exciting notion. There’s going to be a lot of hype/nostalgia in the next few months as the movies are released on Blu-Ray for the first time. A tie-in game like this is obvious, so I’m REALLY glad this isn’t just a cash grab. Looney Labs has put together a fun experience that they should be really proud of.

It plays 2-4 players but the more the merrier since it just gets even more chaotic. The 2 player game was pretty tame by comparison. With such a low price point but such a high nostalgia bar this one is a gimmie if you dig Back to the Future. Too bad the game doesn’t come with a soundtrack by Huey Lewis and the News!

We give it 1.21 gigawatts out of 1 box of old pinball machine parts (i.e. we loved it).

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