Originally posted October 12th 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Title: Arrow Time U
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 9/18/2014
The main game/story
This is… I’m not honestly sure what genre this game is supposed to be in. I’ll just assume it’s a action puzzle game since that’s how I felt it was like while playing it. You take control of an arrow as you race to the exit, trying to stop the evil Purple Arrow. It’s pretty simple.
Sadly the whole game suffers from a “good idea, bad execution” design. First of all, the main game itself looks pretty poor, with the 2D design of the game not looking that good with the night sky background, and all of the text just seems overly simple and generic, without anything to make it stand out., except for the title screen which does look rather nice.
Music and sound effects:
It has a fast paced feel to it, which would work perfectly if it wasn’t for several problems. First off, the announcer sounds much louder than the music and sound effects, so it’s easy to get startled by being told “READY, GO!” louder than the music. It’s inconsistent and really distracting. Not to mention the sound effects can easily “Stack” on top of each other, so if you get stuck in a warp panel, get ready to constantly hear that beeping noise over and over as it gradually gets louder.
The gameplay is one thing I though was at least a decent attempt. You move to the goal in each stage, while avoiding all sorts of obstacles and hazards. It seems very simple, but many problems with the gameplay hold it down. Your ability of phasing through walls seems to work ok, except it has a tendency to constantly get you stuck in the walls if your energy meter runs out, and that can get VERY irritating quite quickly.
Speaking of energy, your health bar depletes over time. While this should help give you a sense of desperation and tension, it fails to do so because it can lead to sudden death! How does it do so, you might ask? Well, it’s because your health bar can also decrease when you get hit. Meaning that you can pretty much be destroyed in less than a few seconds depending on the circumstances.
It also doesn’t help that it just cuts to restarting the stage instead of showing some sort of death animation, or at least something to indicate that you lost. It’s really frustrating when you think you are going to make it to the end of a stage only for the game to abruptly jerk you back to the start because you didn’t notice your health bar decreasing.
The few boss battles contained within the 40 stages in the game aren’t that exciting. Pretty much what it wants you to do is to find a way to hurt the purple arrow by luring it to somewhere dangerous. It never made me feel like there was extra tension going on and it was overall just disappointing. Instead of the game feeling like a good experience the whole time, it felt like it was dragging on due to the many issues I explained earlier that makes the game feel sloppy.
In conclusion, I didn’t enjoy Arrow Time U much at all. I saw a lot of potential, and it’s good that they are going to patch the game to fix some of the problems, but it’s still just not that great. It has a lot of content for the price, but with poor execution, it’s tough to recommend. If you feel like you are absolutely sure that you won’t mind the big flaws with this game, it might be worth the $1.99. But for everyone else, stay away until updates come to make it a much smoother experience. I give Arrow Time U a 4 out of 10
Thanks to XenoHorizon for the review code.