It is our enemy, our foe. It confounds us and challenges us at every turn. We have too much, too little and that’s usually too often.
Time features in a number of games as a key element. But less in a traditional “30 seconds to complete your turn speed-chess” style and more in a serious Story Key Element. To this end, I present three contenders for Time notation.
No Time to Explain
Our first contender, Braid, I haven’t played. But I’ve spoken at length with a friend who has, a man whom I’m recruiting to bring his perspective and understanding of television and movie to our walls. More on that later.
Braid uses time as a storytelling piece, suggesting a layout of linear ideas that may not be exactly what you just witnessed and. It lets you save and reload sequences of time while actions occur around you, timing exactly when you fall through those clouds for instance. I’ve heard numerous good things about this game from various sources.
Half-Minute Hero is a twist in a different direction. Taking the style of many 16-bit adventure games from days of yore, we see time not as a storytelling tool but as a villainous foe we can only hope to negotiate with. You have to quest about the land, earn exp and items on your quest. You can reset this 30-second clock at shrines, but this will cost you precious gold which you’ll need to better gear yourself. There’s various flavors of this style, in one you’re the princess with her cadre of guards, another the Evil Mage setting yourself for victory. Of this, I have heard very little, but i’m keenly interested to try.
No Time to Explain is a tongue-in-cheak dash at flash gaming. A venue i’m loathe to enter, but one that i do enjoy on occasion. The game starts itself as your future self shows up, jumpsuit and blaster equipped “There’s no Time to Explain!” before being grabbed by a space-alien sized Crab which then parades across a difficult map that challenges your timing and skill. And then, it happens all over again, but better. A funny game, I recommend at least 10 or 20 minutes of your time to see it in action.