Let’s do the time warp~♪

Title: Timespinner
Platform: PS4, PlayStation Vita, PC (reviewed)
Developer: Lunar Ray Games
Publisher: Chucklefish
Release date: Out now.
tl;dr: It’s like Castlevania Symphony of the Night and Chrono Trigger hopped in a bed together, smooshed and that’s how Timespinner was made.
Price: $20/£16 (PlayStation Cross-buy)
$20/£15 (PC)
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

It seems we’ve gone back in time more recently. Or we should say we’ve hit a Metroidvania renaissance with games like Hollow Knight and Chasm being the two more recent releases and Timespinner is no exception, this game bleeds Symphony of the Night from the pixel art style to the way Lunais has an afterimage trailing behind like Alucard in SotN. But don’t just think that Timespinner is a clone of Symphony of the Night because it isn’t, yes it draws similarities but Timespinner has its own heart and soul that beats throughout every frame of the 2D Metroidvania title.

You play as Lunais, a girl chosen to be the next Time Messenger who must travel back in time to prevent the Lechiem Empire from destroying her clan and village but the consequence of being successful means erasing that timeline and herself along with it. Things don’t go quite according to plan and Lunais is thrust through different eras of time.

And during these bouts of time travel, you’ll be kept busy by assorted goons, so it’s handy that Lunais has a few tricks up her sleeve. One such trick is the ability to pause time at will providing she has enough sand stored up in the hourglass next to the health and mana meters in the top left of the screen. You use this pause ability to avoid certain enemy attacks or use it to pause certain environmental platforms or enemies to reach various out of the way nooks and crannies. Lunais has the ability to dodge but the time pause ability is far more effective at dodging enemy attacks with ease.

Your offensive abilities lie mostly within your orbs one of which is given to you by your Mother at the start of the game as a gift alongside the power to use an aura blast which is an essentially a Kamehameha or Hadouken. Each orb has a different power, the starting orb is just a basic one later orbs provide a decent array of attacks. You can only equip two orbs at once but thankfully you acquire a jewellery box that allows you to create three equipment sets so you can create a power deck using the blade and iron orbs then switch to another deck to have a cold and fiery set that freezes and burns your enemies to a crisp.

Graphically, Timespinner’s pixel art style is breathtaking and it left me with some serious nostalgia wood it’s unreal. Whilst the environments pixel art aren’t as vibrant as the likes of Owlboy it’s still amazing leaves you bathing in the nostalgic feelings you felt back with Symphony of the Night. It’s not even just how it looks but the characters feel so alive, like leaving Lunais in her idle animation as she keeps herself gracefully afloat.

The soundtrack for Timespinner was akin to that of the Golden Sun soundtrack. The mellow yet gothic tones within the library, the rushed and upbeat tempo within the military facility or the calm and peaceful serenity of the lakes each of these zones are brought to life not just by the art style but by the soundtrack – something I believe is key within games, I think soundtracks help convey the emotions and urgency within certain areas of a game and Timespinner’s soundtrack helps convey all those feelings in all the right places.

Overall, Timespinner is the perfect game for Metroidvania fans; with an incredible combat system, the ability to freeze time, and the various orb powers opens up an array of avenues for how you play this game. Whilst the game can be completed in around 6 hours you have the opportunity to unlock challenging options such as level cap mode which prevents you from levelling up throughout the entire game giving you an additional challenge, so there’s a fair amount of replayability tucked away in the game – and I’ll certainly be spending a  bit more time with Timespinner.

The Good

  • Stunning pixel art which leaves you with bursting with nostalgia.
  • An amazing soundtrack that is epic every step of the way.
  • Incredible combat with exceptional variety.

The Bad

  • Timespinner feels a tad on the short side.

Family Focus

Timespinner is rated T for Teen by the ESRB and PEGI 12.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code provided by PR for the purposes of this review.