Back in the dim and distant past – or a simultaneous event to right now, depending on which philosophy of time you subscribe to – we were rather enraptured with the concepts powering a real-time strategy game known as Achron. An RTS based around time travel, wherein you could both revisit what had happened in the past and predict what might happen in the future in order to inform your tactics. Sadly the reality wasn’t quite as sweet as the idea. “Achron is a game that deserves to be played… but not an easy one to recommend buying”, reckoned Richard in 2011.
A dev with that kind of design ambition is a dev that deserves to be watched, however, and so it that I was glad to hear that Hazardous Software are back with zTime [official site] – another game about time travel.
Snakey puzzler ‘zTime’ is a title that sounds a bit too much like 3D modelling software, so they’ve stuck Danger Noodles! on the end, which means it sounds like something that fell out the App Store, but never mind that, take a look at the thing:
As you can see, it’s an easier sell than the convoluted Achron, being based more on reacting to a prediction than it is on holding multiple timelines in your poor confused head. It reminds me of Frozen Synapse a little, despite obviously being an entirely different sort of game – both the icy, skeletal look of it and the concept of changing your actions based on a guesstimate about what will result from your current ones.
Interesting, and pretty too, in a slightly stark, Geometry Warsish way. It’s also got a VR mode, supporting both Rift and Vive, if you own some cybergoggs. I suspect all those spectral trails might look quite beautiful in it. I’ll try and look soon, as ZTime is out now on Steam Early Access for £3.99/4,99€/$4.99. The devs reckon the full release will be in a mere two-four months.