Time Rifters Review
I've included a link to my video review, below you'll find some quick bullet points and following that is a short but more in depth review of Time Rifters.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab6Grfswh3wPROS:
- Unique take on puzzle shooters where you play each round 4 times, each time adding a new recording of yourself to play alongside you
- Diverse and fun levels to play and master
- Good variety of weapons that each have strengths and weaknesses
- Interesting upgrade system that allows you to further specialize weapons
- Killer soundtrack that accents the futuristic vibe nicely
- Clean graphics that are great to look at but don't distract from the objective
- Creative menu system and a healthy amount of options to tweak and change
- Let's Re-play is an interesting idea where you can upload your recordings for your friends to download and play along with
- Levels aren't overly challenging and perfecting and memorizing the patterns doesn't take much effort
- Leader board system feels unnecessary in a game with a ceiling on how well you can do
- Small graphical nitpicks like being able to look straight down at your headless torso
- Let's Re-play is unique but novel, depends on the willingness of people to upload their recordings
- Game is relatively short to see and do everything, would benefit from more levels especially highly challenging ones
- The acid upgrade is overpowered and once I realized how strong it was I was never without it
- Episode 1 is too easy even for a beginner player and has little incentive to go back and repeat it
Time Rifters is a beautiful game that has a unique spin on the “playing along with recordings of yourself” style of shooter. While ham-stringed slightly by a lack of overly challenging levels Time Rifters packs a fun and exciting punch, ramped up but a great soundtrack. Your mission is simple, shoot every block and let none escape. Each arena you play in will have blocks that either move about the level or remain static, and you have a certain amount of time to destroy as many as possible. You will play a challenge four times, each time adding the previous recordings of yourself to your current play through, giving the game a faux-multiplayer feel by the fourth attempt.
If you're a fan of puzzle based shooters, or the types of mechanics popularized by raiding in MMORPGs (or Destiny) you'll find a lot to enjoy here. Each member of your team will need to have a specific role and execute that role flawlessly in order to reach perfection.
The levels are beautiful, crisp, and accompanied wonderfully by the electronic soundtrack. Diverse weapons, each with a particular use, will force players to make smart decisions about when and how to use them. Upgrades deepen the diversity by introducing enhancements like more damage, more accuracy and acid, which causes damage over time on blocks. These interesting upgrades can change the weapon significantly, but not always for the better depending on how that weapon is used. Players won't be able to afford every upgrade for every weapon, so they must make smart decisions and maximize the potential of each weapon . Acid tends to feel overpowered, it causes damage over time but doesn't appear to wear off, hitting a block with it means you can immediately move on as that block with quickly be destroyed. Once you discover the potential for acid you'll to never be without it.
Blocks spawn in beautifully synchronized patterns that make each level feel like a work of art. Blocks take the shape of butterflies, bats or snakes, and sometimes form geometry and architecture. Each level has a unique feel and requires a tailored approach to succeed in destroying every block. Perfecting a level is satisfying as it requires you to work together with your previous recordings and be smart in what each character is doing on each playthrough. If you overlap shooting the same blocks as a previous version of you that block will be destroyed faster, but while your current character will move on, the previous version will continue shooting at empty space.
Though thoughtful and surreal, Time Rifters could do with more challenging content. It will only take a few hours to perfect all but a few levels. With that said, this is partially a compliment as well as a complaint, Time Rifters is so enjoyable you will likely be left wishing there was more.
The leader board system feels unnecessary since levels are finite challenges with a cap on how well you can do, so setting a high score isn't really possible. Furthermore, the levels tend to be on the easier side so achieving 100% on most isn't much of a challenge. The Let's Re-play mode is creative and interesting, it allows you to create a recording and upload it to the Steam Workshop for your friends/fans to download and play with, but ultimately relies on people being interested enough to participate with it.
Overall, Time Rifters is great fun and worthy of the price. It's a unique game that you'll go back to just to experience the zen feel of shooting colored blocks and sinking into the vibrant soundtrack.