Sometime this week Marty McFly should be warping into our time period to discover holographic sharks, hoverboards and flying cars. Also, holographic sharks, hoverboards and flying cars will surely be invented any day now. To celebrate this, this week we’re hosting series of time travel themed games: we’re going Back to the New Retro!
In Time Stone, a routine potions lesson goes awry when your professor gets kidnapped by the Emperor Ming-wannabe warlock Garglewart, and it’s up to you, his plucky young student, to figure out the mystery of the eponymous time stone to save the day. Time Stone is a short, free, point ‘n click adventure game in classic Lucasarts style.
Time Stone takes heavy cues from classic Lucasarts adventures, with quirky characters sharing random banter and jokes. Your professor may be in mortal danger, but there’s always time for a good sandwich in my opinion. As you probably guessed from the name, the time stone will indeed lead to some time travel shenanigans, although being such a short game it won’t last long so you won’t need to worry about causality or other paradoxes here.
The game has a notably simplified click interface – utilising just the left mouse button to interact and right clicking to look. While I can see the advantages to not needing to know whether to “push”, “pull”, or “move” a lever, it’s also a slight shame to be so minimalist at the cost of at least some level of complexity. The humour, while colourful and quirky, does sometimes rely on toilet humor jokes (the magic word is “Wiener” for example), which while not particularly offensive didn’t really feel necessary: Don’t Shit Your Pants is probably the most competent master of that domain. Nonetheless, Time Stone offers up a bit of character along with its classic ‘find the right object to use somewhere’ action that its progenitors were so famous for. There’s a small instance of pixel hunting trickery but nothing rage inducing, and overall, you can complete it in about 20 minutes, making for a nice coffee-break adventure.