Insanity isn’t always a bad thing. You may think differently when your screen is covered in gunfire and corpses, but why pass up a good challenge? Why even die at all? Why not save yourself from the countless deaths? Super Time Force takes this idea and takes it to its inevitable extreme.There’s a beautiful chaos to this pixel-art platformer that has to be played to truly get the sense of craziness that ensues.
In true bullet-hell fashion, Super Time Force gets hard pretty quick, especially if you aren’t in the right mindset. Rewinding has to become second nature or you’ll end up with no time at the end of the level. In fact for a game about time, it’s almost a worse foe than the bosses you face. You’ll find yourself racing to save yourself from some sort of predicament you got yourself into. Almost every second of this game is as confusing as that last sentence. Bullets are flying everywhere as countless past selves march on to their fate.
It’d be pretty boring if it was just a single character. there are staples to choose from like a a burly guy carrying a machine gun and a lithe sniper, but there’s also oddities like a dolphin that fights with echo-location or a sentient turd complete with a magnum and a super fart attack. There’s plenty of juvenile humor and pop culture references sprinkled into the strange story mode, which lent to the overall 80s feel. The missions also cover the usual locales, from the obvious 1,000,000 B.C to save the dinosaurs or 3072 A.D to look at cat videos. Slightly more oddball missions rear their head like saving Atlantis from being dropped into the ocean by Rick the sea god in 9600 BC or a post-apocalyptic 199X to find the commander’s daughter. It’s wonderful that this game doesn’t take itself too seriously, as the gameplay can be pretty harrowing.
Time isn’t just your enemy in-game. Super Time Force is a pretty short romp, more akin to a roller coaster than the wait in line. There is a Super Hardcore Mode that is unlocked once the main game is beaten and plenty of collectibles to fetch, but it doesn’t truly make up for the lack of content. Certain levels also spike in difficulty sporadically, making memorizing patterns the most effective strategy. Some of the characters are less useful than others, but none seemed utterly useless. A way to remap the controls would’ve gone a long way too as both jumping and charging are side-by-side, which can be pretty awkward. All minor gripes aside, STF is a complete and kooky experience.
I had quite a time playing Super Time Force. There was righteous victory followed by shameful defeat. The story was somehow more ridiculous than the premise. While it’s unfortunate how short my stint on the force was, I can’t help but crave for more. The characters all feel exciting and unique flowing with as much personality as the rest of the game. It’s up to you if Super Time Force is worth the price of admission, but as for me I had the time of my life.