Back when Facebook mania was in full swing, pretty much everyone I know – myself included, I’m sad to say – joined a group called “I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head.” I have no idea what this simple slice of sociopathy was intended to achieve – would thousands of slow-walking people notice the group and think “oh no! Someone may punch me in the back of the head! I’d better start walking at the same pace as a normal human being”? What an odd form of shouting into the void it was. Plus, it was a total misnomer as far as I’m concerned – there’s nothing secret about my desire to visit violence upon glacial dawdlers. And the back of the head? A little tame, really.
Time Limit (source: Darren Me over at TIGSource) gets it. Time Limit is for the members of the non-existent Facebook group “I blatantly want to punch slow-walking people in the face with absolute impunity, and with such force that they’re sent spiralling out of the world itself.”
It’s a bonkers Japanese indie side-scrolling beat ’em up – except rather than starring the traditional urban justice beefcake type, it posits you as a harried commuter trying to weave through the teeming crowds and catch your train on time. Cursor keys move, A jumps, S performs a mad “I’ve seen a gap in the crowds” dash and D… Well, D punches people in the face.
You can dodge most people, but honestly, you’re going to be punching them in the face, because punching them in the face feels great. They’re sent flying when you do, and it takes a moment to realise that they don’t disappear out of the game’s small window when they hit the edge, but rather tumble onto your desktop, huffily striding off-screen along your taskbar when they land.
Time Limit has, you see, Clever Magicks that incorporate a screenshot of your desktop into the game every time it loads. You think that’s your wallpaper behind the main window, but actually it’s a part of the game. I’m sure it’s not intended as anything more than a cute gimmick, but it oddly adds to the game’s overall sense of “this is my world, and everyone else is just in the way. RAAAARGH.”
It’s very crude, very silly and utterly throwaway – but it’s also enormously cathartic. Oh, and F and Space activate special powers at certain points, but I’ll leave you to figure those out yourself.