This is usually where I discuss the game’s story and what makes it exciting or interesting to play. Unfortunately, with Timelie, I can’t do that because I’m not quite sure what the story is. In Timelie, you play as a girl who has precognition and can see the future. Using this power, you can move backwards and forwards through time to avoid obstacles and enemies. Then you find a cat. That’s about all the story I was able to garner from my time with Timelie. However, I admit that I didn’t finish the game. After playing for two hours, I decided I couldn’t keep going.
Timelie is a puzzle game played over many levels. At the beginning of each level, the girl activates her precognition power, and you can see all obstacles and paths that enemies will take. With this information, you can then make a path for the girl to follow to get to the exit. This may include pressing switches to open and close doors and hiding out of sight of enemies. Initially, I found the controls very clunky, and I started getting frustrated with the game. Eventually, I worked out how to play, and it made it a more enjoyable experience.
If you get spotted by an enemy, they’ll chase and kill you, but that’s ok in Timelie because you can reverse back through your path and change it to avoid them in the future. Once you make it to the end, a replay happens of your progression through the level. Personally, after rewinding and fast-forwarding my way through the level, I wasn’t interested in seeing a replay, given by that point I had already played through multiple times as I solved the puzzle. Fortunately, you can skip them.
This is essentially the entire game of Timelie. Every level started to feel the same. The only difference was that you befriend a cat and need to play the levels as both of them. The cat is good at hiding and distracting enemies so that the girl can evade them. Using both characters powers, get both of them to the end of the level safely.
Then repeat, and again. I made it to Chapter 3 when I didn’t have it in me to keep going through different versions of the same puzzle and decided it wasn’t worth playing to see if there would be an explanation to it all at the end.
Art and sound design
I think I let the beautiful art of Timelie influence my decision to play it. With gorgeous key art and level design, I was hooked before I even started the game. Unfortunately, the levels all look the same, and appreciation of the art starts to wear off.
The soundtrack for Timelie is about 30 minutes long. It adds some nice atmosphere to the game, though it can come across as repetitive. I’m not sure if I just noticed the same song when I was playing, or if they all sound very similar.
I have had Timelie on my wishlist for a long time and was excited to give it a go. Unfortunately, the lack of story and repetitive levels meant I didn’t enjoy myself. It is only the second time on Find the Strawberry where I didn’t finish the game before reviewing. If you enjoy straight puzzle games then you may enjoy Timelie. Many of the steam reviewers love the game for its stealth and puzzle elements.
Want to know more?
Platforms: PC (Steam & Gog)
Genre: Puzzle, stealth, strategy
** Find The Strawberry received a free key for Timelie from the Indie Game Collective. All opinions are my own **
I’ve had Timelie on my Wishlist for the longest time as well. The art style got me interested and I liked the idea of the rewind mechanic in a stealth puzzle game. Sad to hear it didn’t end up being a game that you enjoyed
I think if you’re ok with it only being a puzzle game, you can enjoy it, but if you want to know the ‘why’ behind the game then it will come up lacking.