No Time to Explain review

In 2011 one of the first majorly successful Kickstarter video game campaigns was released in two parts. 2 years on it was repackaged into a single game and released on STEAM. Unfortunately for tinyBuild GAMES it received a largely negative response due its poor handling, coding and Windows 8 based issue of handling Flash. It seemed like No Time to Explain might vanish without a trace… and with no time to explain, either. Four years since its release in 2011, tinyBuild GAMES has released a remastered version of No Time To Explain for Xbox One. The updated version retains the same zany and humorous premise of the original. A future-version of yourself is kidnapped by a giant crab, leaving behind a jetpack. It is up to you to save your future-self and defeat monsters across alternate timelines. In addition to the fast-paced jetpack platforming of the original, tinyBuild GAMES has worked on a number of new features for No Time to Explains console release. The game now has controller support, four-player local co-op and a new soundtrack.

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No Time To Explain is a simplistic 2D platformer with a movement mechanic that changes every few levels. The most common method is a Jetpack left behind during the opening of the game. Fired in one direction, it pushes the character in another direction. Careful as you go, it will take a little while to master the mechanics. Other movement mechanics introduced as you progress through No Time To Explain include a shotgun blast, a swinging parabolic arc and sticky wall-climbing. Each stage of No Time to Explain has a number of levels which must be mastered using these mechanics before moving onto the end level boss. I’ve missed proper end level bosses.

The challenge to No Time To Explain comes with the issue that each level (which are tiny in size) need to be completed using exact, precise movements. Unfortunately due to the nature of the movement mechanic, exact and precise movements can be difficult to achieve and you may find yourself attempting levels 10+ times later in the game. That said, the games difficulty progression is a little warped with some levels seeming stupidly easy with others near impossible. The end boss fights for me where the highlight – reminiscent of old arcade classics with dodgy AI and poor controls. Although frustrating when attempting to finish the squirrel boss for the umpteenth time, a massive sense of achievement and happiness quickly follows.

The soundtrack is simple and employs a fun 8-bit arcade vibe which immediately takes you back to a simpler time and invites nostalgia. This remastered version of No Time to Explain has moved away from the hand-drawn animation of the original and looks washed out in places, which is partly on purpose. I didn’t experience any lag, tearing or screen freezing during my time with the game.

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Taking a game that was technically flawed and releasing on Xbox One was always going to be a massive challenge for tinyBuild GAMES. They did the best could and to be fair to them, the game is enjoyable and challenging. The movement mechanics are interesting and keep you working hard throughout the levels and the fun 8-bit soundtrack will definitely keep you smiling throughout.

Thanks to Xbox and tinyBuild GAMES for supporting TiX

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