Some might consider TIME LOCKER to be a game that practices minimalism, with its rough, simplistic character designs and a grid-like interface that almost seem bare. It seem the developer wanted to keep the interaction with the players to a minimum, for the game has no tutorial or how to play other than a line that appears stylishly at the beginning that reads, ‘the time stops when the character stops’.
The simple yet delightful graphic pairs wonderfully with the sound of some kind of a percussion instrument that replaces the sound of explosion or gunfire. Surely, it is a light hearted shooter that you can pick up whenever you want for few minutes. Or play for for hours because this game is so darn addictive.
There are quite a few number of weapons and characters that you can unlock throughout the game, and they are all purchasable by in-game money. All of those unlockable add-ons are charmingly simple yet adorable. For example, the game has dinosaurs with gun mounted on top as playable characters. I can’t ask for more in the character design department because I am 11 years old. Despite the “cute” outlook of the game, it still manages to stay true to its genre and features plenty of satisfyingly violent and cathartic pixel splatters all over your screen.
Unfortunately though, TIME LOCKER isn’t perfect. As much as the mushroom cloud popping actions are satisfying, the particles are too coarse and it gets too crowded on the screen and nearly impossible to distinguish the blown-up pieces of pixels from a bullet that is flying towards you.
I am sure nobody would complain like “ugh, this guy went half-way on the minimalism theme. What does he think he is? Sol LeWitt?”, if developer decided to make the effects less crude and so distracting to the gameplay.
Furthermore, the game decides it would be fun to creates a very large obstacle that enemies can go through but character can’t and which takes forever to destroy. There is nothing more frustrating than watch your character die right before your new highest score because enemies will just pop out of the wall, Freddy Krueger style. I am sure this is intended but I can’t say it is a wise game design. Or I could be just bad at video games.
Lastly, even though many people might tell me that it isn’t really “edgy” and “so outdated” to ask for this, I think some sort of story in the game could be nice. Something that is light-hearted and fairytale like could have worked really well. I understand this isn’t really that kind of game, but I feel like it is just wasting all those cute characters for not giving them some backstories.
Regardless, TIME LOCKER is very addictive, fun game that can appeal to many different groups of people. I can definitely see myself playing this while in a public place without making myself look like I play video games for money. I would love to see this game progress and hope the developer will continually to works on updates. Maybe he can make the game say SUPER, HOT repeatedly after every new record then surprise us with some mind-blowing plot twist, like, the player is a chosen one and this was all just a combat simulation to fight the human-like computer programs.