Puzzle platformers are most commonly played with the side view, run and jump gameplay mechanics left behind from the early ages of the video game legacy. South African game developers, Skobbejak Games, gives gamers a chance to dive into the genre with the less common first-person approach to a surreal, puzzle platforming adventure, Tyd wag vir Niemand, or as translated into English from the original Afrikaans language – Time Waits for Nobody.
Receiving a message from an unspecified agency, you’re instructed to find and rescue the long-lost science team located somewhere in the frozen tundra of Antarctica. Upon arrival of the massive machine you’re sent to discover, the scientists are nowhere to be found, as the overall feeling of desolation sets in. The radio signal between you and HQ becomes non-existent, and now you’re left inside of this strange machine you know nothing about, equipped with an unusual device with unimagined powers.
After being transported to a world where physics and time don’t apply to the everyday norm, you find yourself in the midst of uncovering the ability to slow down time drastically in favour of your need and want to escape this paranormal world. The only way that seems viable is to endure the timeless world and make your way through the turbulent and puzzling unknown.
The gameplay of Tyd wag vir Niemand is simple and vague but leaves a biting feeling of rewarding frustrations amidst dream-like level designs. Simple puzzles quickly turn into confusions based off the appropriately vague level descriptions. When thrust into an unknowing world, one is left without the most important tips to succeed; the same goes for the world of Niemand.
As the game’s story progresses, specific information becomes known in the vaguely familiar worlds. The project to restore Earth to its original form – before the great catastrophe – is centred in the real world outside of this mysterious dimension, but somehow this world and the one you know are connected. These dimensions serve as personal and distinct memories from your character’s past. What they have to do with restoring the Earth is another mystery that lies in the depths of Niemand.
Whether platforms are rising up and down, shifting side to side, rotating in circular motions, rolling frantically, rapidly shifting pipes to walk across or focusing your camera precisely on target for a designated time period, the ability to slow time around you is the key element to passing through these puzzled worlds. Some pose simple, obvious solutions, while some levels require a lot of thought, patience, as well as plenty of trial and error to solve this meticulous paradox.
The sounds of Tyd wag vir Niemand are minimal, but what you do hear provides the necessary ingredients for an immersive playthrough. With a frantic score plucking away at every nerve, the game does a great job of directing the player and placing a driving sense of urgency as time is slowed. A specific amount of seconds is set when you slow time, acknowledged by a slow chiming “tick” which increases in speed, in turn signalling the ability is soon to deactivate. Guided by the sounds and songs of the game, the player is sure to feel a true sense of exploration, thought and tranquillity along the path of the mysterious dimensions.
A unique puzzle platforming experience set in an interesting and mysterious world provides Tyd wag vir Niemand with an authentic and original game design. Frustrating gameplay mechanics are soon easily adapted to and the curiosity of what this world is and why you were transported here keep your attention throughout the short indie game. Skobbejak Games delivers an astounding experience filled with head-scratching puzzles and mechanics, within a surreal world for gamers to enjoy and explore in Tyd wag vir Niemand.