PAX Prime 2012 Preview – Super TIME Force

By: Michael Dao

Capybara Games first made a splash in 2011 with their indie adventure game, Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery. It was released shortly after the iPad 2 was released in the US and soon became one of the must play experiences on the platform. It received critical acclaim, and was soon ported to other platforms, including Windows, OS X and Linux. They are not the sort to rest on their laurels, and at PAX East 2012, they revealed to the world and their adoring fans what they were working on, and what we could expect to see from them next – Super TIME Force.

At first glance, Super TIME Force appears to be a two-dimensional side scrolling shooter very similar to Konami’s Contra for the Nintendo Entertainment System twenty five years ago. The art direction of the game is pixel art, and though it does bear some resemblance to that of Superbrothers, it is wholly a different creation. It’s a challenging game, and on my own play through of the demo that Capybara Games was showing to the public, it was only a few tens of seconds after I started playing that I died. However, it is at the point of death where the pure genius of this game is revealed to the player. Death, in many games, is a terminal point, a halting place where your progress ends, but it isn’t so in Super TIME Force. When a player dies, they are indeed sent to either the beginning of the game or their last checkpoint, but this time, they aren’t alone – they have the opportunity to select their character again, and this time they can go through the portion of the game they just played, but not alone, their ghost from the last play through is there, fighting along their side. Imagine a game of Super Meat Boy where the visions of your past attempts were made physical and were there to help. That’s what this game is like.

The idea of playing in conjunction with your past attempts to succeed at the game is one that’s tough to wrap your head around, but that’s only just the beginning. There are four characters to choose from at the beginning, and they all play differently. One is a standard soldier, one shoots a spready-type gun, and there’s a sniper to boot. There are also additional characters to unlock throughout the course of the game as well. What Capybara games has so far is a competent shooter, and on its own the characters, the art and environments would make this a good game. When the time replay self-cooperative gameplay is added, it takes this game to the next level. Those aren’t the only things that make this title potentially amazing. Superbrothers featured an incredible soundtrack, and it was one of the best aural experiences on iOS. People should probably expect no less from Super TIME Force.

Quality, new experiences are ofttimes rare in the world of gaming, which is why a lot of people watch independent developers, because that’s where a lot of real innovation comes from in this industry. Since seeing the title for the first time at PAX East, it’s clear that Capybara has been hard at work, adding new content to their upcoming title. When Super TIME Force finally hits us in 2013, we all should make sure that our televisions are ready. Oh, and make sure you watch the trailer in the embedded video up top. It’s probably the best video game trailer I’ve seen in 2012. Seriously.

Super TIME Force will be arriving to consoles near you in 2013.

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