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Bend time in pretty puzzler Mr Tic Toc & the Endless City

Rock around the clock

We all wish we could turn back time, but newly announced puzzle-adventure Mr Tic Toc & the Endless City takes that to extremes. In this lovely watercolour-shaded thing from extremely Frenchly-named studio Un Je Ne Sais Quoi, you'll be reshaping the history of an island one revision of the history books at a time, as you flit from ancient prehistory to the far flung future all without taking a step.

While point-and-click adventures have tackled the subject of time travel many times before, most such puzzlers (Day of The Tentacle springs to mind as a classic example) have treated each time-period as a separate location with a handful of connected items that might be altered through your poking around the time-stream.

Beardy little antiquarian Mr Tic Toc can use his time-travelling suitcase to hop freely between time periods that he's already visited, seemingly seamlessly. Some areas might be almost unchanged in thousands of years, while others have been radically altered by the flow of time.

The suitcase (which seems to have a mind and voice of its own) also holds items of any size. While that's not inherently unusual by adventure standards, it does allow puzzles to expand to impressive scale, as shown in the trailer above. A massive dinosaur skull, cleverly placed, can redirect the flow of a river, changing what was built and where in future eras.

On Twitter, the developers have described the game as a 'time-wrecking adventure', suggesting that not every change you make will be for the better, and that the butterfly effect might just come back to bite you in the posterior as your temporal meddling spirals out of control.

Sadly, games this pretty take time to make, and Un Je Ne Sais Quoi reckon that it won't be ready to launch until sometime in 2019. In the meantime we've at least got the next best thing to a time machine: Enough games due over the rest of the year to keep us constantly busy.

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Dominic Tarason