Timelie Hands-on Preview


A few weeks ago, we interviewed the developers of the time-manipulation puzzle game Timelie. The game started as a student project and won Microsoft’s Imagine Cup.

Now that I’ve gotten a chance to try the game for myself, I wanted to share my impressions. First off, it’s a game that is not going to require a powerhouse PC while still looking visually appealing. I appreciate that, because I do most of my gaming on consoles and my PC is a bit dated.

As mentioned previously in our interview, Timelie puts you in the role of a young girl and a cat. Both of them are lost and trying to get home. The developers are pretty tight-lipped on any more story details, but the girl appears to be stuck in a computer program or something. At least, that’s what I have gathered from playing the demo build provided to us.

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Of course, as with any good story, there are challenges for the protagonist to overcome. These come in the form of robotic guards that patrol the stages and slap our heroine if they come into contact with her. There are also physical barriers blocking your path – more on that in a second.

This is where the time manipulation comes into play. Press Q on the keyboard will reverse time, allowing you to redo a section of a level or an entire level. So you’ll have to both navigate past guards, activate color-coded control panels to open doors, and use your powers to repair levels.

Since time only advances when your character is moving, you can also fast forward time with E on the keyboard. Doing so will have the robots go about their normal route while the girl and the cat stay still.

At first, you can’t play as the cat, but they eventually become a second playable character. You’ll be able to switch between the two on the fly. The cat can meow, which acts as a distraction for guards. It can also step on pressure plates.

I’ve only played a relatively small portion of what Timelie has to offer. There are some issues. For instance, an unskippable replay follows every stage. But, overall, I walked away from the experience wanting to play more.

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