Once I was drinking a cup of coffee and wondering why it tasted so disgusting. Half way through my drink I realized that it was a cup of tea. The second half tasted just fine - once my brain was no longer confused by misleading expectations, I was able to enjoy the familiar beverage as usual.
I have just listened to Tom Vasel's interview with Martin Wallace, and I think I have understood something about Tempus. It's not a WarFrog game, it's a Martin Wallace design that is published by a German games company, and it's aimed squarely at the family strategy games market. So if you sit down to Tempus expecting a Civilization-type gamer's game - you're expecting the wrong flavour. Your brain will be confused and you won't enjoy it. But if you expect a fairly light game that aims to give German-style gamers their first taste of empire-building in a short, slick package, I think Tempus delivers this in spades.