Dreams of Yesterday is a micro card game that is a sequel to 2019’s Dreams of Tomorrow from Weird Giraffe Games. In this game of 27 cards, 1 to 3 players are curating their individual museums. Players compete by collecting and spending resources to fill their museum with valuable relics. Look out for card abilities and scoring criteria on urn cards to maximize the value of your artifacts.
Building a Museum
The cards in Dreams of Yesterday are double-sided, containing either resources or artifacts. Resources are spent to gain new artifacts and install them into your museum. Artifacts are collected and scored in sets based on their type (antiquities, bones, curiosities, discoveries and urns). Diverse Discoveries are used as wild cards that add to a set of artifacts. Unusual Urns are used to finish a collection row and giving you additional scoring criteria.
Each players museum will have 3 floors. At the top floor, players keep resource cards until they are spent. Artifact collections are placed on the first and second floor, leading to two scoring opportunities.
Cards are set in the center of the table based on the player count. There will always be an empty card location which marks the starting space for the active player. You can move 1 or 2 card spaces clockwise to take a new card. Artifact cards have to paid for based on their resource cost. If the card is a Resource card, then it can be added immediately into the top floor of your museum.
Once the new card has been taken, draw the top card of the deck and choose which side of the card you want to add to the central display. This new card is added to the empty card space that that was present at the start of your turn.
Dreams of Yesterday is a set collection game that does quite a bit with a small number of cards. With double-sided cards and multiple artifacts/resources on each, the game feels much larger than the thin number of cards it includes.
Players can add a new artifact to their museum at the start or end of the row of cards. This is important because extra points are awarded when you have a run of the same artifact type side-by-side. Even when the artifact you want is out of reach on your turn, you can spend any resource to move one additional space in the display.
Some cards have an ability icon that’s available. During your turn, you can use any ability icons that are present in the display without having to discard those cards. This gives you even more options when the right icons show up in the display. It can also help mitigate not having enough resources or wishing a card was flipped to its opposite side.
Once you add an urn to a floor of your museum, that floor is capped off and cannot be added to. The game ends after the deck of cards has been run through twice or when a player has finished both floors of their museum.
Small Game, Big Decisions
It’s impressive what designer Heather O’Neill has packed into the number of cards in this game. The artwork of Beth Sobel and the color choices pop on every card. This feels like a great fit for Weird Giraffe Games, a publisher that’s been known for a some great card-based games in the past (Fire in the Library, Animal Kingdoms, Wicked & Wise).
Every card seems filled with possibilities between the multiple resources/artifacts and the ability icons that are present. There’s plenty of strategy in which side of the card you choose at the end of your turn because often, that card will be available to you on the next turn. Spending a resource to rush to a new card can be a solid strategy when you need something specific.
Decisions in Dreams of Yesterday can have big impacts. At times, resources can feel scarce if you’re not setting yourself up for future turns. There’s a good balance here that gives the game replayability, always working to be more efficient in building your museum.
With fast moving gameplay and a small package, Dreams of Yesterday is a game that can hit the table just about anywhere.
Dreams of Yesterday is available through Kickstarter starting on March 21, 2023.
A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.