When it comes to video games, tragedy and time travel seem to be a tandem that works quite well. Trying to resolve past regrets by rewinding time and trying to get that perfect solution done. It’s a kind of power we may wish we have had when we make big mistakes. Like, redoing a test from a tough class, or undoing a post that got you in trouble, or maybe changing what’s on your computer before your parents walk in on you.
Timelie capitalizes on the idea of being able to undo mistakes, where you can conveniently move time forward and back as if you’re watching a video. Honestly, the moment I saw that you can manipulate time in such a fashion, I immediately thought of Braid. Another indie game was a platformer that played with controlling time in many creative ways. Timelie on the other hand takes another approach in making interesting puzzles to solve.
First, you control two characters simultaneously, instead of one. This makes it important to be able to travel forward and back in time, to properly synchronize the actions of both the girl and the cat. Some stages will require near-frame perfect movement as well, emphasizing the need to be able to freely adjust your timing through the challenges presented in front of you.
And that’s kind of it, really. You take two defenseless creatures through the perilous journey of sneaking through many, many rooms filled with robots that will attack them on sight. And you must guide them so that they can safely escape this doomed fate. Not to say that the puzzles presented weren’t complicated or challenging. There were points where I ended up really scratching my head and pondering on what to do for thirty minutes or more. A select few had me shamefully resorting to looking up the solutions online or else I don’t think I could finish it on schedule. It also manages to throw a few surprises despite the rather simple mechanics and story.
Actually, maybe saying the story is simple might not be quite right. The way they show the story leaves a lot to interpretation. Is the kid dreaming? Is she a psychic? Is she being oppressed or protected? We don’t know. There are a lot of ways to look at this. I mean, even the title can be technically read in two ways. Personally, I think she’s yearning for a better life. And at least in her mind, looking for a way to undo the circumstances she’s in so that she’s at least not alone. But again, it’s easy to see how open everything is to interpretation. What do you think? Share your theory of what’s going on in the comments.
But apart from trying to be this mysterious and maybe borderline artsy kind of game, it does present you with decent challenges. And even optional challenges if you’re up for collecting relics.
So that’s Timelie. If you want a game that’s good for GP rated content, meaning kids can play it, you can stream it (Actually maybe not streaming, along the end I got an automatic copyright flag while streaming on Facebook due to the game’s music, it sucks but I can only deal with it). It’s not overly long and tries to keep you on your toes with new ideas and challenges every step of the way. If that sounds like your jam, I recommend you give this a whirl.