Timespinner is a Metroidvania title combining action, platforming, and RPG elements to create a unique gaming experience. SNES-era-style graphics, a brilliant soundtrack, and an enticing blend of gameplay elements work together to spice up the Metroidvania formula and create an indie that’s truly one-of-a-kind. Timespinner’s story follows a young woman named Lunais, the latest chosen “timespinner” tasked with traveling back in time (in a machine aptly called a “timespinner”) to change history and save her people from impending doom. But on the night she is chosen, invaders descend upon her village; she flees with her mother towards the timespinner, but only Lunais manages to escape. When she awakens in the past, the time-traveling machine is in pieces and scattered throughout the world. This is when Lunais’ revenge-fueled journey begins.
Throughout your adventure, you’ll explore a large world of interconnected levels by way of platforming, puzzle-solving, and boss-fighting. You can also stop time for a short while, which makes for fun puzzles and unique approaches for taking on bosses. As you progress, you’ll learn a neat time-travel mechanic that allows you to travel between two points in time, expanding your map into two timelines. Just keep in mind that the actions in the past do affect the future, so be careful! For most of your adventure, you’ll navigate the world through platforming and take down foes with equipable orbs that serve as weapons. Some orbs have punch-like features, while others transform into swords or hammers. Combat feels intuitive, and the fighting controls are tight.
Timespinner’s main RPG elements are found in the inventory and menus. You can level up your orbs, clothes, and self to grow stronger; you can also buy and find consumables—like potions and ethers—that recoup health and magic. Plus, there are little creatures called “familiars,” which help you battle and can be controlled by a second player for co-op fun. These features aren’t typically present in Metroidvania titles, so they add freshness and depth to Timespinner’s gameplay. But if you’re not a fan of RPGs, don’t worry—Timespinner is in no way a typical RPG, and its RPG-like elements never feel boring or tedious.
On top of its stellar gameplay, Timespinner shines with its graphics and sounds. The 16-bit pixel art sets the mood and shows the perfect amount of detail. From the character art to the textured platforms to the atmospheric backgrounds, these graphics look like they stepped right out of the SNES era, and we’re in love. The soundtrack isn’t quite as dark and moody as the graphics; it’s fairly upbeat and hopeful, almost like something you’d expect to hear in a Super Smash Bros. menu.
If you are a fan of Metroidvania titles, you should definitely check out Timespinner. Its RPG-infused gameplay, tight controls, and unique mechanics make for a one-of-a-kind experience. The pacing and map design are spot-on and help make for a memorable playthrough. In terms of replayability, Timespinner offers New Game+, several difficulty settings after beating the game, and the opportunity to scour the world in pursuit of that coveted 100% clear. So whether you’re burned out on the usual Metroidvania-style game or you’re looking for a great indie on Switch, Timespinner will not disappoint.
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – Chucklefish
Developers – Lunar Ray Games
Price – $19.99
Genre – Action, Adventure, Role-Playing
Size – 401 MB
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.