Freeze time and ride bullets in TimeStill 2

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.

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 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.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.