You’d be forgiven for thinking that we’ve seen pretty much everything the genre has to offer, but Time Surfer has a wee trick up its sleeve.
In terms of mechanics (stress on ‘mechanics’), there’s not a great deal of originality in Time Surfer.
Essentially you’re leaping over a series of peaks and troughs, and tapping the right of the screen pushes your little Time Surfer toward the ground. Ideally, you want to land on a downward slope to keep your momentum up.
As we’ve seen in so many of these games, there’s added incentive to keep moving in the form of instant death – approaching from the left of the screen.
There are also gaps in the terrain, and hazards threatening to kill your momentum – or just kill you, period.
That much is familiar. But the left of the screen is where Time Surfer gets interesting.
See, tapping Time Surfer’s virtual hourglass rewinds time. Brilliant. You can use it whenever you like, whether it’s to correct a botched landing, or – more importantly – to go back and avoid death.
There is, of course, a limit to how much you can use Time Surfer’s rewind feature; the bar at the top is fuelled by purple gems, which are scattered throughout the game.
Great stuff, but Time Surfer’s greatness doesn’t end there. Far from it.
Firstly, Time Surfer is notable for its vivid psychedelic colour schemes, including blues and pinks and purples. It looks great – and that extends to the old school graphics, too.
There’s also the familiar ‘mission’ scheme, with various tasks such as ‘Collect X pieces of cake’ and ‘Touch the sky X times’. Completing missions unlocks pets with unique abilities. Rubber Ducky, for example, recovers from one pit, while Dragon gives a huge initial speed boost.
There’s also a ton of stuff in Time Surfer’s shop (or ‘Time Capsule’), including different surfers, vehicles, and skins.
Oh, and I still haven’t mentioned Time Surfer’s ultra-difficult Hell Zone, or the awesome soundtrack. But you get the idea. All in all, Time Surfer is pretty great.
- Looks great
- Sounds great
- The rewind feature
- The pets
- The shop
- Technically, not hugely original
Summary: Far from being another run-of-the-mill side-scrolling runner type thing, Time Surfer shows that there’s life in the old dog yet. Buy.
Price: 69p @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.