Review: Green Game: TimeSwapper
Green Game: TimeSwapper is a side-scrolling action adventure puzzle platform arcade game available for download from the PlayStation Store for the PS Vita. Green Game: TimeSwapper is the direct sequel to iFun4All’s debut game Red Game Without A Great Name created by their small team of only eight people.
The story picks up straight from where Red Game Without A Great Name left off with the mechanical bird now entering into a mysterious green world full of mechanical machinery, although the mechanical bird has unfortunately lost its capability to teleport, but in the process has acquired the ability to manipulate time.
Green Game: TimeSwapper possesses 50 levels containing collectables in the form of 150 gears with 3 gears per level spread throughout the entirety of the game.
The character design centres around a mechanical bird who starts out and finishes every level in a cage that flaps its wings during flight when being directed from one steam generator to another during the traversal. There are 3 power-ups which look similar to gears that can be utilised by your mechanical bird as they provide temporary abilities including immortality and slow flight.
The environment design is effectively an evil character in itself as the surrounding environments are full of traps including sharp edged objects such as spikes, windmill blades, pistons and more besides are progressively introduced, although the environments can be tamed by manipulating time.
The control scheme is quite minimalist as it is a purely touch screen focused control scheme consisting of tapping the touch screen to release the mechanical bird from a cage to start the journey through the level and swiping across the touch screen to manipulate the time frame to activate useful objects such as steam generators to help direct the mechanical bird around obstacles and traps, while tapping the pause icon situated on the top right of the touch screen displays the pause menu and tapping the restart icon located on the bottom left of the touch screen restarts the level, although there is no alternative control scheme for the face buttons, analogue sticks, d-pad or rear touch pad.
Graphically, Green Game: TimeSwapper utilises the same approach as Red Game Without A Great Name by focusing on various shades of a particular colour which in this case is green overlaid with dark silhouettes to create not as much of a dark and moody tone, although still retaining the atmospheric vibe to the world in which your mechanical bird is attempting to traverse, while respectively highlighting specific details in nearby structures. The incredible backdrops of the previous game have been replaced with a large emphasis on cogs and contraptions that rather cleverly replicates your manipulation of time in that moment by turning clockwise or anti-clockwise to work in perfect harmony with the steam generators to propel your mechanical bird in the appropriate direction.
The presentation of the game is solid yet minimal with a great touch screen based user interface across various menus such as the main menu, level selection menu, options menu and various gameplay menus, although there is no support for navigation via the left and right analogue sticks, directional pad and face buttons. The background of the menu screens are comprised of a multitude of green tones.
The audio can be pretty minimalist at times, although there are a few sound effects to keep it flowing at any given moment including the opening of the box at the start of each level, steam generators producing steam to direct the mechanical bird, the flapping of the mechanical bird’s wings following a venting of steam, collecting a gear, a scream when the mechanical bird has been caught by a trap or ends up hitting a wall, the box being closed when you reach the end of the level, while soul and jazz music provides an appropriate soundtrack.
The trophy list includes 9 trophies with 3 bronze trophies, 5 silver trophies and 1 gold trophy. The easiest trophies have to be the Dead Already bronze trophy for dying for the first time; the Persistence is a Virtue bronze trophy for dying 25 times in a single level; and the Apprentice Engineer bronze trophy for collecting 3 gears on 5 levels. Harder trophies include the Grandmaster Engineer silver trophy for finishing all of the levels with 3 gears collected and the Einstein’s Descendant gold trophy for finishing all levels flawlessly. It is estimated that depending upon skill and a good trophy guide to provide some helpful tips that it would take between 5 to 10 hours to 100% the trophy list.
There are no difficulty levels, although the difficulty curve sees traps including spikes, windmill blades, pistons and more besides which are introduced to the surrounding environments in order to impede any chances of a trouble free continued traversal as you will have to restart the level if you are caught by any of the traps. A new element to the difficulty curve involves steam generators potentially directing the mechanical bird off course and into a wall if your time manipulation is even only a fraction out resulting in a new approach to you quickly having to restart the level.
In the same way as Red Game Without A Great Name; Green Game: TimeSwapper also does not feature any multiplayer modes, although local multiplayer could have provided a race between two mechanical birds to survive the traps and compete for who reaches the box at the end of the level in the fastest time, while pass the Vita multiplayer could have produced the same idea albeit as an individual time trial rather than being on the same screen. Online multiplayer could have featured ad-hoc or global online multiplayer for 2 to 4 players in the same approach as local multiplayer with each player competing to complete the level faster than the other players in addition to surviving. Every multiplayer component could have also provided customisation such as the amount of consecutive rounds on the same level or multiple levels and how many failures to complete a level before a player has automatically lost the round. There are also no online leaderboards which could have included two categories covering the amount of gears each player has collected throughout the entire game and the fastest time set for completing each level and the overall completion time of every level by each player.
Replayability stems from having 50 levels containing a total of 150 gears to collect, while overcoming a variety of traps which result in you naturally having to play the majority of levels multiple times anyway due to traps not exactly being easy to overcome. A further area of replay value includes revisiting levels to improve your level status such as the amount of times your mechanical bird has died from coming into contact with a trap, a steam generator directing you into a wall or being left behind the screen to flawless for completing a level without dying and collecting all of the gears throughout each of the levels.
Overall, Green Game: TimeSwapper delivers an extension of what was previously experienced in Red Game Without A Great Name by providing some fun and challenging puzzle gameplay which is perfect for fans of side-scrolling platform, puzzle, action or adventure genres, especially given the twist of the new time manipulation gameplay mechanic and such amazing value at a price of only £3.99!
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Artistic use of shades of green and silhouettes to create a dark, atmospheric mood
- Time manipulation gameplay mechanic
- 50 levels
- 150 gears to collect
- Replaying levels to improve your level status to flawless
- The amount of traps and obstacles will naturally result in you having to restart levels multiple times without a sense of frustration
- Budget price of £3.99/$4.99
What I Dislike:
- No pass the Vita multiplayer
- No online leaderboards