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By: Ken Anderson
Published by: Vulcan Software
Time is relative, apparently. Time also flies when you're having fun,
according to the saying. I must be having fun.
When TimeKeepers first landed in the hallway of FabWhack Towers, I didn't
think much of it. My summary for this review was already planned:
"Top-View Lemmings". A cute, simple little game which involved shoving
cute, simple little characters around cute, simple little landscapes.
A week later, my view has become much more objective. Cute, yes. Little,
no. Simple ... if only.
It _is_ top-view Lemmings. You act as coordinator to 14 TimeKeepers, who
have to be guided from their starting position in each level to the
teleport exit. Directional arrows are dropped onto the
vertically-scrollable landscape which instruct the next TimeKeeper who
makes contact with it to move in that direction. Just like in Lemmings,
there are hazards to be avoided: water, bottomless pits, land mines.
And so it goes on for 15 levels. It's easy as first; take one TimeKeeper,
work out where he should go, what he should avoid, and plonk all the arrows
in the correct place. First level over and done with.
Then things get a little tricky. Switches have to be pressed to open doors
and activate bridges, and this demands one of the little chaps to be there
to press it. TimeKeepers can be made to jump certain things or made to
wait around, otherwise they tend to wander around, bumping into each other
and getting killed with increasing regularity. Unlike Lemmings,
TimeKeepers don't arrive one by one at a certain position, the all arrive
in the level at the same time. Before you know it, the one arrow you put
down has caused one guy to bang into another, and 10 of them are off to a
watery grave. That's before you meet the enemies who are wandering about
It's frustrating, but addictive stuff. The graphics are fine, the sound
functional but unremarkable. At only 13UKP, you can't really complain: it
will appeal to the puzzle fan who doesn't mind playing a level 20 times to
get it right.
Pros: Easy to understand and play. Addictive and challenging.
Cons: Not enough levels to satisfy the seasoned puzzler. Can be _very_
frustrating. [This is being alleviated by a new low-cost level disk.
Overall: Throw this on your hard drive, and you'll play it until it's
finished. Just try to stop yourself clicking that icon ...
Vulcan Software Ltd.
72 Queens Road
Hants PO2 7NA