I need more time for 'No Time'!
No Time is a Back-to-the-future Sandbox game. There's not much more needed to 'properly' describe the game, It's rather self-explanatory with just this sentence.
With your trusty Mach 3 (Pictured), duely modified to reach 90+ mph, you dart from time period to time period - year to year - to accomplish various goals.
These goals may be suggested by the game's story-line, although, as is typical of sandbox games, you're not forced to do any of it. Want to see the evolution of humanity's development on Pine Island? Dial in 1750 and be on your way. Wonder what the distant future of 2020 is like? Dial that in and see the wonderous flying cars of the future - All nuclear powered of-course!
However, there are a few things you should consider before surfing the space-time waves of sci-fi glory. First things first, this requires a lot of energy. In the game, there's a few sources of fuel.
The first one you'll come across and have to use, is plain old uranium. Plug it into the fission reactor of your TDU, and reach 70mph to be on your merry way. However, as science progresses, Fusion reactors are possible.
You can either travel to that future and pick yourself up one for $45, or you can get your buddy Edward to program your Mr. Crafty. Personally, I'd recommend you grab yourself a fusion reactor ASAP. The Sir Atom addon means that you'd have to almost be trying to get stuck in the past.
And it's absolutely vital that you pack enough fuel for your adventures, Talking as someone who's gotten themselves stuck in 1 AD with no signs of civilisation or Uranium, you're going to feel like a right goof if you don't. Usually, I keep 2014 as a sort-of hub time, where I reside for the most-part. Whenever I go out, I either charge my fusion cell (Which allows 1 round-trip at full charge), or I make sure I've got at-least 2 canisters of Uranium1.
That's why I reccomend the Sir Atom, it allows you to refuel in almost any time period, as it converts organic material into energy. It does need the fusion reactor, however.
Second of all, You're making impacts on these time periods. Even if the future changes, You need to remember, you were there.
What this essentially means, is, don't go to the same when twice! If you left at, say, 1985-10-26 01:35 to arrive at 1955-11-05 01:35, Make sure you return AFTER 01:35 in 1985.
If you were to arrive at 01:30, or even just 01:34, You will see your past self - And that's when things get messy. Should you find yourself in that situation, KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!
The whole game is still in early access, so there's some jank here-and-there, but over-all, it's quite good. Even in this early-acess state, there's a lot of gameplay.
Most of the criticisms I have for the game are already present in the steam reviews, So I'll try and bring new ideas to the table.
Of-course, I won't be criticising the bugs, but probably reporting them somewhere (If I remember to)!
Currently, It's a bit of a bother if you get yourself trapped in pre-1795 years.
Of-course, post-1795, you can grab yourself some Uranium ore and craft new Uranium (Assuming you have a Mr. Crafty and fission reactor!)
BUT, I've frequently found myself without those, or in a pre-1795 year. So there has to be some year-agnostic (Like the Sir Atom) fuel generation, IMO.
I propose this; A lightning rod.
Potentially crafted with just a few metal rods, It would be inserted into either the Fission or Fusion reactor. When it's raining, lightning would have a chance of striking the rod. When it strikes the rod, It either A) Charges the car, or B) Instantly sends the car to whatever year you have set.
As it is now, Travelling between years and time periods is slightly... boring. There's not much to do, Beyond the missing person of 1944, Accordian Man of 1970[^2] - There's really squat.
I think some more quests would go a long way. Hell, maybe there could be procedurally generated side-quests?
What if, some guy from the past saw you, and asked to be taken to the future in your car? Little things like that.
Money is really a bore to get. Sure, there's the Burger minigame, Pizza minigame, etc. But that's little variation.
C'mon man, we've got a time machine! Surely, we could maybe cheat at some lotteries? or better yet- abuse inflation?
The price of the dollar in the 1970s was much higher than it was today. What if, we could buy some trinkets (Like the Mr. Pencil and Dinosaur plushies) in the future, where they're less valuable, and then sell them in the past for a profit?
What if you went to the past, commisioned a soon-to-be classic artist for a low price, and came to the present to sell your never before seen work?
Maybe, you sell some future item - say a Fusion Reactor - in the past, what if the item in the future changed to some branded variant of it, because that company reverse-engineered it first? That'd add to your impact on time.
More opportunities to modify time would be grand.
In BTTF, Marty and Doc had to be extremely careful about where they went, and what they did. If they weren't, they'd catastrophically alter history.
I'm sure there's systems for it already in the game, As you can leave uranium in a sheep pen and they mutate over the years.
I often leave my doors open, and come back to nothing happening.
Given there's NPCs who walk around and stuff, wouldn't it be cool to have a BTTF 2-esq thing happen?
I'd had something like that before, when I came back to my car, the year was set to 3112. Although I think that was a bug.
Over-all, despite these issues, the game's still pretty solid.
Were I to rate it under a number/star, I'd give it 4.5/5. Losing half a mark because of some opportunities not taken, and some bugs I've encountered.
There was one time I didn't do this. 1655 didn't have any replacement energy, and I didn't have the Sir Atom. (I admit I DID cheat the uranium I had back to 100% charge, to escape...)↩