When I first laid eyes on the opening title screen of Time Recoil, I knew this game was going to scratch an itch. The opening menu screams 80s, the graphic style and the iconic electro music set off the excitement in me.
You see I’m a child of the 80s, and by that, I mean I was brought up watching fantastic films that stayed with you for life. Catchy electro dance, the golden age of the arcades and the concept of time travel. Who’s not a fan of time travel right!
Time Recoil Is a modern retro take on a top down shooter, drawing from the classic iconic era of the 80s with its arcade design, funky music, neon pink, and nonstop action, with a classically named evil villain called Dr Time trying to take over the world.
You play as Alexa, who was once a lead scientist in Mr Time’s temporal science team. In a failed experiment, Alexa is exposed to rogue temporal currents, thus giving her super powers. The failed experiment would have been Alexia’s final task, as she was about to resign from her position, leading to the possible conclusion that the accident may have been intentional.
After refusing to help Mr Time build a temporal weapon, Alexa is imprisoned back in time, the year 1974. Alexa is subjected to cruel experimentation, resulting in flashbacks and dreams. Left forgotten in time, trapped at a facility named section 19, Alexa has remained trapped until she was rescued and brought back to her own timeline.
There are two playable modes in Time Recoil, Story mode, and a good old classic arcade mode Time Attack. Your first task in Story mode is to prove your super powers, one of which is merely to survive traveling back and forth throughout your timeline. According to your newfound friend Dr Magnusson (who coincidently use to work for Mr Time) you usually die when you return to your own timeline (yes the gent who was tasked in retrieving you back from the future, died when returning you to the present).
In the game you play through level after level, learning a little more about what you’re fighting against, with the game telling a classic ‘travel back in time and stopping evil’ plot. Shooting bad guys, retrieving, documents and intel, as you travel back and forth through time is all in a day’s work for you.
In between travel, you have your headquarters, a base of operations where you learn the story, meet different people (some of those from an alternative timeline of your own) and learn tasks and missions, such as stealing kill lists, and making sure people survive. You also get the odd terminator moment where you travel back to take out someone key to the present.
Whilst playing certain levels, you will encounter the odd puzzle element, such as not having enough ammo to complete your task, thus forcing you to figure out an alternative way on completing the level.
It pays to string kills together too. When you eliminate a bad guy, there is a nice slow down effect, enabling you to get out of sticky situations. As you advance through the levels, you’ll receive power ups for multiple kills while the slowdown is active. Ranging from electro bombs to super dash through walls. It all makes for high speed, super-fast take downs.
In Time Attack mode, it’s all about the speed of level completion. Using the slow down effect and your abilities to compete against the clock. The levels are divided up without the neat plot. You’re ranked via three medals for each level, with a neat scoreboard to see how you measure up against the best in the world, or your friends.
Overall the game’s modern retro feel, mixed with the clear influence from the 80’s, add to a decent story. The game is fun, if a little too frantic at times, but has that appeal to keep you playing through, and not to give in to any frustrations.