Room-in-a-box, Jan 2020
Last in the Timeless Adventures box, Time Warp is marked as the top difficulty level – although in my experience the difference in ‘official’ difficulty between Unlock! games is relatively small, and outweighed by how well or otherwise you click with particular puzzles.
This one is of course a time travelling adventure. Like both of the other games in the box set, it has a system for structuring the game into a sequence of stages – in this case time zones – and a supplementary sheet that helps organise the flurry of cards.
And Time Warp does indeed throw a lot of cards at you at once. This is one of the Unlock! games where looking through the deck to find the next set of clue cards started to drift from exciting to tiresome. The poster provided is a great help in keeping track of things. The way the game combines cards with poster is not quite as sophisticated as the similar idea used in Noside Show, but is still a brilliant way to make the game system work with the storyline.
Unlock!’s games have a distinct video game feel to them, some more than others, including one from the previous box that used that as its actual theme. Even so, Lost In The Time Warp particularly reminded me of playing a point ‘n’ click adventure game, in style of gameplay not theming – you’ll likely find yourself with an extensive inventory of ‘items’ wondering which places to apply them.
There’s a specific point around the middle of this game where it seems quite easy to get stuck, where it’s not clear how to proceed. As I’ve complained in other Unlock! reviews, under these circumstances their help system is entirely useless, since you don’t know which card number to request help on; and in the process of trying to get help you may accidentally request unwanted spoilers for later stages.
That aside, it’s an enjoyable game whose strength is the central time travelling storyline, which is packed with cheerful nods to the tropes and clichés of time machine sci-fi. Which of the three games in the Timeless Adventures box you’ll prefer will depend on personal taste; but all three seemed solid, entertaining games.