Chronology is a fun platformer hindered only by its short length and lack of replay value. The focus on time travel offers us the ability to view this beautifully crafted world in two time periods while the ability to switch between two characters forces us to utilize each characters strengths, sometimes in tandem, to solve puzzles. The switching between time periods and characters may seem daunting at first glance, but I assure you the actual execution is very well done and relatively seamless.
Chronology begins with the Old Inventor, an older gentleman who created a technology, the Verve, that threatened to potentially destroy his home of Metropolis. Before letting his technology destroy his home, he simply walked away. Unfortunately for him, his mentor stole his technology and is now plotting to destroy Metropolis. Now it’s up to the Old Inventor and his magical time piece to stop his old mentor. Early on in his journey, he meets a talking snail, aptly named Snail, who has the ability to freeze time. The two of them must work together to save present day Metropolis by solving puzzles in the past and future.
“Sadly, there is absolutely no reason to reply this game at all.”
The Old Inventor can visit two time periods; before (the past) or after (the future). ‘Before’ is a happier, peaceful time filled with green grass and the occasional citizen, whereas ‘After’ is a darker, more broken time, filled with broken machinery and buildings. In addition, the Old Inventor has the ability to jump and to call Snail (which brings Snail to him instantly) – so the bulk of the platforming will be done with him. Snail can freeze time, and his protective shell prevents him from being killed by things like green goop, saw blades, etc. His shell also offers the Old Inventor a much needed stepping stone for some of the higher to reach places. Switching between the two characters and the two time periods is needed to solve most puzzles, especially during the latter half of the game.
The game features a Story mode and that’s all she wrote. Once you’ve completed a level, you can replay it through the level select menu, but there really is no reason to. Sadly, there is absolutely no reason to reply this game at all. There are no Steam Achievements to earn or collectibles to collect, you simply work your way through the eight levels. There’s no multiplayer aspect to the game, but I can’t help but wonder how much better the game could have been with a co-op option where one person controls Snail and the other person controls the Old Inventor. In the very least, a co-op mode may have encouraged another play through with a friend, doubling the incredibly short journey.
The game’s graphical highlight was the seamless switch between time periods where we could see the difference between ‘Before’ and ‘After’. Since every part of the game features both time periods, you get a good feeling of how this game’s world evolved over a period of time. The two main characters were each nicely designed, and I couldn’t help but laugh at some of Snails animations, such as when he’s whistling.
The game is fully voiced, and for the most part, the voice acting is good. The Snail’s voice was just teetering on the edge of annoying, but that’s just a minor complaint. The music however, is where this game absolutely shines. I’m even listening to the game’s soundtrack as I write this review – that Chronology Theme is a beautiful piece of music.
“For the price of a meal at a fast food joint, you can spend a short afternoon engrossed in this little gem.”
This game is very good, however according to Steam, it only took me two hours to complete. There are zero reasons for me to come back to the game – no collectibles to find or Steam Achievements to earn (there are Steam Trading Cards though). The game doesn’t offer harder difficulties or bonus levels. With that said, the game is only five bucks. For the price of a meal at a fast food joint, you can spend a short afternoon engrossed in this little gem. I really hope you do. I also hope the developers are hard at work on a sequel!
*** PC code provided by the publisher ***
- Clever uses of time travel mechanics
- Steam Trading Cards
- Awesome soundtrack
- Very brief game (8 levels)
- No replay value
- No achievements