Sometimes after a long day, I like to sit back and enjoy a challenging puzzle game with my cat on my lap. I guess that's because I like having problems that I can solve, which gives me some semblance of control in my life. When I saw that Urnique Studios had released Timelie for PC and that it centered on solving puzzles, I knew I wanted to play it. This feeling only grew when I saw that a lot of the action centered around a cat.
This game is all about figuring out the precise way to move a girl and a cat through each level to avoid vicious robots and find a way to safety. At the bottom of the screen, players can control time like they would the progression of a music player. Slide right to move forward in time or slide left to go back in time. Players then choose what actions the girl and cat should take at every moment. If need be, they can rewind back in time and choose a different course of action to keep the feline and the girl from harm.
The girl can interact with pinpads to open locked doors and also can pick up power cubes that allow her to repair broken areas of the floor or attack robots. The cat can walk through small air vents where the girl and robots cannot follow and can meow to distract enemies. As you can imagine, this leads to some complicated yet rewarding problem-solving. After playing through the whole thing, I can say that Timelie is an excellent game for anyone who worships cats or enjoys puzzle games.
Bottom line: Timelie is a great puzzle game for any kind of player to enjoy. It allows you to control time as you maneuver a cat and a girl around dangerous robots. The puzzles are challenging, the art style is beautiful, and the game builds to an intriguing ending.
- Challenging puzzles
- Great time manipulation mechanics
- Gorgeous art style
- Chill music
- Some levels are a little frustrating
Timelie What I like
Timelie is an excellent game for anyone who enjoys critical thinking and problem-solving. Here are all the things I liked about this game.
Challenging puzzles Great time manipulation mechanics
Timelie starts off simply enough by quickly walking you through the tutorial phase and then slowly increases the difficulty while adding more mechanics for you to use. It never felt like it was holding my hand too much. In fact, there were times when I only discovered I could do something after some trial and error.
The puzzles themselves are challenging and require some brainpower. You click at various squares on the ground to choose a pathway for both the cat and the girl to walk in. Players can nudge time forward a frame by pressing F or nudge it backward a frame by pressing A on the keyboard. As time goes on, you need to figure out the best way to open locked doors and maneuver around the hostile robots in your path.
I got stuck a few times and had to come at the levels with very different tactics to make it to the end. As far as time manipulation games go, this one does an outstanding job of giving you enough control while also providing mechanics that make sense. Once you know the rules, it's your job to think creatively to get yourself out of a jam. And let me tell you, they can be pretty tricky. But once you solve them, you can feel pretty accomplished for doing so.
The levels have hidden awards that players can earn by solving problems the harder way. For instance, one level awarded me for figuring out a way to get to the end without using any of the power cubes I'd collected. So, if you're a completionist or the kind of person who likes punishment, going back and getting each of these trophies will add replay value for you. Without going back to play any of the levels, I got about 6 hours out of the game before reaching the ending.
What made the game even more impressive was the unique challenges it threw at you in the final chapter. Without saying too much, you basically have to find ways to get around the levels while also dealing with the consequences of your previous actions. It really kept things interesting for me and made each new situation feel novel.
Gorgeous art and music Imagery and sound fits the game perfectly
The art style and soundtrack employed for the game sets the right mood. At the start, the world is dark and mysterious, with strange objects floating beneath you. Some of these items are chess pieces, syringes, or handcuffs; things that make you feel a little uneasy. As you continue forward, more light comes to the levels, and you come across several icons. It feels as though Timelie is telling a more in-depth story that you have to contemplate to understand. This feels especially true once you make it to the end of the game and watch the final scenes.
The music is equally important. It starts off somewhat chill and atmospheric and eventually changes to match the dire situations you find yourself in. Whether you're in one of the game's calmer moments or one of the split-second decision moments, the music gives you the right amount of energy.
Timelie What I don't like
I loved Timelie overall, but there's one thing that I didn't like as much.
Levels can be frustrating Solutions can be a little too precise
While I really appreciated the difficulty on many of these levels, it also felt like some of them were a little too specific for how they needed to be solved. For instance, sometimes, it felt like the difference between death and life was a matter of milliseconds for when I chose to move the cat or the girl. If there are one or two moments like this, then that's not bad, but when you hit a level where it feels like every action you take is broken down like this, gameplay becomes a bit tedious.
Granted, this is a time manipulation game, so making split decisions isn't the hardest thing since you can rewind and make changes without actually dying. Fortunately, I only felt this way on a few of the levels within each of the five chapters.
Timelie Should you buy it?
I very much enjoyed playing Timelie. It offered roughly six hours of unique challenges that had me thinking really hard. The art style is beautiful and works really well with the main mechanics and music employed in the game. If you're a fan of puzzle games or time manipulation games, then you really ought to consider adding this one to your library.
The only thing I didn't like that much was how tedious some of the puzzles became towards the end of the game. While I appreciate the difficulty of the game overall, there were definitely moments where playing felt more like it was about making exact moves rather than working towards solving a puzzle. Fortunately, there were only a couple of levels within the five chapters that really felt this way for me. Otherwise, Timelie was an excellent way for me to exercise my brain and unwind.
Control time and evade evil robots
Determine what actions a young girl and an orange cat should take to evade robots, unlock doors, and solve various puzzles. If something goes wrong, rewind time and try something new.
Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's gaming editors with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of game guides, previews, features, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market.
I wish they'd put games like this into the Windows Store.
I have a daughter who would like this, but when she looks in the store, it's not there.
Already on my wishlist.
Hope this comes to Xbox. Looks lovely.
The character looks adorable and dark-glowiness of the atmospherics is just right. I second the call for more games in the Windows Store.
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