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Timespinner: I Can't Hate On Another Indie Metroidvania

Yeah, another indie title in a familiar genre has its hooks in me.

Article by Mike Williams, .

With the proliferation of indie development, I feel like I've seen an increase in one genre above all others: the Metroidvania. That style of side-scrolling platformer married with exploration and RPG-style progression seems to have struck a chord in a number of developers. In the past few months, I've played Axiom Verge, Chasm, Heart Forth Alicia, and Xeodrifter. Each title builds on the genre while heading in its own direction.

Timespinner from Lunar Ray Games is another Metroidvania vying for your heart. Timespinner slots into the Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo era of visual style, much like Chasm and Heart Forth Alicia. It looks good and animates well. The primary differentiating mechanic here is the ability to stop time. Tapping a button freezes everything but you for a limited amount of time, allowing you to use frozen enemies as platforms or catch a breather.

In the small section of the game I played, timing your freeze was key to reaching new areas and secret paths. Does this bridge over some spikes crumble underneath your feet? Stopping time makes that bridge completely solid. Unable to reach a specific ledge? Freeze an enemy in mid-air and use them as an impromptu stepping stone. You recharge your ability to freeze the world by destroying enemies, so it's always at your fingertips without being invincible.

Does Timespinner rewrite the Metroidvania genre with wildly different mechanics and ideas? Not really. The game doesn't seek to be the most innovative title ever. It's trying to be a solid entry in the genre. While some may be tired of side-scrolling exploration, I continue to dig a well-executed Metroidvania and Timespinners is well-executed.

According to a developer at Lunar Ray, Timespinners is planned for a launch in March or April 2016 launch on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and 3DS.

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  • Avatar for camchow #1 camchow 3 years ago
    Looks good. I'm of the opinion that you really don't need to try to rewrite a genre or try to innovate every time, sometimes being a good solid and fun game is all that is really needed. It's like comfort food.
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  • Avatar for Stevegasm #2 Stevegasm 3 years ago
    Am I a little tired of the genre? Sure. There have been a lot recently that I've played. The spring 2016 release date might actually do this title some good. By then, I'll be tired of whatever it is I'm doing and be ready for another side scroller like this. I mean, Trine 3 just came out and I haven't bothered with it yet.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #3 SatelliteOfLove 3 years ago
    There's homage, there's learning from the best, then there's living off of nostalgia for other people's work. This is the latest one like AV, too blatant for me to condone. It's especially bad when you have other folks busting their brains to create art and characters wholecloth on the market at the same time in the same subgenre.Edited August 2015 by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for orient #4 orient 3 years ago
    It's good to see them adding their own time mechanic to the formula, but if you're going to make a Metroidvania game, the least you can do is set it somewhere other than a gothic castle surrounded by a spooky forest. We get it -- Symphony of the Night was an amazing game -- now come up with your own idea if you want to stand out.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #5 VotesForCows 3 years ago
    Mike, how does the game feel to play? Are the controls well implemented at this stage?
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  • Avatar for internisus #6 internisus 3 years ago
    Way too many visual elements look extremely similar to Symphony of the Night. I understand that this is intentional, but it turns me off a lot because it robs Timespinner of its own identity.
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  • Avatar for eyrie0 #7 eyrie0 3 years ago
    You gotta play Environmental Station Alpha! That's my favorite example of the genre from the last several years. Great map, great mechanics, and awesome tough boss battles. Sweet pixel art too!
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #8 chaoticBeat 3 years ago
    This article reminded me of Ghost Song. I'm still hoping it comes to ps4/vita.

    I like the time mechanics and tunes of this game but I'm not sold on the art style. If it played well enough I might give it a shot.

    I purchase far more indie games costing 10 to 15 bucks then I do the big budget games. I have way more tolerance for flaws in cheaper games coming from small studios.
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