- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Random Seed Games
- Publisher: Random Seed Games
- Release Date: 7 July 2015
- Time played: Just under an hour
Just like Potatoman Seeks the Troof, I managed to get TIMEframe as part of the Humble Freedom Bundle, a bundle which not only offered good value (despite its $30 USD price tag) but it also provided money towards worthwhile charities - the bundle was hugely successful, raising over $6 million! Anyway, I decided to play TIMEframe recently since I'm really trying to get through my backlog still and it's (apparently) a short game. Considering I've finished all I need to explore in just under an hour, I'll have to concur.
It's probably safe to say that TIMEframe sits firmly in the relatively new genre (i.e. a few years old) of "walking simulator" - that's because all you really do in the game is walk around finding various artifacts for a seemingly long forgotten civilization - and that's about all you do, at least gameplay wise. But what is the overall experience like? Hopefully a worthwhile one if there's not much to the gameplay, right?
What I like:
Calm, relaxing, casualYou can take this game at your own pace despite there actually being a secret timer of sorts that will only allow you to play in bursts of a few minutes (I won't spoil anymore). Consequently it's a calm, relaxing, casual affair which is great if you're wanting to wind down or find something to play in between high adrenaline games.
Art styleI actually like the art style despite the low polygon count. It reminds me of 3D games of the late 1990s or even more recent games like Shelter.
Slow moWhile many things seem to be static upon closer inspection you'll realise that you're actually walking in a world where everything is in slow motion, neat huh? So if you ever wanted to know what it feels like to be Quicksilver from X-Men, now's your chance.
Melancholic soundtrackClark Aboud (who apparently lives in Australia according to the Bandcamp webpage) weaves a beautiful (predominantly acoustic guitar) soundtrack that is at times lonely and haunting in equal measures. It fits the game perfectly and it's definitely one of the game's highlights.
Steam Trading Cards and AchievementsThe game has both Steam trading cards (although you'll struggle to get that third one, I reckon) and the game happens to be one of the easiest games to get 100% achievements: just find all the artifacts in the game and you're done!
Hitting close to homeIf you start reading a bit more into what happened to the world of TIMEframe, it becomes almost a cautionary tale of what could happen to our own world, where people are blind to an incoming calamity because they're too busy serving their own interests or arguing about which solution is the right one. So it's quite thought provoking despite the short playtime.
What I dislike:
ShortWhile I don't mind the game being short for the fact I didn't need to invest much time in crossing another game off my Steam backlog, other players might feel a bit cheated when they discover the game takes less than an hour to complete.
Lack of replay after discovering everythingAnd this is the other problem: okay, a game being short isn't too much of a problem if you're able to play it again and experience something totally different, right? A bit like a roguelike - well not the case with TIMEframe: once you've explored all the artifacts it's game over (at least from what I experienced).
It's a walking simulatorObviously there's not going to be much in terms of gameplay because TIMEframe is a "walking simulator". Whether or not that's a problem for you depends on which side of the fence you sit. If you abhor walking simulators, TIMEframe is probably not going to change your mind - however, even though I'm not normally a fan of walking simulators, I think TIMEframe is one of the better ones.
Score – 7/10 (Alright)A very short and linear walking simulator but I love the art, I love the music and overall it's a calm, relaxing and casual experience. I don't regret having experienced it.
Is the game worth $7.99 USD?: No. While the experience itself wasn't a bad one, the price of $8 USD is a bit steep for what you get. I think a fairer price would be $4 USD so I'd recommend looking for when this game is on sale for 50% off or more.
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[ LINK: Official Random Seed Games Website ]
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