Green Game - Timeswapper - HighrezGaming

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Green Game - Timeswapper / 21st of April 2016

It’s not too often that I find myself playing a game on PC that is clearly made for a mobile platform. Many games try to bridge the gap between PC and mobile games as the mouse is just so similar to a touchscreen and it can make some of the mechanics transfer rather nicely from the small screen to our monitors and televisions. Green Game: TimeSwapper is one of those games that his now concurrently available on a huge amount of platforms, including mobile ones, so it is obviously trying to cover a lot of ground in its attempts to appeal to as wide a potential fan base as possible. Does it succeed on this end? Let’s find out…

The first thing to note about this game is that it is extremely similar in both gameplay aspects and story wise to that of the incredibly successful Angry Birds. The story is told in a brief cutscene at the start of the game in which you are shown to be some kind of scientist who has discovered a way to control the flow of time itself. In doing so you are able to utilise a mechanical bird whom you guide throughout the game into the cage it calls home, and use your power of controlling the fabric of time itself to protect this bird by moving machines out of its way, cause air flows to start and stop and just generally just protect it from danger. The story serves simply as a reason for why you’re playing and doesn’t really develop any further than the concept that we are presented with. The ability to control time I felt was just a type of McGuffin, meant to justify why we can move machines and such when in reality it could just say that we could move the machines with…I don’t know…electricity? The whole theme of time, however, does play more into the art style and overall feeling of the game itself, which is a rather brilliant segue into talking about the presentation of this game, if I do say so myself.
Obviously with it being on so many different platforms the visuals needed to be simple and the developers have gone for an incredibly artsy and simplistic format with their game. Everything is a steampunk mishmash of machinery, cogs and steam set over a stylistic and simplistic art style that utilises dark colouring to create a slightly disturbing yet beautiful world nonetheless. So, while the game is certainly not going to blow you away visually, it still is a pretty sight to behold. The music, however, almost seems to completely contrast with this dark and moody art style, going for an incredibly jazzy and upbeat soundtrack. Not that I’m complaining, I absolutely love jazz, hence why I was swinging my arms and clicking my fingers along to the beat as I guided this little bird around the various courses. I did find it strange, however, that at times the music seemed to be of an incredibly poor quality compared to most of the other tracks, now I don’t know if it was intentional to have these dips during time dilation stages, but it just sounded bizarre and out of place to myself.

The gameplay is standard mobile puzzle game format in that you go through fifty stages that each ramp up the difficulty and at intervals introduce new mechanics for you to learn, very similar to how Angry Birds was laid out. There are also three…uhh…machine parts? I honestly couldn’t tell what they were, but still, they’re on each stage for the player to collect in order to have something more to complete each stage 100%. The actual mechanics of the game itself involve the bird flying in a straight path and through you manipulating time by using the mouse to move a light back and forth over the screen you set off machines or steam jets to change the course of the bird’s flight so it can be safely escorted to its cage. It’s a simple concept but it leaves a lot of room for complexity in handling how each object interacts with your manipulation of time, and some of the later stages can become incredibly difficult, especially if you want to collect all of the extra parts in each stage. I did find, however, that the game had some problems when dealing with my mouse movements, especially with me having a second screen. Too many times my mouse failed to register enough movement to fully change the time flow or would fly off to my other screen and minimise the game, which, as you can imagine, was incredibly aggravating. It’s clear that this game was made for mobile platforms as I feel the touch screen would allow for far better control over the… time light? If that isn’t what it is called, it undoubtedly should be! Aside from that there really isn’t much else to the game, if you’re a completionist then good luck to you being able to collect all the extra parts on each stage, though sadly after you’ve completed all the levels available, there isn’t really much else for you to do. I would have liked to see some type of time limit mode or limited lives mode to at least provide some extra challenge for those who manage to beat the game.
In the end this feels like the type of game you would play while going on a long bus ride to kill the time and have a good amount of fun while doing so. Unfortunately, with the version I played being on PC, that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I would recommend this game on a mobile device as it should allow for a greater amount of control and would undoubtedly prove to be a far more rewarding experience for yourself, otherwise it’s just another game similar to Angry Birds, though it definitely looks far prettier. Still, I had some fun while playing, and in the end I guess that’s just what a game has to do at the most basic level in order to be an enjoyable one.
Jack McKay
 
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