Freeze time and ride bullets in TimeStill 2

Tom Senior

Timestill 2

TimeStill 2 is a grainy, atmospheric little platformer from Zack Banack. All you have to do to do is collect the stars within each arena to progress to the next, but it's never simple when time manipulation's involved. Add swinging blades, lasers and pools of acid and you have yourself a real humdinger of a platformer, and all for the price of an 8MB download.

There's something quite menacing about the sombre, monastic choir that serenades the little blob from level to level. I felt as though I was guiding a little soul through a dark, grainy purgatory of slippery ledges and stomping pillars. There are 30 increasingly fiendish levels to traverse, with deadly new obstacles introduced every few arenas.

Air vents can blast you up to new platforms.

You can tap 'z' at any point to freeze time. The level turns white, the dim cogs that surround the level stop turning and the deathtraps within are left suspended. In this mode, bullets fired from the machine gun wall emplacements become useful platforms. By freezing time at just the right point, it's possible to turn a volley of projectiles from serveral wall cannons into a staircase, granting access to that elusive final star.

There's a catch. If you grab a star while time is frozen, the world will spring back into life. In many cases stars are suspended above pools of deadly liquid, or placed directly in the firing line of a gun. In these instances the levels become more like puzzles in which you to fetch the stars in a certain order, leaving the most dangerous ones 'til last. As soon as you grab the final star on a level you're teleported out of harm's way.

The levels become more and more colourful as you progress.

The controls can feel pretty slippery at times, and I suffered a few too many needless deaths because of the lack of precise movement. Killer obstacles can sometimes be hard to spot in the grainy levels as well, but putting these minor frustrations aside, TimeStill 2 is a fine little free platformer, and a great way to while away an idle lunch break.

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