Arrow Time U Review (Wii U eShop)

One of the beauties of a small store is being able to find a gem that would not be visible in somewhere like the App Store. Is Arrow Time U one of those games, read on and decide for yourself.

Graphics

You control a simple arrow that can be found in Microsoft Office. The games consists of this arrow and an enemy arrow, some laser blasts, a couple types of portals, and three kinds of enemies. It’s very simple in presentation. When you first start up the game, you can select any of the first 8 levels. In this level select you can use your fingers or the dpad, both of which are not used in actual gameplay. This is weird considering that you are not able to use the Control Stick to select levels, but that it the only way you can move in the game.

About 25% of the graphics right here

About 25% of the graphics right here

Sound

The techno beat and music is interesting though you probably won’t notice it. I actually didn’t even know there were different tracks until I started writing this review. That is the sad part about the gameplay as the levels are so short that you cannot become attached to any music or sound besides  “Ready,” which is repeated everytime you die. The only music I noted was the last level’s surprising Violin intro before reaching its steady beat.

Gameplay

The game controls are fairly simple but can take a while to master. You move normally with the left control stick and slide with the right. You use ZL to phase through things and the ZR to slow down time. These actions require “power” which sometimes you start with and sometimes you don’t have at all. In some levels, you can replenish your power and health by finding the corresponding circles.

From the trailer I shared above, you might have an idea of how to play, but it will be understandable if you don’t. In that trailer, they showed about 7 complete levels and parts of a few more. That’s right, a typical level can be finished within 5-20 seconds. So when you reach the levels that can take about minute, you are surprised. Part of this is because you gradually lose health as time goes on. So not only do you have to avoid attacks, you need to be swift in order to complete a level. I can’t tell you how many times I just ran out of health by the end.

The boss fights are the longer levels

The boss fights are the longer levels

The best part of the level design is that it is not too repetitive. I am amazed how the developers could take a simple mechanic and force you to do so many different things. Unfortunately, the quick design of levels that can take 5-20 seconds to complete hinder this creativity. This gives the feeling that the game is only a quick demo to learn how to program. If you do have trouble with a level, pausing the game can provide a helpful hint. The game does tell you that if you run out of power, you might have to reset in order to complete the level.

The boss fights consist of either some big orb shooting blasts at you or a purple arrow doing the same. Considering that there is only one level where you do shoot (which isn’t a boss fight), you have to think a bit and maneuver well in order to win. The final boss was interesting, but can be beaten in under a minute as well. One thing I found disconcerting was that while I was moving, I would sometimes slow down as well. I’m not sure if that was by design or not, but it was annoying especially when it happens during the final boss.

Replayability

Since the game is composed of 40 very short levels, it is important that it has replayability. Unfortunately, I did not find much to replay here. After beating the game, I played the last level again and beat it quickly. While the levels can force you to think in different ways, once you know what to do, there isn’t anything else to do because it’s so short. The most replay value levels are the boss “fights” but even they are victim to this situation.

You'll have to outmaneuver it in order to win

You’ll have to outmaneuver it in order to win

Overall

A very simple game with simple  mechanics which show the creative potential of its developers. However, the forced brevity of every level makes it very difficult to appreciate the elements of the game. It looks and plays like a flash game which is interesting to play but maybe not to buy. On the other hand, I do look forward to seeing another game from XenoHorizon taking all of the lessons they learned from making this game. I see potential in the developers and I hope they continue to make games.

 

Game Size: 77 MB

Price: $1.99

 

Arrow Time U Review (Wii U eShop)
A game that feels perfect as an online flash browser game, but not so much to add to your Wii U library. A nice game for a first game project that does have some nice variety, showing the developers do have potential
Graphics6
Sound6
Gameplay7
Replayability6.5
6.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

Feature Writer/Game Reviewer

Blogger in the IGN community and no longer for Always Nintendo. You can find him still blogging in the IGN community as FalconRise