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Timekeepers

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Vulcan Software

GAME PUBLISHER:Vulcan Software

Copyright 2002, Vulcan Software

Timekeepers is a fun but little-known Windows remake of an Amiga-only underdog of the same name. Although not as complex as Lemmings, Timekeepers will draw you in with charming graphics and addictive levels that are just as satisfying to solve as the ones in Psygnosis’ classic. Released as an “episodic shareware” title, the first episode is free, but additional ones cost $7.50 each. As for why you should take a look, this review at Quandary says it all:

“It’s the Timekeepers job to save the world and it’s your job to save the Timekeepers. In this first episode, Hieronymus World, there are 15 levels and when you press ‘start’ the platoon of Timekeepers are on the move. They are lined up at the bottom of the screen and if you don’t immediately intervene to stop them, or set them on the right track, you could easily lose a handful. These opening seconds are critical and a few of the levels demand quick thinking (it will take a few tries) but this is the extent of the frantic action. It’s not too hectic if you don’t mind a casualty or two and you’ll improve with practice. For the rest of the time you can just relax and concentrate on your strategy.

The world of Hieronymus scrolls up and down and it’s a maze of pathways, impenetrable barriers, enclosures and death-defying lakes. And there’s some hungry monsters waiting to gobble up reckless Timekeepers. Timekeepers is wholly mouse controlled. To help you with your job you have at your disposal a panel of action icons including arrows for instructing Platoon members to walk in any of four directions, a wait icon to slow them down if necessary, one for jumping obstacles, one for operating switches to raise bridges or open gates, and one named ‘aggression’ which dispenses with waiting monsters in a puff of smoke.

It’s an amusing game, not too difficult, but some of the levels will get you thinking especially if you take the red herrings too seriously. You can direct Platoon members individually (sometimes you need to do this to remove various barriers) but you can also signpost a route for the team to follow one after the other. Timekeepers was originally released for the Amiga in 1995. This port to the PC lets all of us play it and what a good idea. I played this first episode fairly quickly because once I started I was ‘history’. I saved every single Timekeeper but you don’t need to so long as you have eight survivors to end with so you can disarm the eight nuclear devices.

If you like this sort of challenge zap right on over to Vulcan Software and download it … it’s free. You’ll also have to download the Vulcan Portal to play it but that’s free too. The catch is that if you want to play the continuing episodes (I do) then it will cost you a few dollars.”



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