Chronology (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 29.05.2014 2

Review for Chronology on PC

Chronology is the first Steam release for Indie developer Osao Games and comes courtesy of the Steam Greenlight programme. Released on 12th May on Steam and coming to iOS in the future, Chronology employs a clever time manipulation mechanic for players to solve puzzles, allowing for travel between the present and future, as well as giving the player the ability to stop time altogether all in the goal of saving the present from a dystopian future.

With beautifully drawn landscapes and cute character designs, as well as a catchy soundtrack, it is simply a shame that the game is let down so much in its minimal playtime, child friendly difficulty and a complete lack of incentive to replay.

Chronology's story begins with good intentions; an introductory cut-scene presenting a world on the brink of disaster due to overuse of a substance known as 'vapor,' used to power all of humanity's machines. It is a powerful eco message that has many allusions to the humanity of real life. The pity is that this initial promise of something deep and meaningful never materialises beyond the level of a children's cartoon. Indeed the plot has barely begun before it is over with extremely limited levels of exposition and an extremely forgettable villain, beaten literally with the press of one button.

When players first take control of the main character - a cute old professor and his time travelling device - the game's strongest feature is on show to see. Chronology's world is a beautiful and contrasting one, taking advantage of the professor's device to show the colourful and vibrantly drawn present world, against a bleak, rain-filled future with broken machinery and devastation potentially caused by humanity. Likewise the second character players control is a humorous little talking snail with the ability to freeze time altogether.

Screenshot for Chronology on PC

It is through the combination of these two powers that Chronology delivers its puzzle-based gameplay, freezing time as the snail for the professor to jump across moving platforms or finding items in the past and bringing them back to the present to climb over obstacles. Very rarely do the puzzles evolve beyond simply jumping over things - only once or twice requiring more than a modicum of thought or precise timing.

Sound design is definitely Chronology's other strong suit with a soundtrack that seems professionally composed and is a cut above many Indie games. The characters' actual voices are mixed bag. The professor has a pleasant voice reminiscent of a kindly old German man, yet his snail companion definitely has the potential to grate with an irritating child-like voice and corny dialogue.

Given the aforementioned dialogue, it is debateable if this is a blessing or a curse, but story content is extremely limited and simply involves a 20 second cut-scene at the end of each of the game's eight chapters. If the chapter number seems small, it is, and undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of the game comes from its shameful one-two hour long linear story, with no reason to replay.

Screenshot for Chronology on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

For the first 10 seconds, Chronology seems like it will be delivering a memorable story of saving the planet from humanity's folly. Instead, hopes are dashed and the game descends into a muddling, boring tale that is finished in the blink of an eye and without any challenge. Children might get some fun out of the puzzles and the cute characters but overall any gamer looking for a worthwhile and complete experience should look elsewhere, especially at the current retail price point.

Developer

Osao

Publisher

Osao

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Well, that's rather disappointing - it looked really good. However, clearly looks are indeed deceiving!

By the way, welcome to the team, Chris, and thanks for the review Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Indeed...


Yes and thanks to you guys for having me. I'm looking forward to writing many more reviews for Cubed3 and working as part of the team.

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie

There are 1 members online at the moment.