I think we’ve all had a good think or two about what we’d do if we ever gained the power to time travel. Most of us, however, probably haven’t decided on “get sad and die.” (And if you have, gosh, at least go ride a T-Rex first or something.) Happy-sadly, Suspense II uses a gauntlet of fairly brainy puzzles in conjunction with said time travel powers – all the while subjecting you to heart-rending ruminations on the nature of mankind and mortality. See, at any given moment, you’re able to hop back-and-forth between a sunny rural area full of soaring mountains and their respective majesties and, er, the apocalypse. Some of the tiny, wordless environmental stories Suspense II tells with that conceit, though, are brilliant. It’ll only take you 20-30 minutes, so give it a quick play here. Then do some soul-searching, learn to play guitar like you always meant to, and – when you’re ready – come back and read my (somewhat spoilery) thoughts after the break.
So yeah, most of the early puzzles are pretty rudimentary, but a few of the later levels either threw me for a loop, made me nod knowingly in a fashion one might expect from someone who’s seen the end of days, or both. Some of the jumping puzzles were a bit frustrating, though, thanks to finicky, occasionally unresponsive jumping. Also, I’d like to see a game like this do a bit more than say, “Hey mighty Time Lord, master of this domain and many beyond it, push some boxes and pull some levers. Yeah!” I mean, at least contextualize it a bit or something.
But wow, there were a couple moments where I flashed forward to the Gloomy Death Times and nearly gasped. I watched a man build the cross he was eventually crucified on. That’s the kind of subtext that inspires mopey off-tune acoustic guitar ballads. And then, of course, there’s the last level, which is – yes – unbeatable. Even as some kind of wonderful parkour-running office man time traveler (aka, the dream we all aspire to), you can’t outrun Death.
So that’s a cheery note to start your weekend on. Go hug people and stuff. Climb a tree. Pick some flowers. Pet a dog!
Thanks, Gameological Society.