You from the future bursts through the wall of your home with a giant laser cannon. You know it’s you from the future because the first words out of his mouth are, “I am you from the future. There’s no time to explain.” And before he can say another word he’s grabbed by a giant crab and drops his cannon. You take it upon yourself to travel through time… a lot and save yourself — I mean you from the future. And other yous from other futures or something. Just jump around and shoot your cannon all over the place in this puzzle platformer.
No Time to Explain started out as a flash game on Newgrounds by Tom Brien. After it garnered a couple of thousands of plays Brien contacted Alex Nichiporchik and formed tinyBuild Games to make a larger full release. They started a Kickstarter to fund this full version and they raised $26,000 — $19,000 more than their $7,000 goal.
No Time to Explain was released on August 15th, 2011 and a Remastered version was released on July 17th, 2015. It’s 2011 competition was Bastion (PC), From Dust (PC), and Temple Run (iOS).
This game is I Wanna Be the Guy lite. If you’re not familiar with the masochism simulator of a game I Wanna Be the Guy is then all you need to know is that it’s hard. Although No Time to Explain can be quite difficult it’s never unfair. As a platformer puzzle game with plenty of checkpoints it’s totally possible to brute force a solution and continue on. The game just keeps getting sillier and sillier, I keep playing just to see the crazy stuff that’s gonna happen next. the plot is incredibly difficult to follow because they game takes full advantage of the multiple universe and time travel heavy setting it takes place in.
You play as a dude using a laser cannon as a jetpack who uses it to travel through time. If that doesn’t grab your attention right there then this game has got nothing for you. Each level requires you to go through a bunch of obstacles that become increasingly difficult to navigate in order to reach a time portal that leads to the next level. These obstacles range from spikes, to water, jump pads, to walls that can only be destroyed by lighting them on fire with your own flaming body. Every world has got a boss and this game has got some crazy bosses.
The game’s challenge isn’t too punitive. Every time the character touches a stable section of floor it acts as a checkpoint in case they die. Falling into a bottomless pit or getting extremely dead — like immolating oneself — will restart the level however. The Remastered edition has sharpened the graphics and sound. It’s also added a lives counter to boss fights and lowered boss health. This is a mixed blessing as some boss attacks would kill the player and others would simply return them to the nearest stable platform in the classic version. Which would lead to situations where the player would dive toward attacks that wouldn’t kill them so it wouldn’t reset the boss’ health.
This game has got variety. Just after the point I’m comfortable or bored with a certain playstyle the game throws something crazy at me.
The movement mechanics change as often as the playstyle. One second you’re using the laser cannon and the next you’re playing a crazy psychic version of you that can move himself with his mind.
The plot is delightfully campy — fully equipped with an evil version of you with a goatee. It’s a little hard to follow with all the time travel shenanigans but even after I got lost I knew who the bad guy was and I knew enough about what was going on to keep playing.
You have to fire the cannon at the right time during a jump to get the maddest ups. Sometimes I can’t get the timing right when I’m almost damn sure that I am. Maybe I’m getting mad at video games but it’s really frustrating how small the sweet spot is.
The game can kinda drag a little bit. It’s great for short bursts but I’ve never been able to marathon this one — I know, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
This game is a tight package. It’s $15 on Steam and I love it to death but I’m not sure it’s worth the price tag. It’s almost there, almost. Catch it on Steam when it’s 20% or something. The controls are a little wonky sometimes but the plot is wonderful, the music is catchy, and the core platforming is to die for. I recommend No Time to Explain.