Time Fcuk

The power of minimalist graphics in games continues to surprise me. If I could go back in time and ask myself last week what I thought about platformers with Atari-level graphics, I would've said it was an overdone genre. They're easy to slap together, and it seems to be the look people start with when they want to seem edgy or indie. So I would've said thanks, but no thanks. I would've sat there smugly, content to write off an entire genre. Then my future self would've proven my past self wrong by showing me Time Fcuk.

If you thought that intro was confusing, wait till you play the game.

The game puts you into a box. Literally: A character shoves you into a box to begin the game. But it's not just any character, it's you from the future—who insists that you need to enter the box right now. Your very existence depends on it. However once you enter the box, you're not sure how to get back out. You'll also find plenty of ways to die from the various traps and puzzles. You'll have some help though, as your future selves will be sending you text messages throughout the various levels. Until the text messages stop being helpful and start becoming threatening, suicidal or insane.

It seems time hasn't been kind to your future selves. Possibly, anyway: It's all kind of fuzzy. The future has a habit of being unpredictable. The story only becomes more bizarre as time goes on. Or is time even going forward?

The gameplay itself is wonderful and addicting, adding several twists onto the standard platform jumping-puzzler. The music is off-kilter and unsettling—it gives the game a vague sense of unease and hostility. The graphics are indeed something you'd find straight from the Atari era; however they're wonderfully animated and imaginatively used. It's hard to find such a minimalist shooter that manages to evoke so much emotion in its tiny, jumping avatar. The atmosphere of the game is just different, and the game itself is a lot of fun.

Why You Should Check This Out: Vague, unsettling weirdness permeates a world where you talk to yourself, quite literally, while trapped in an endless box of puzzles and traps. The gameplay is great while the story manages to be both engrossing and bizarre. If you want a different kind of game, Time Fcuk is definitely something to check out.

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Comments

I saw it posted up on rock paper shotgun, so I decided to give it a go. Consider my mind well and properly fcuked. There's a few parts in there that are actually beyond disturbing, but that might be because I tend to read a lot into things.

Anyway, the puzzles are well designed, and the gameplay is pretty rad at times. To add my recommendation to Pyroman's, I highly suggest taking a look.

I am upset that they used the term "fcuk". I used to work in a store, part of a chain, called "French Connection United Kingdom" (FCUK for short). I hated that place (but needed the money, and they honestly had some nice clothes on occasion, albeit expensive). They have an ongoing marketing campaign that involved the "clever" play on the word "f*ck", as FCUK was the company email abbreviation for the UK chapter of the worldwide company. So of course they had all the clever shirts, like "I love to FCUK" and "Cool as FCUK". Needless to say, I somewhat fall victim to marketing trends, in that my reaction to the title-- to the marketing aspect of the game-- just annoys me to the point that I have absolutely no desire to play it. I always thought it was a juvenile and simple-minded way to make a joke or some piss-poor attempt at a clever play on words, and to see people other than a giant clothing corporation fall victim to that same jackassery just makes me sad. Why not just place an asterisk in there instead of a u? We all know what they were implying, no need to try to be so clever. I hate French Connection.

Sorry, I'll end this rant now, but I needed to get it off my chest.
/rant

The game does sound interesting, I'm sure at some point I'll get over my snobbish feelings and just play it. Maybe tomorrow

I really enjoyed the game - there's a thread in the games forum where i laid out my thoughts on what's going on (spoiler tags of course!). It's a really cool game: i liked it!

Is there an ending to this game? I had it open for a while, and picked at it for a while last evening, but the clever narrative made it impossible to know if I was making progress.

Man, playing through this reminded me of 12 Monkeys, insomniac nights, and probably other twisted things that are just scratching at the inside of my skull trying to get out onto the pag-

WHOA THERE... gotta keep this under control, can't let the game affect the way I'm writing!

WipEout wrote:

...I always thought it was a juvenile and simple-minded way to make a joke or some piss-poor attempt at a clever play on words, and to see people other than a giant clothing corporation fall victim to that same jackassery just makes me sad...

Well, it certainly is a play on words that serves as a way of saying it without actually saying it, but in this case it's hardly jackassery marketing spiel...

What you're describing involving a clothing line is silly attention getting, yes. But shirts are not an interactive medium and as such can't really carry very many nested meanings.

Give it a shot and see if you can't find a few layers to the name. Go on, I'll spoiler out my thoughts on the subject...

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Off the top of my head, the letters of the word are jumbled in much the same manner as the bodies and thoughts/sanity of all the temporally "lost" versions of the protagonist. Also, you're not going to realize this on your initial playthrough, but the levels are somewhat scrambled/randomized- I never even saw the one Pyroman was stuck on. Note that the four letters of that word are endlessly scrambling on the title screen and the ad copy for the game repeatedly changes the way it's spelled in homage to the random/jumbled nature of the levels and story.[/color]

wordsmythe wrote:

Is there an ending to this game?

There certainly is, multiple endings in fact... Try not to let the random nature of the text messages throw you TOO far off the scent, just keep pushing through the madness and you'll reach one of them!

Cross posted some thoughts in the game thread to boot!

I gotta check this out 2nite when I get home, thanks!

WipEout wrote:

I am upset that they used the term "fcuk".

It is kind of funny though how every time he refers to it he changes the order of the letters.

Very strange.

Bizarre game, but I'm enjoying it so far. I'll have to find some time to look at it more closely though.

