A trailer for indie game Time Flies appeared at Summer Game Fest's Day of the Devs segment today, and shows a little fly trundling through a home in stark, 1-bit visuals. Old timey jazz crackles through a record player in the other room, and our hero languidly hovers near a glue trap. And then it's dead, stuck to the trap like its confederates, game over, reload.
In Time Flies, you take control of a fly to bop around a house accomplishing goals on your "Bucket List," like "Go on Tour" or "Learn an Instrument." Like a more melancholy Untitled Goose Game, these cryptic tasks have playful solutions: You "learn an instrument" by landing on a guitar's strings to strum it, and "go on tour" by riding a vinyl record around as it plays.
The final twist of Time Flies is that you only have about a minute's playtime before your little guy keels over, adjusted up or down based on what country you choose at the start of the game. Lucky scions of wealthy and powerful countries can push ninety seconds of playtime, while those from the global south have hauntingly little time. Co-creator Michael Frei notes that if you have a lower life expectancy, "you have a little bit less time to achieve the things you want in life."
With that framing, the Fly's very human-sounding to-do list takes on a new, very sad cast. Time Flies has the potential to be an interesting reckoning with your own mortality, as will as with your place in the world relative to others.
Time Flies is being developed by Michael Frei and Raphael Munoz, and you can follow development via its official website.