Story: The future is a bleak place, ruled over the tyrannical Mr. Time and not a good time to be alive. But science has found a chance to overturn this regime, using the power of time travel. In theory, one could go back in time and gun down Mr. Time, preventing this reality and giving mankind the hope of a better tomorrow. This sounds good and all, but the test subjects used to explore time travel have been killed by the process, so it seems like perhaps it isn’t the solution. Then you come along and since you’re able to survive the time travel wormholes, the fate of the future is put on your shoulders. But you can’t just jump in and assassinate Mr. Time of course, you’ll need to gather data and work through the chain of command. Can you harness your time travel skills and make the world a better place or will you simply be the next victim of Mr. Time’s cruel hold on the world?

Entertainment Value: This is a top down, twin stick shooter and since that is one of my favorite video game genres, I couldn’t wait to check out Time Recoil. The game has a simple premise, as you need to travel back in time, complete objectives like rescuing scientists, stealing data, or gunning down enemies, then create a wormhole and return to your faction’s base. You aren’t the typical action hero in Time Recoil, so you can easily die in the missions, but you do have a few tricks up your sleeve. When you kill an enemy, time slows down for you and this can let you chain several kills and in the process, earn a sweet advantage. After so many time-slowed kills, you earn a dash which lets you topple enemies or rush to safety. This ability is crucial to your success, as it can let you run through thin walls to surprise an enemy, run off before your health depletes, or make a mad dash toward some ammunition. The more slowed kills you rack up, the cooler your dash becomes, so make the most of your bullet time moments. At a certain point, you can take out rooms full of enemies with your dash, so don’t overlook the dash mechanic. You also need to make sure to keep an eye on your ammo count, as you’ll run out if you don’t take precise shots and that can lead to imminent death. So while you can run & gun, a more deliberate approach can yield dividends as well.

The game hosts over 50 levels to explore and conquer, most of which are quick, burst type runs. The more you play the missions, the sharper your skills will be, and soon you can burn through levels in mere seconds. This is an important element in Time Recoil, as the game offers a mode that rewards time and score efficiency, so climbing those leader boards can be an addictive chase. While the levels don’t offer much visual variety or depth, the shift in objectives does keep things fresh and with mostly short level lengths, it never becomes overly repetitive. The controls are crisp and responsive, which is good since even a slight misstep can leave you starting the level over. I never blamed the controls for a death and while you are likely to die often, it never feels frustrating and the challenge curve is gradual and fair, I think. Some levels offer a spike however, so be ready to fine tune your skills and learn the maps, so you can power through those skill checks with ease. I had a lot of fun with Time Recoil and for fans of twin stick shooters, it offers great fun and some solid replay value.

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