Seems interesting, going to give it a try.

update:
I thought the puzzles were pretty fun although I completed quite a few without even understanding what I had done. I liked the twist in the last level and the three solutions I discovered. There are definitely concepts in here that I could see working well in another game. I found it very similar to Braid in many ways except that this game didn't seem to be saying "I am the most awesome thing in the world. You will not understand me and that is why I am so awesome. I am too good for you!" like Braid did.

Not sure how far along I am, I've made it to "XSplinterX." So far it's fairly clever, but at times frustrating - a couple of challenges require precise jumping, and an error forces you to start the entire level over.

Finished it and loved it, you cannot skip more than two levels or risk getting stucked or losing, so be patient when you feel like you're not making progress, some puzzles require repetitive tasks, other are twich based and some are quite ellaborate setups on the surface to throw you off seeing the obvious solution. Very good game indeed

A fun but at times frustrating puzzle platformer. The presentation is interesting and puts you in a very weird mood. I was a little disappointed that the good ending isn't that much different from the bad ending, but the different text explaining the origin of the game was interesting.

I thought the platforms that degraded when their plane was in focus and the blocks that you could bring with you (the ones with moving patterns) were two fun mechanics. I would definitely like to see a longer game with some of these mechanics and nicer graphics / other interesting mechanics. Maybe I'll try the user created levels. Have anyone done this? Are they better / worse than the official levels?

xeneth wrote:

Man, playing through this reminded me of 12 Monkeys, insomniac nights, and probably other twisted things that are just scratching at the inside of my skull trying to get out onto the pag-

WHOA THERE... gotta keep this under control, can't let the game affect the way I'm writing!

WipEout wrote:

...I always thought it was a juvenile and simple-minded way to make a joke or some piss-poor attempt at a clever play on words, and to see people other than a giant clothing corporation fall victim to that same jackassery just makes me sad...

Well, it certainly is a play on words that serves as a way of saying it without actually saying it, but in this case it's hardly jackassery marketing spiel...

What you're describing involving a clothing line is silly attention getting, yes. But shirts are not an interactive medium and as such can't really carry very many nested meanings.

Give it a shot and see if you can't find a few layers to the name. Go on, I'll spoiler out my thoughts on the subject...

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Off the top of my head, the letters of the word are jumbled in much the same manner as the bodies and thoughts/sanity of all the temporally "lost" versions of the protagonist. Also, you're not going to realize this on your initial playthrough, but the levels are somewhat scrambled/randomized- I never even saw the one Pyroman was stuck on. Note that the four letters of that word are endlessly scrambling on the title screen and the ad copy for the game repeatedly changes the way it's spelled in homage to the random/jumbled nature of the levels and story.[/color]

Switchbreak wrote:
WipEout wrote:

I am upset that they used the term "fcuk".

It is kind of funny though how every time he refers to it he changes the order of the letters.

See, I can get behind that idea! After following the link to Newgrounds, seeing what the "Team Fcuk" posted in the comments section (admittedly I've yet to play it, but am going to in a minute), I constantly read the title as "Fcuk", and thus my annoyance and recollection. I know it isn't a cheap marketing ploy similar to that of the clothes, but that is my own personal association with the word as I used to work for them. And a title can't wholly carry the variable meanings of a game either, if you think about a title on box art or in a written article/blog etc., and therein lay my issues with the specific jumbling of the word; generally speaking, my thought is that a title is a title, written once and giving the initial impression of a game, until said game is actually played. But, again, knowing that the title itself changes in concordance with the changing "timelines" of the game, I find the jumble that much more clever than this.

Now to actually play it Be back with some (true first) impressions soon!

EDIT: It's a lot of fun. Confusing at times, mildly frustrating at others, but never to the point that I wanted to rage quit, which says a lot about a puzzle game I actually had to force myself to stop playing because I really want to see at least one ending.

I'm glad you gave it a try after all, I'd feel kinda bad if you missed out on such a weird experience because of a name.

WipEout wrote:

...I constantly read the title as "Fcuk", and thus my annoyance and recollection...

I think if NewGrounds (or anyone other flash game posting site) offered them the option of having the second word of the official title randomly scramble itself every time the page loaded, they would TOTALLY have done it. They just had to pick one permutation and post it as that. Perhaps in hindsight "Fukc" or "Fkuc" would would have worked better, but "Fuk" tends to be used like the original word without the "c" in the dumber regions of the internet, and "Fkuc" breaks the weird speed reading rule of jumbled things being readable as long as the first and last letters are where the mind expects them to be.

Unfortunate clothing line, I'm thankful I've never run into it.

Awesome game. I love old-school platformers. Thanks for the recommendation.

Is there a list of endings somewhere? I don't really feel like playing through the game again, but I'm curious about what the other endings are like.

gore wrote:

Is there a list of endings somewhere? I don't really feel like playing through the game again, but I'm curious about what the other endings are like.

I wouldn't mind that, either. Searched for video of endings the other day, but I didn't have time to watch the results.

wordsmythe wrote:
gore wrote:

Is there a list of endings somewhere? I don't really feel like playing through the game again, but I'm curious about what the other endings are like.

I wouldn't mind that, either. Searched for video of endings the other day, but I didn't have time to watch the results.

Spoiler:

As far as I know, there are two endings. One occurs when you take the restart "pill" at the final level. The other occurs when you complete the final level by reaching the other version of yourself.

I think the first ending just replays the intro video. I think the second involved the "current" you pushing the "future you" into the box, running away, continually splitting in half, and then a short story about how the narrator got a cardboard box and marker as a child and drew inside it. You might be able to find this story online, but they talk about it in the official game thread mentioned above.