Behold The Clockface: Timespinner

Timespinner’s graphics, time-hopping storyline and general ambience remind me of Chrono Trigger, which is one of the few JRPGs I’ve ever found the patience to complete. Lunar Ray Games’ project is no JRPG though. Currently on Kickstarter (I have a macro for that phrase), it’s a “2D Metroidvania Platformer for PC, Mac OS X, and Linux”, which provides me with the perfect opportunity to introduce the irritating term ChronoVania. The ‘V’ must be capitalised.

It’s a delightful looking game, using the time travel device to introduce a variety of environments filled with robotic enemies that pursue lead character Lunais through history. The team, led by Bodie Lee (formerly of Bungie), are seeking $50,000 and have already raised over $10,000 after a day of crowdfunding.

The time freezing power is such a simple thing but opens up the possibility of rooms and bosses that would be impossible without it. There’s something about a screen packed with enemies or giant machines of death, all drills and thrusting blades, that fills me with glee. I’m not particularly good at dodging things though – I spent all the points that I should have saved for reflexes on Handsomeness and Pondering – so I’m grateful for any ability that allows me to act like I’m better than I actually am. The powerup equivalent of an unassailable high horse.

The project page has lots of lovely animated gifs to go with the video above and doesn’t skimp on words either. There’s backstory aplenty – Bodie has been cooking up the history of this fictional galaxy for 18 years with a childhood friend – but the best word is ‘clobber’. I don’t know what made him use that particular verb to describe the combat but I’m extremely glad that he did.

There’s a $10 early bird pledge level, although most of the worms have been scoffed already. Next tier is $15, which gets you the game, a backer-exclusive familiar, PDF instructions and your name in the credits. Those are going to be some long credits.

Timespinner isn’t due until November 2015.


  1. Viroso says:

    The soundtrack is so Castlevania.

  2. Ansob says:

    Someone said the magic words “Metroidvania” and “pixelart” and now my wallet is disgorging cash uncontrollably. Help.

    edit: oh, shit, the soundtrack is by Jeff Ball. Money is falling out of my wallet even faster.

  3. BTAxis says:

    I don’t back kickstarters because credit card paranoia, but if I did I’d back this in a heartbeat. Lovely.

  4. dontnormally says:


  5. NailBombed says:

    Now that’s what I call Metroidvania done right. If only Konami would go back to this kind of style ;_; …

  6. deadpan says:

    I think they’re as close to Symphony of the Night’s underground tileset as they can get without being sued by Konami.

    • Dreadlord910 says:

      I think it’s closer than that. Take a look at the shopkeeper and then compare it to the librarian in SoTN. The staircases as well are almost exactly the same. Now don’t get me wrong, this game looks like it could be amazing. But it would be nice if they created their own designs…..

  7. pepperfez says:

    Backer-exclusive content always gets me moderately grumpy, probably because the obsessive collector in me wants to back all the games so I don’t miss anything. I know that’s the point, but I wish it wasn’t a thing.

  8. tigerfort says:

    Looks lovely, but has kick-in-the-face early bird pledges, so I’m not backing it. Everyone who backs your kickstarter project is an early bird. (The backer-exclusive content looks as though it’s just skins, which I reckon is fine – games with backer-exclusive major assets I won’t touch, but purely cosmetic things seem fair.)

  9. fuzziest says:

    If some of those tiles aren’t sprites ripped directly from Castlevania they are at least really close. Also problematic is that even in the short demo many of the level designs are lifted exactly from SOTN.

    • DarkFenix says:

      That’s what’s stopping me pledging right now. Nice as it looks, it’ll take a bit more than a Castlevania reskin to get my money, especially since there is no shortage of Metroidvania games popping up on Kickstarter.

      • Iliya Moroumetz says:

        At the risk of being spammy, just read the link:
        link to

        They have acknowledged that the tileset comes from Castlevania via reference, however, it is not copied. They are, however, going to change and create new tilesets before the game is released.

  10. squareking says:

    I’ve been trying to get in the mindset of actually finishing my games, especially metroidvanias, before buying any more. I need to finish Valdis Story, La Mulana and Guacamelee, and I backed several metroidvanias already, plus I need to set aside some cash for Axion Verge when it comes around…

    Someone help.

  11. noodlecake says:

    This does look rather pretty! I’m trying to work on pixel art for my own game at the moment and am struggling a lot! As someone who mainly does abstract paintings and sculptures, moving on to making nice pixel art sprites is pretty tough. The sheer amount of work it must take to fill a game with pixel art this tight is immense.

    It’s not quite on the level of owlboy, but I do really wanna play it!

  12. Shadowcat says:

    which provides me with the perfect opportunity to introduce the irritating term ChronoVania.

    Erm, but then you’ve gone and lost the “Metroid” part.

    May I suggest: “ChronoVaniTroid”.

    • rokahef says:

      ChronoMetroidVania is an acceptable, if long winded, alternative.

    • Philotic Symmetrist says:

      I was going to suggest MetroidTrigger (or after looking at your suggestions, I now prefer ChronoTroid) since Castlevania didn’t so much contribute mechanics to the genre but was the first to borrow the mechanics from Metroid so “-vania” can be dropped much more readily than “Metroid-“.

  13. bananana says: