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Times & Galaxy Review

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Journalism is a tricky business to be in. Those involved often get a bad rap due to phone-tapping scandals, celebrity stalking, and some strange pieces about marrying aliens. But there are stories that journalists have researched and written that have changed the world, like Watergate in the 1970’s and the more recent Partygate stories here in Britain. 

So what happens when a group of journalists decides to make a game instead of finding the next big scoop? Well Times & Galaxy is the answer and whilst it keeps to its newspaper roots, it’s set in space, running a robot newshound as the main character. 

Times & Galaxy review 1
There’s a fun tale going on in Times & Galaxy

Times & Galaxy is a Holo newspaper that gets distributed all across the Dorp system, in a galaxy far far away. You play the first-ever robot intern journalist who starts working on their first day as you begin the game. Your job is to get sent out on story assignments and then construct the required narrative from all the evidence you get, as well as through conversations with witnesses. In between times you can hang out in Times & Galaxy spaceship offices and engage with a whole array of different characters and their own mini-stories. 

As you might expect from a game written by ex-journalists and people who worked on the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, the writing is excellent. It’s very funny, tongue-in-cheek, but with good interesting characters, and well-crafted stories. 

The gameplay runs as a mixture of RPG elements and creative decision-making in terms of creating your story for the newspaper. You get to name and decide how your little robot intern looks like at the beginning, from there left to walk around the 2.5D world, interacting with all beings, robots and items of interest. But the main loop here focuses on the assignments you get sent on. 

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Super fun

The first one is a mysterious rocket crash on a world, leaving you to try and work out if the police crashed the vehicle, scrappers did it to get supplies or the AI driving was to blame. It’s a case of going around to every being in the environment you are in, examining the clues and items so you start to get all the information to build your story. Chatting with people brings up various dialogue trees, which then affect the information you get and the way the story might go. 

When you are ready to build your story, a little bit of software will give you options for the headline, the strapline, and quotes, plus the details of the tale. All this information is gathered from the right information you get. And when it’s time to run the story you will get points that will make your journalism career blossom or fail. It’s an original piece of gameplay that should be thoroughly enjoyed, helped by the fact that there are lots of different assignments, from a cat show to creating a restaurant review, all done in a funny alien way. 

Visually, Times & Galaxy has a nice cartoon feel to its layout, full of bright colours and characters that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Nickelodeon TV show. It’s easy to see and navigate your little robot around as well. Soundwise it is quite sparse, with no voiceover which is a bit of a shame because I would have liked to have heard these characters speak. There’s a great title sequence and song at the beginning before you start playing, which is a lot of fun and nails the tone of the game. 

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Times & Galaxy will leave you smiling

Times & Galaxy will leave you smiling. It’s a gentle game, but one complete with some good, fun writing and storytelling, full of humour and strange world-building. The actual mechanic of creating the story is the highlight here and the assignments you find yourself getting involved with are all different enough, interesting to investigate.

It may not be a game for everyone, but if Times & Galaxy clicks, you’ll discover your hidden journalistic skills coming to fruition… even if you’re a robot. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Story and characters
  • Journalistic gameplay mechanics
  • Visuals are colourful
Cons:
  • The gameplay loop
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Fellow Traveller
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 21 June 2024 | £16.74
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Story and characters</li> <li>Journalistic gameplay mechanics</li> <li>Visuals are colourful</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>The gameplay loop</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Fellow Traveller</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 21 June 2024 | £16.74</li> </ul>Times & Galaxy Review
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