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time.sol
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Time: All Things Come to an End

by Andy Phillips

Time Travel
1996

(based on 5 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

After many years developing a time travel machine, the company has decided to close the project down. If only you could get the machine to work, you would be able to make a leap into the future to prove it's merits. But then, how would you get back? An ultra-linear adventure.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 7
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 210
IFIDs:  ZCODE-5-961014-FDC5
ZCODE-7-970521-30BB
TUID: eu3ed84ww7n1dryf

Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Puzzles - 1996 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


A time-travel game with a Doctor Who-ish story involving a dystopian future, the ruins of Atlantis, Nazi England, Time's Guardian and Time's Enemy. A huge game with diverse settings, but ruined by unduly hard puzzles and bad design. If you don't know why "linearity" is considered a bad thing in adventure games, give this one a try - it persistently locks the player into small areas, where you must already have the right equipment (often hidden where it's easily missed) to do the thing that takes you to the next small area (often within a time limit). No going back to regions you visited before, either - perhaps this is meant as indicative of the nature of time, but it hardly makes a good game. Other than that, competently built, with a high code-to-bug ratio, weak prose (it describes things as "feeling evil" so often it becomes funny), and a few nice puzzles amidst all the mediocre ones.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

SPAG
There's something about the *way* the puzzles are presented -- never gratuitous, but as part of the story, giving the sense of plot unfolding before the player; layered, interwoven with one another; with virtually all reasonable actions accounted for -- that makes one want to keep trying, even after dying countless horrible deaths.
-- C.E. Forman

[...] when the solutions to puzzles are so illogical or obscure that they stump me completely -- even when I've _already_ finished the game once -- something is gravely amiss. When getting through the first half of the thing, even after I remember the solutions to the puzzles, takes many, many tries because I forget stupid little items that prove essential much later on, it says nothing positive about a game. And when I am unable to keep a coherent transcript because of all the saving and restoring required to get through the every-move-accounted-for sections, well, the resulting review will be less than glowing.
-- Duncan Stevens
See the full review

SynTax
I rather like the time-travel genre, and the plot is both intricate and interesting; but ultimately wrestling with all those maddeningly difficult problems was just too, too much.
See the full review

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Very, very long, linear sci fi game. Overly difficult puzzles, fun story, February 3, 2016
This is my first Andy Phillips game. It felt longer than any other game I have played, but it was about 200 turns shorter than Once and Future, and I suppose that Blue Lacuna or Worlds Apart might be longer.

The game is absolutely linear, consisting of 40 or more scenes. In each scene, you must do exactly the right things in a small number of turns or die horribly. You often have to grab items long before you need them, and manipulate them in unexpected ways.

The story and writing is actually quite interesting, but it seems to decay over time. The writing becomes less fresh and more repetitive in the middle (like others have said, everything is described as 'evil' for 20 or more scenes), and typos creep up in the last third.

I only recommend this with a walkthrough. The difficulty is frequently just from poor puzzle design, and not from hard puzzles.

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 21 March 2013 at 4:15pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item