Timelie Review thumbnail

Timelie Review

A time-manipulating stealth puzzler

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on

Timelie is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

Manipulating time to solve puzzles makes for an intriguing formula but throw in stealth and you're left with the very cool Timelie.

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Timelie screenshot 1
Why do I get the feeling that those statues are going to wake up?

Timelie has you play as a girl who navigates her way through a strange facility while being chased by robotic guards. Soon into her adventure, she meets a little kitty who helps her overcome situations by meowing to distract robots, pressing buttons, and much more. In fact, you actually get to command both simultaneously which makes the already clever gameplay even more layered with strategic elements. Anyway, the story is very minimal and it's told through abstract cutscenes with lovely cinematography which I appreciated as you don't see that every day. However, I imagine that many players would want more explanation by the time they're finished the campaign and may even become frustrated as a result. Either way, there's no denying that it's something unique and that's a good thing. v1d30chumz 34-239-154-240

The visuals of Timelie are striking with a combination of understated environments, neon highlights, and vigilant guards that stand out from the backgrounds. The girl and cat are animated well and watching them run from point A to point B will make you tense as you hope they don't get caught along the way. If they do, the screen shifts to a hueless palette so you don't see what the guards do. 🤫

Timelie screenshot 2
I wish this girl would put her back to the wall or something...

Timelie's gameplay can be complex at times as you keep an eye on both characters as well as the guards yet it remains impressively intuitive which is a welcome relief. To move a character, you basically swap to them then highlight where you want them to go and tap a button. Meanwhile, manipulating time merely involves holding the shoulder buttons to proceed or rewind. Each level tasks you with making it to the exit and the gameplay portion is for simply formulating a plan and once you succeed, you can watch the whole thing in real-time which I found to be super-rewarding, especially when stages started becoming more involving and complicated.

As you progress through the campaign, you'll discover plenty of intricacies that help elevate the core gameplay to new heights by adding variety and challenge. For example, you'll have to assemble bridges and you'll even come across magical sparks that permanently build structures and after you trigger those, it's usually a good idea to rewind to the very beginning of the level. There are also cool scenarios such as luring and trapping guards in rooms, sneaking through vents as the cat, and, of course, moments when you'll need to coordinate the girl and cat to work together. Being able to do so effectively can be tricky so good thing there's a rewind button. 😅

With these complications and the occasional need to rewind levels completely, some puzzles in Timelie can become tedious and fittingly time-consuming to complete. This can be especially frustrating when you can't quite put your finger on the solution so you maintain a trial and error approach until you eventually work out the solution. Speaking of which, some levels are set up in a way that will require a lot of trial and error to master and often with very little wiggle room for error. In fact, I followed the solution nearly perfectly in some stages yet I thought I was taking an incorrect approach seeing as the guards kept spotting me but I just needed a minor tweak. 🤏

Timelie screenshot 3
Time to let out the cat's meow

Timelie is an exceptionally clever puzzler that'll have you strategically dodging robot guards with a feline friend. If that sounds like your kind of game then definitely check it out but just make sure you have plenty of patience before diving in.

  • + Unique and impressively intuitive blend of stealth and time-manipulation puzzles
  • + Plenty of nifty mechanics throughout
  • + Stylish 3D visuals and minimal story
  • - Solving some puzzles requires a bit too much trial and error as well as patience
  • - Story could use a little more fleshing out
7.6 out of 10
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Watch A.J. play Timelie
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