Super T.I.M.E. Force Preview: Contra on Crack

The explosion of indie developers and retro fever has led to a lot of titles with a beautiful, pixelated look. Developers Capybara Games were behind the well-received Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, but their other title is a different beast entirely.

Full of 16-bit firebursts, rocket-powered steel platforms, blinking letters screaming “GO!,” and enough exaggerated violence to fill a Saturday morning cartoon marathon, Super T.I.M.E. Force is a side-scrolling action game with a throwback feel and its tongue planted firmly in cheek. Players take control of one of four characters, rampaging through levels inspired by 80′s sci-fi shlock and classic console and arcade platformers.

Upon death, the game rewinds — in hilarious, VHS-tape style — to the beginning of the level, and you have to start over again. These lives are not lost, however. Moving through the level for a second (or third, or eighteenth) time, you’ll see the blurred outlines of your past selves moving inexorably towards their dates with certain doom. Except that this doom, in Super T.I.M.E. Force, is far from certain. The game allows you to retroactively monkey with your previous attempts at the level. Rush to take out the enemy that killed you last time around, and you can even save your past incarnation, resulting in important benefits.

Capybara representatives were quick to point out that the game will not be available this year — the game is a “one day a week” project that runs in parallel with the company’s other endeavors. That said, when it does come out (for XBLA, and possibly on Steam), all those days are likely to bear explosive fruit.


Game Front is on-site at PAX East all weekend (April 6-8), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!

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