Retro platformer Timespinner looks ambitious and authentic

Timespinner is a 2D Metroidvania-style platformer proudly inspired by the likes of Mega Man X, Star Ocean and of course Castlevania. It stars a young time-bender named Lunais seeking revenge against the evil empire that killed her family and banished her to a foreign world. 

Lunais's ability to manipulate time is central to Timespinner's interconnected world. Naturally, you can stop time to bypass obstacles like spikes and flames, but you also have access to less obvious tricks like freezing enemies in place and using them as platforms. It sounds like a system that's just built for "Aha!" moments. 

As well as time powers, Lunais wields several magic orbs with unique abilities. "Every Orb has both a unique melee and ranged-spell attack that grow in power the more you use them," developer Lunar Ray Games says. By defeating bosses, you can also earn 'entropy gems' to spend on new and upgraded abilities, letting you access new portions of the map. And as well as that, there are familiars Lunais can befriend too. 

Everything about Timespinners sounds pleasingly, distinctly Metroidvania, but for me its standout feature is the art. It's more polished and obviously runs more smoothly, but it genuinely looks like something from the early '90s. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just not every day we see an ostensibly retro platformer that looks this authentic. 

Timespinners has been in the works for nearly a decade. It began as a university project for solo developer Bodie Lee, who decided to refine it after graduating from college. Five years later, in July 2014, he turned to Kickstarter to support his expanded vision for the game. Timespinner's campaign raised $176,667—over triple its $50,000 goal. Lee founded Lunar Ray games that same year. 

In a recent Steam update, Lee said Timespinner is "getting closed to being finished," but he still doesn't have "a good idea of when the final release will be." 

Austin Wood
Staff writer, GamesRadar

Austin freelanced for PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and has been a full-time writer at PC Gamer's sister publication GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover-up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news, the occasional feature, and as much Genshin Impact as he can get away with.