Capybara Games have been playing around with Super Time Force for many a year, but now the bonkers crazy twisted side scrolling platformer has seen the light of day and dropped on Xbox One and Xbox 360, we can finally see if it’s any good!
Super Time Force sees you play as part of a task force sent on missions both in the past and the future by Colonel Repeatski. You see, old Repeatski has conjured up a magical time travel device and he’s got it into his crazy mind that the best way of rectifying any ‘issues’ is to destroy it before it happens. Despite his time traveling inventional prowess, it seems that somewhere a village is missing their idiot but we’ll go along with the Colonels story if only because it’s a hell of a lot of fun!
Each level runs along the same lines; 30 lives, 60 seconds and a hell of a lot of bullets are what you’re given and your attempts to reach the end of each level are thwarted only be those restrictions and the numerous ‘Blounbots’ that will stand in your way. Now you may be thinking that sounds simple enough, but there is so much going on at any one time that the chances of you walking away without dying at least once are slim to say the least. In actual fact, it’s most probably impossible to complete a level in the allotted time without dying.
And this is where Colonel Repeatski and his time travel notions come into play once more. Each time you ‘die’, you have the opportunity to rewind time and reimagine yourself as another character (or the same one if you so wish). Whether you rewind by a second or two, or fancy scrolling right back to the very start is entirely up to you but each time you do, you lose one of your lives, which means you’ll soon find those 30 lives you started with being eaten up at a rate of knots. The good news however, is you then get to run alongside your previous self in the fight against the enemy and after dying 10 or 20 times, you can imagine the chaos that quickly ensues. It’s all very frantic, maybe a little too frantic at times, but if you think about things carefully, you can see your army of men take down some big bosses in a matter of seconds.
There are a number of characters you can use and whilst you start with a measly three; a rambo style guns firing kinda guy, a sharpshooting sniper lady and Mr Blockerson who manages to save the day more than he really should, there are also a few extra ones you can pick up and recruit along the way. They’ve all had the same humourous touch that is found throughout the game added to them and so whether you want to fight on with Merlin or a skateboarding Dinosaur, the choice is all yours.
With six levels in all, each with four stages, there’s plenty of value in Super Time Force. One minute you may be visiting the age of the dinosaurs back in 1,000,000 BC, the next find yourself in an alternate 1980’s or perhaps further on into the future in the year 3072, but each time you’ll be enjoying some crazy retro pixel graphics, a huge amount of ‘aha’ moments but above all else, a whole ton of fun. Throw in a shed load of collectable ‘Glorbs’ and hidden ‘Shards’ and you’ll find the 1-10 replay value of every single level, heck no, every single stage, will be nearing an outstanding 11.
There is no proper multiplayer action included but the game is built on a single player co-operative experience unlike anything else you would ever have had the pleasure of taking in before. The only real downside is that I occasionally wish the jump and shoot buttons were assigned to different fingers. X and A are too tricky to use together and maybe assigning one of these to the triggers (and moving the rewind features to the bumpers), would have worked slightly better. It also gets a little too mad at times and those who don’t stick with it for the first few stages will probably stay away for good. That said and despite the intense nature of the game, not once do you experience any slowdown….at least not any that you don’t manually trigger.
Overall Super Time Force is a clear winner. Many may pass it up as ‘Contra meets Braid’ and I can see why, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s better than both of those. Tactics play a big part of the game and there are times when you think you have no chance of completing the level, but even with only one second left on the clock, anything is possible!
It’s frantic, it’s crazy but above all else, it’s a hell of a lot of fun and shouldn’t be missed.