Released back in 1996 Timelapse explores ancient times and their civilisations through the use of puzzles, exploration and most impressively multiple endings. Following a similar formula to Myst players will explore the areas of Easter Island, Egypt, Maya, Anasazi and Atlantis for a total of 5 unique and diverse chapters for a total of over 50 puzzles that use a range of mechanics to ensure the variety that Timelapse offers was some of the best in the genre at it’s release date.
Accepting the role as silent adventure players are called on by their friend Professor Alexander Nichols to Easter Island where the professor believes he has been able to find a discovery that links all the way back to the lost city of Atlantis. Upon arriving at the island players find the professor is gone with only his journal and camera remaining. With the remote location players quickly succumb to the realisation that there is nobody else able to help find the Professor and bring him home which starts your exploration of the Easter Island.
After exploring the immediate area players find the Professor’s camp which has been seemingly abandoned entirely by the Professor. With further exploration players uncover the Timegate within a cave which serves as the central plot line for Timelapse by allowing players to travel back in time.
On the other side of this strange Timegate is the civilisations of Egypt, Maya and Anasazi all of which offer a realistic (but also deserted) recreation of these ancient civilisations. Players are free to adventure into these individual civilisations in any order although the Professor’s journal does indicate the order that he explored the locations and generally implied that players should follow the Professor’s footsteps.
Each of the civilisations are explored by the player where a series of tasks and puzzles must be completed within each before taking a time jump to the next location. This process requires to locate and collect a strange Gene Pod device from each culture and place it inside the Timegate to eventually access Atlantis. While these individual locations are mostly empty with few other characters a recurring visitor is a robot known as The Guardian.
Atlantis is the final chapter to Timelapse where players finally track down the Professor who is still very much in need of assistance. This is where players make the final decision that dictates the game ending that they receive which ties in with the aforementioned Guardian that they have encountered in each of the cultures.
Puzzles are central to all of the gameplay in Timelapse with a great variety on offer within each civilisation and between them. Most puzzles also pull from the theme of the current culture you’re exploring such as using the Mayan calendar during the Maya portion of your adventure.
Types of puzzles are also intriguing in Timelapse with your typical logical puzzles blending in with more complex puzzles that rely on audio or your understanding of mathematics and even some basic inventory based puzzles through a single slot inventory. Overall the difficultly level curve is consistent throughout although there are some sharp spikes in difficultly that can slow down your progress significantly and seem to come out of nowhere.
Additional gameplay components rely on the Professor’s journal which can be read for background information to each of the locations. Alternatively the camera allows for up to 36 pictures taken from the game world for you to document your search for the Professor. Interface wise all of this is done through point and clicks with some shortcuts that can move players several moves at once.
- Travel through time to visit 3 distinct lost civilisations.
- Point and click adventure with a vast range of puzzle variety and challenge.
- Use items from the environment to resolve the mysteries of the Timegate.
- Chase your professor friend to Atlantis and make a key story ending decision.
- Read the journal of the Professor and take pictures of your adventure.
Review Platform: PC