Fight robots and dodge cars in time-bending shooter Tick Tock Bang Bang

Comparisons to Superhot are going to arrive superfast for Tick Tock Bang Bang, a first-person shooter where time stops moving when you do. To be fair, time doesn't really stop when you stop, it just slows to a crawl. To be fairer, the developers of Tick Tock Bang Bang, Dejobaan Games, seem perfectly aware that its time-bending system is a lot like Superhot's, because on one level a giant, spinning, laser-emitting robot repeats in a deep voice: "Super. Bot. Super. Bot."

In TTBB, you proceed through a series of progressively more difficult levels, using your time powers to protect you from hovering robots, exploding androids, roughly one billion laser beams, and a heck of a lot of automobiles. You start with no weapons, using your time-slowing powers to dodge lasers while you move from one end of the level to another. Soon you're given a short-ranged electric taser, which lets you blow up hoverbots provided you can sidestep their weapons and get close enough.

Missile-firing enemies will drop their missiles when they die, turning your taser into a rocket launcher, and letting you do that cool thing where you slow down time, aim and fire your missile, then strafe away as time speeds up and your rocket splashes home. Later, you can sometimes find an EMP grenade to take out the bigger robots, which fly overhead dragging laser beams through your path.

Above, you can see the suicide bots, who run straight at you and explode unless you detonate them, or cause them to detonate themselves by running into an obstruction. They're a real pain, because you have no hit points in Tick Tock. If something hits you—an explosion, a laser, a rocket—you're dead and you have to begin the level again. A few of the levels are a bit long, but even after dying multiple times I haven't gotten frustrated in any of the 35 or so levels I've played.

It can feel a little repetitive: there's only so many times I can easily dodge a couple rockets and shock a couple hoverbots to death before I start wishing for a greater variety of enemies. Still, the theme of the levels change often enough, and there's plenty of mixing and matching of threats, obstacles, and enemies, and new elements like jump pads are added as you progress, so I haven't felt bored or unchallenged.

There are leaderboards for each level (I am ranked first for one level, which I am sure will not last). There are also tools for designing your own levels and robots, which can be shared through the Steam Workshop. 

Sometimes, there are cars. Sometimes, there are a whole lot of cars. There are a couple Frogger-like levels, where you have to time-scoot across several lanes of traffic (including one where those damn exploding androids are chasing you). And the bridge level above, where after killing a few robots, two garbage trucks came plowing through a parade of white cars, knocking them around like bowling pins. Being crushed by cars is probably the most common death for me so far in Tick Tock.

Mind you, I'm not complaining. Getting crushed by cars is fun, and so is Tick Tock Bang Bang so far. You can grab it off Steam or the Humble Store.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.