NS Review – Timespinner (Switch)

Timespinner is a yet another 2D pixel side scrolling Metroidvania with RPG elements but is it worth the time to take for a spin on Nintendo Switch? We play as Lunais and have an epic time traveling quest to save the Qaelan clan from the evil invading Lachiem empire.

If that’s not evil looking I don’t know what is.

The gameplay is a very smooth typical Metroidvania affair but Timespinner comes with a nice amount of weaponry in the shape of orbs. You equip an orb in each hand and bash evil doers heads in with their magical powers of summoning axes, lasers and other goodies, there’s also special magic attacks and assist powers such as burning enemies or a shield to block projectiles. You have one super magical power too, the ability to stop time using the sand of time, this is really important when fighting bosses and to freeze enemies and use them as climbing posts to reach secret areas.

Burn baby burn.

The world is made up of many many very small areas however each time you leave and enter an area all the enemies are back with avengence. This is great if you want to grind but not so fun when you’re exploring and haven’t worked out how to kill an enemy without taking damage yet.

Save points recover your health and sand of time and are littered around nicely but on a portable title I’d much rather be able to save anywhere than leave my Switch on standby all day because I haven’t got a save point yet.

So true.

You can see influences from great games all over the place in Timespinner with the main inspirations being Chrono Trigger and Castlevania but my favourite is how one aspect reminds of the Tales of games cross Pokémon as Timespinner features very well incorporated drop in multiplayer. As you adventure around destroying all in your path (as all good adventurers do) you collect a very few familiars. You pick one of these not quite pocket sized monsters to join your wanton destruction with the option for your little buddy to be controlled by a friend. Your buddy takes on a Tails role from Sonic 2 in that they help only a tiny bit but are invincible, perfect for a young child to enjoy Timespinner along with you.

Your first familiar is cute little flying dragon.

For a Metroidvania there is A LOT of text to read in Timespinner. Personally I love this, the story is really fleshed out and pretty epic, it is as interesting as most RPGs and not as simple as it may first seem. You even slowly unlock optional back story to read to learn more about the history and worlds involved within the game through optional side quests and just finding bits and bobs laying about. There’s a very tongue in cheek, fourth wall breaking sense of humour seen throughout Timespinner. I loved how you can go to an empire library which you need ninja skills to even navigate, start breaking all the lights without the the librarian raising an eyebrow in true old school RPG fashion, then conveniently find a security ID in a chest almost hidden in plain sight.

Best shop name ever.

The graphics are nice enough pixel art with a realistic Western twang to them which differentiates the look and feel of Timespinner enough to not just blend into the endless sea of modern pixel games. The Castlevania is strong in this one with extremely gothic backgrounds and style in general, it all works well together and while I wasn’t wowed by the graphics I’m not in the least bit disappointed by them either.

That’s one big hammer.

The sound effects are very good despite hearing slashes and lamps breaking in my sleep after my time with Timespinner with how frequently those effects appear. The sound effects really fit with the more realistic look of the character portraits in Timespinner. The music I didn’t really notice until thinking about it for review but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing I found it perfectly suited to the gothic nature of the game really adding to the atmosphere and blending in perfectly with the game in general.

There’s plenty to do in Timespinner if you enjoy good stories and exploration. It took me just over 8 hours completing most of the side quests but taking the more obvious probably not true ending. There is new game+ where you keep your level and equipment whilst unlocking a hard difficulty or you can jump back into your save to take on the endings you didn’t opt for first time(s). Though the two ending I’ve experienced are more or less the same I will be going back to get the less obvious ending.

There’s a good few side quests.

While the gameplay isn’t as fast paced and varied as Dead Cells and the story isn’t as epic as Dragon Quest what Timespinner does is get pretty much everything right. I can’t really think of anything bad to say about the game, absolutely everything is done very well, the gameplay is fun, the story is excellent, the audio and graphics are good, the leveling is simple but adds to the game, it has drop in multiplayer, it doesn’t feel too short or too long, it has new game + and multiple endings. It will be interesting to see if in the future Timespinner is remembered as a classic or a fondly remembered by some hidden gem. If you’re a fan of Metroidvanias and interesting stories then Timespinner is definitely up your alley.

Someone’s hot some anger issues.

Timespinner is available digitally on Nintendo Switch from 4th June 2019 for £15.99/€17.79/$19.99. Thank you to Chucklefish for providing the download code

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