It’s not easy to create a game in an 8-bit style and make it work. Many have tried and failed, but not so Ivanovich Games, who have coupled razor sharp retina graphics with a fun, challenging game that bridges the gap between 2010 and the late 80s.
The whole point of Time Geeks is finding stuff. It’s a bit like Where’s Wally, but good. You travel through time to various locations trying to find certain people, objects, animals or whatever else you’re asked to find. As you reach later levels the areas become busier, more crowded and as a result a lot harder to find what you’re after. Each search is timed, and depending on how quick you find the item will depend on how many of the three available stars you earn. It’s not unusual to be just the one second away from 3 stars, starting a frantic cycle of retrying the level to gain that last reward.
As you progress you unlock mini games which offer a varied and fun set of side-tasks away from the main game. You also open up the ability to create your own island to fill with various items and people that you also unlock by successfully finding stuff. This is a slow process, but gives impressive freedom with layering and sizing, and lets you create something genuinely unique and impressive.
All of this happens in crystal-clear HD, using the iPhone 4’s retina screen to full force. There are 2 levels of zoom while you’re searching, and it’s entirely possible to do much of your hunting without zoomin in, such is the crispness of what’s on show. I can’t imagine the older iPhones having the same level of luxury though, and you might find you’ll be zooming in a lot more if you don’t have the benefit of the high resolution screen. The isomatric chunky-pixel nature gives the game that iconic 8-bit feel, but the vibrant colours and subtle movements make it feel like it belongs in 2010.
There’s plenty to keep people going here, and you’ll have almost as much fun trying to find geeky references to various TV shows, films and other techie stuff. A massive statue of the Android robot on one of the islands certainly made me laugh, it’s not every day that thing crops up in an iPhone game.
I do have one gripe; if you tap the screen in the wrong place it gives you a time penalty. Although this is obviously required to stop people mashing every inch of the screen randomly, it does mean if you’re in a hurry and miss-tap by a small amount you can lose on on some stars until you press the exact right spot.
But generally, what we have here is yet another example of just how good a game you can get for 59p. It’s good fun, looks fantastic and has enough challenge and variety to keep you coming back for a fair while. Great stuff.
|Price: £0.59 / $0.99|