Recently there's a lot of games - quests, usually - that come out not completed at once, but in episodes. I think, Telltale Games made that idea really popular, and now that's a pretty common way to quests to be released. In cases like that, I usually wait for all episodes to be released, and then just play them all at once, getting full game experience. So, recently I got me another one of these...
This is a story about girl named Max, who just turned 18 and recently returned to her hometown to attend a prestigious photography class in local high-school, since she wants to be a famous photographer. After experiencing bizarre nightmare about huge tornado destroying the town, she suddenly finds out she has power to rewind time. Which she proceeds to use to fix big and small injustices around her, along with her old-time friend Chloe. All while thinking about upcoming prophesied tragedy.
I have to admit this right here, at first the game didn't grab me at all. It's kinda hard to get excited about being 18 y.o. girl whose main artistic expression is taking selfies. And, to add to it, a lot of the characters you will interact with are high-school students, same age as the main heroine, speaking like kids do these days, and absorbed into their own silly high-school drama. Which is what you will have to deal with most of the time.
Additionally, I often don't trust games involving time travel, because they are impossible to keep logical, and at some point things would get completely ducked up and out of hand. Though, I have to give credit here, game itself understands that and uses that to its own advantage.
Let's take a break from talking about story (I will return to that) and talk technical details. As I said, this is an episodic game, so even if you get full version, it's separated into episodes. It plays like you would expect a quest to play, though, it's one of those games where story just progresses, without any real puzzles, so it's more of an interactive narrative where you make choices that change stuff later in the game.
Game does not have save feature. Instead, you use your time rewind ability to get the desired outcome. Which his the main mechanics of the game. You would talk to someone, and they won't reveal information you need. But you can get a clue from that conversation, rewind time, and start that conversation from the start, this time using that clue to get more out of dialogue. Also you can prevent (and set up) some events like that. And you can also use that ability to solve some of the spacial puzzles. When you rewind, game tends to show you the parts of the timeline where you made some important choices that could be remade.
In terms of graphics, game is alright. It's not too impressive, but since photography plays important part here, there are some nice visuals, majestic, funny and sad. Upcoming tornado looks damn impressive, and it's preceded but some other weird shit which also provides for some nice imagery.
Music of the game is very nice, and plays quite a big part in creating the atmosphere. This is one of those games where you really notice the tunes that are played, and the full soundtrack already got a shitton of views on youtube.
To add some complaints here, I had some recurring problems with the game. Quite often, while character would speak, their mouth wouldn't move. And also, in all scenes that were video and not rendered, only music would play, but not other sounds or voices. I didn't miss out on the story, cause I had subtitles on, but it was still frustrating. Perhaps that is because I pirate my games, so I hope that problem doesn't persist in the proper release.
So, going back to the story, game fully deserves its name. The events are indeed weird. And it escalates quite a bit in later episodes. I have to be honest, even though I didn't get into it at first, story and character development eventually grabbed my interest. Some events are very predictable, some aren't. It's a mixed bad or teen drama and some very serious shit.
Time travel is being... well, time travel. As game develops, you get more power, at few times pretty much going into separate timelines. Funny thing is, the game, at a few points, just overrides what you have been doing before. Which can be frustrating at the time, when you really start thinking about it.
Still, while the game does not explain a lot of things, and while you may have questions about the logic of what is happening, in the end the whole time-traveling shenanigans are tied up and resolved in the way that I can call satisfactory enough. I won't spoil the ending, but it does teach us important lesson about time-travel.
The game isn't long - each of its 5 episodes is just around 2 hours. Together they amount to decent enough gameplay. I'd say, game is enjoyable, if you can get into its theme and story. And for those deciding to try it out, my advice is - even if you don't like it immediately, try playing through it a bit. It does get better from the beginning.