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TimeMelters review
Quinn Levandoski


Playing With Yourself

From Mundane Beginnings

A mysterious witch, hoards of demonic villains, a strange plague, and magic beyond the realm of understanding may sound like cliche elements of many fantasy games, but Autoexec Games' TimeMelters brings them all together in a package that feels wholly unique. Part third-person action game, part puzzler, and part tower defense, TimeMelters executes several interesting ideas with grace.

In TimeMelters, players step into the shoes of Teagan, a young woman wrongfully captured in a sweeping witch hunt in a land brought to fear the occult by a mystical plague. The game starts moments before her death, but as all looks grim, an actual witch uses her dying moments to separate her spirit and body and house her consciousness inside Teagan. If that wasn't bad enough, a hoard of demonic enemies swarms the gathering and kills everyone - except Teagan. Scared and confused, Teagan flees, but she only becomes more confused when her escape is aided by someone who appears to be herself. It turns out Teagan isn't as mundane as she thought, and she's only at the beginning of a time-bending adventure.

The Power Within

Teagan quickly starts learning new powers that she can use to fight back against the forces of the evil Puppeteer, but they start off fairly modest. She can only shoot balls of magic at enemies at first, but this is shortly augmented by a spirit infusion that compels objects like trees and stones to help her in different ways and a few golems that can draw enemy aggro or slow down crowds. The most interesting and game-defining power, however, which is fortunately introduced quite early, is Teagan’s ability to time travel to work alongside other versions of herself.

In practice, this functions a bit like a fancy "ghost" feature from racing games. Teagan can work through a level and then jump right back into it to have two of herself doing the task. Then three. Then four, etc. On a very basic level, this lets players shoot more blasts and kill more enemies. However, as puzzles and situations get more complex (which they do quickly after the relatively brief introductory segments), understanding how to play with the knowledge of how it can fit into a bigger picture to accomplish tasks impossible to a single user.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The general set-up of each mission is quite interesting, even if the objectives are usually fairly unexciting (protect this person, clear that area, defeat those enemies, etc.). Among Teagan's powers is her ability to enter "Spirit Sight," a fancy name for pulling the camera back and quickly getting a visual on the entire map's ongoing characters and happenings. It’s a vital tool for tracking and predicting what needs to be done where, and one that feels pretty cool once one gets the hang of it. Time of day also matters to a degree, as enemies get stronger at night, but not every encounter features a shifting sun.

Given different things happen at different points of the maps at the same time, Teagan's other strongest ability, aside from time travelling, is of the utmost importance. She can create portals to hop around from local to local, which is complicated enough when considering one's current actions and even more brain bending when accounting for the Echos (the past versions of Teagan) also doing work at the same time. These portals stay active when rewinding time, so it is possible (and often necessary) to portal to a location, take care of business, rewind time, hop through the portal to address issues elsewhere, and repeat until an army of Echos is simultaneously saving the day.

Player Friendly Inclusions

The game can be played fully solo, which is how the title was played for much this review, but co-op is fully supported and has payer two step into the shoes of Teagan's brother, who otherwise dies in the intro. Notably, TimeMelters also features a guest pass, which means that anyone who owns the game can invite a friend to hop into co-op whether the friend owns the game or not. It’s not an unheard-of practice, but it's rare enough that it stands out when included. Moreover, in another player-friendly move, TimeMelters has a setting for how much story and lore to include in the game. Those playing through for the first time will want to enable all the conversations to understand what's going on, but those replaying through the experience can helpfully trim the game down to just the action.

TimeMelters has an ambitious premise that could very easily have gotten out of hand for a small, three-person development team, but the experience is an incredibly enjoyable one through and through. However, the small team and modest budget do come through in the form of quite dated graphics and uninspired enemy design. Fortunately, that’s a minor gripe in an otherwise excellent package, and strong gameplay and unique mechanics make TimeMelters an easy recommendation for anyone to whom the premise sounds even vaguely appealing.

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fun score


The time travel and portal mechanics work well and are satisfying to use, the game's player-friendly Friend Pass system makes finding a co-op partner a breeze, Each mission is suitably complex to take advantage of the unique magical abilities and avo


The overall visual effects and character designs are quite dull