Super Time Force is one of the most unique, and innovative platformers that I have played. Time is factor used as primary mechanic in many of the genre, but never have I seen it be used like this before. Not only does almost everything work in perfect cohesion, but this is an exceptionally fun title, with phenomenal humor as well.
You play as the Super Time Force, a United States secret organization headed by Colonel Repeatski. This team has the unique ability of time travel, which can send them from the time of dinosaurs to far in the future. Filled with hilarious, and witty dialog, it never grows stale, and the overall ridiculousness of the plot is just one reason to continue playing.
At first glance, you may mistake this for a standard torture platformer designed to induce rage for those who lack twitch reflexes, however, there is something far more compelling here. You are given a set amount of time in which you must complete a level, but it is not so cut and dry. At any point during your play, you can pause the game, and rewind all the way back to the beginning. When your character dies, the game does not end, but simply pauses, and allows you to revert back to any point you want. From there you can select a new character, and continue on while your previous character proceeds on his path at the same time. If you are able to save, or prevent that character’s death, you can combine characters and create a combination of the powers.
You must watch out though, because every level has a set amount of characters you can use, and when you run out it is game over. To help you along your way are Glorbs, which add to your total character tally, and other buffs such as slow-down modifiers, and time boosters.
While you get only three characters to choose from in the beginning, before long you will accumulate a whole army of various soldiers. I found some to be more useful than others, but all were equal in their over-the-top nature. My particular favorite was Colonel Repeatski’s former band mate, Jef Leopard because of his spectacular rocket launcher, but there is a character or two for just about every play style.
Super Time Force is both frantic, and strategic. Not only that, but it is the first game to pull this combination so successfully. The actual game play has a “bullet hell” vibe, but when it comes to rewinding, you must do so with painstaking planning. The two elements never get muddled together, yet don’t separate so far that they seem disjointed.
The varied settings, characters, and enemies are all done in a perfectly executed retro style. This is made even better when Colonel Repeatski uses a very modern vernacular such as “loljk”. I found the juxtaposition between the visual aesthetic and dialog to be yet another clever aspect to this game.
There is but one gripe I have with the entire game, and it is from the controls. I found button placement to be strange, for example you aim, and move with the right stick, so during situations that require a bit of aiming, things can get a little tricky. You can lock your aim with the left bumper, but that felt cumbersome as well. Also, jumping to full capacity requires holding the A button, which is a trend I see games doing more and more, and I cannot say I am too fond of it.