Another project to be recently greenlit on the Steam distribution platform, Chronology is an indie puzzle/platformer game set for release on Monday. While any handful of entries into the genre may seem like a dime a dozen, Chronology offers somewhat unique challenges and a vibrant art style to set itself a part.
Chronology follows a character known as the Inventor, who wakes up to a world torn asunder by his own creation dubbed the “Verve.” Once he sees this, the Inventor vows to find whoever abused his creation and teams up with a plucky time-stopping snail to make the journey. Yes, a time-stopping snail.
It may seem weird at first, but it actually works surprisingly well and make the puzzles that much more fun to solve. The Inventor uses his time-traveling device to take advantage of both the present and future terrains, while the Snail freezes time for the particularly fast-moving obstacles.
Chronology does feel reminiscent of Braid, another time-warping game, but the atmosphere is noticeably lighter and the time-traveling component is more focused at solving puzzles than undoing mistakes. For example, the Inventor taking a flower from the future, planting it in the present, then climbing its fully grown branches in the future to get to a new platform.
The story itself is nothing too special and keeps to the simplistic goal of the Inventor stopping his doomed future from happening. Where the game shines the most is in its beautiful art style, which is heavily influenced by Hayao Miyazaki and games such as Day of the Tentacle. The color palette utilized for the game is soft and vibrant, easily showing off the disparity between the past, present, and future time periods in the game. From the lush forest at the start, to a steampunk city broken down by the Verve’s effects, Chronology exceeds at creating exemplary backdrops.
Overall Chronology is a modest and entertaining experience. It never tries to be much more than a simple story with fun puzzles, which is why it’s shorter play time (about 2 hours) feels perfectly suited for it. Among the multitudes of puzzle/platformers emerging on Steam, Chronology is a nice contender for your time and dollar.
Chronology is developed by Osao Games and is available for $7.99 on the Steam store currently.