Conventions

[PAX East 2013] Play with Time in Super T.I.M.E Force

[PAX East 2013] Play with Time in Super T.I.M.E Force

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Quirky. Retro. Entertaining. These three simple words describe Capybara Games’ new game Super T.I.M.E Force perfectly. This little side-scrolling shooter packs as much of a punch as it does charm.

You are a member of an elite time travelers known as the Temporal Inevitability Manipulation Experts – or T.I.M.E. Your mission is to throughout history and prevent stupid mistakes from being made. (Or like in the demo from PAX East…You travel into the future to retrieve the correct plug ins so the general can watch lol cat videos.) Because that is totally what everyone would do if they had the power of time travel.

You play as five characters, each with their own ability and charged ability triggered by holding down on ‘X’. Jean Rambios is a machine gun enthusist who can spray bullets all over. Lady Sniper is a sniper who has the ability to shoot through cover at the cost of being effected by recoil. Shieldy Blockerso is a more defensive character that bashes with his shield and can block bullets. Jef Leppard has an explosive personality as the demolition specialist that can cause a huge explosion. Finally, Zackasauras is a giant lizard that can slash and claw his way through enemies. Oh, did I mention that he has sunglasses?

All five characters are vital parts of the game because without switching between them, you will not complete a level. The premise of the game is to use a bit of strategy to maneuver through each stage. Super T.I.M.E Force is difficult in the sense of willing putting the player in a difficult situation to challenge them. One hit kills you but you somewhat have infinite lives thanks to the games main mechanic: Time Out.

(Image courtesy of Capybara Games)
(Image courtesy of Capybara Games)

Time Out is a feature that let’s you freeze time at will. You then can rewind time to correct a mistake you made or improve your playthrough. Through this, you can regain lives by saving the character from the death you (the player) just went through. Ghost imagines of the characters you lost appear along with the character you are playing. They reenact the moments to their death, thus giving you an idea on when you need to intervene. For example, when I played there was a spot where an enemy on an above platform shot Jean Rambios. I rewound time back a few seconds and selected Lady Sniper. Then I ran ahead of Jean’s ghost, charged my sniper, and shot up at the enemy to kill it before Jean was originally shot.

It sounds confusing to explain but do not fret. Super T.I.M.E Force does a phenomenal jump at keeping itself organized. Even with multiple ghost imagines on the screen, I never got confused on which me was me. Though it did take me a bit of time to figure out how to truly benefit from using Time Out.

You only have sixty seconds to complete a stage. This means that any delay caused by a death or a waiting for the right timing over an obstacle needs to be corrected. You can rewind time as much as you would like including all the way to the beginning. The purpose is to learn from your mistakes and consistently improve each run you do. Strategy comes into play with trying to figure out which characters are better suited for different sections of the stage; it invites you to replay levels multiple times without a single completion, essentially giving you almost infinite replay value.

The gameplay is rather addicting. It’s frustrating but in that good way by making you actually want to be better than you were moments ago. In retrospect, the one hit death plays tribute to the way old school games played which compliments Super T.I.M.E Force‘s style. It is a fast paced side-scrolling shooter with an outlandish cast of characters making it feel like a game ripped directly from the late 80s to early 90s. Keeping true to the past, Super T.I.M.E Force is done in handsome pixel art with the retro sound to go with it.

You can learn more about Super T.I.M.E Force and check their launch trailer by visiting Capybara Games’ website. Then get ready to blast your way through time with Super T.I.M.E. Force later this year on the XBox Live Arcade.