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With back-to-back AAA releases like Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, Gran Turismo 7, MLB The Show 22, and WWE 2K22, the market has been tough on the indie scene lately. And during these times we often tend to lose sight of some quality indie titles that deserve all the recognition that they should get. Such could have been the case with Flazm’s story-driven, physics-based puzzle platformer Time Loader.

Although Time Loader was released on Steam in 2021, it is now being released on 10th March for the consoles PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

Back In Time

The premise of Time Loader is pretty simple to grasp. An avid inventor/scientist named Adam Wright sends a sentient AI robot to the year 1995 to avert a terrible accident that rendered him wheelchair-bound ever since and greatly affected his family’s coming years. To help Adam in his time-changing endeavor, you will be playing as the robot to intervene in the events that led to his Catastrophic fall that he has regretted ever since. 

Through Adam’s sentient robot you would be exploring every nook and cranny of his home back in ’95. There are a plethora of puzzles to be solved, countless switches waiting to be flipped, and objects of interest that can be interacted with. Amidst these things, there are plenty of misfired jokes and a few creative sparks. Based on the player’s decisions and the objects that have altered, the game ends on a four-lane pathway. Sadly, none of those paths lead to the fulfilling ending that I was hoping for.

Aside from not-so-satisfying endings, the somber tone of the narrative adds to the tension of the player. It often discouraged me from extending my playthroughs beyond the 40-min mark. By the time I reached the end, there was an emotional disconnect between me and the narrator. Still, calling it all bad would be a huge disservice to the game. There are a few creative sections and colorful montages that are still worth going through. 

Putting The Patient to The Test

While it is quite subjective whether one would like Time Loader’s narrative or not, the gameplay can be a bit of a deal-breaker for many. I have traversed Death Stranding’s tedious terrains and even finished its twisted yet fulfilling plot. The same is the case with Time Loader. If you are an action-adventure fanatic, this may not be a smooth ride.


The game starts off by showcasing the bot’s basic functional parts – the grippy wheels that allow it to scale impeccable slopes, the crane-like hand that allows it to throw and hold items, and lastly, there’s the spring mechanism that allows the bot to jump. Also over the course of the campaign, it pillages old toys to upgrade itself. Sadly, though these things may sound good on paper, it performs underwhelmingly in-game. Sometimes in the pursuit of exhibiting realistic physics, the bot straight becomes frustratingly unresponsive and there are other times when it feels just too unrealistic like you wouldn’t be expecting the bot to be on such an ‘unrealistic’ behavior.

Thankfully the game’s intricate level design and interactive platforming make up for most of the bot’s frustrating mechanics. Even though it doesn’t quite establish the required atmosphere, it gets the job done the right way. There are some sections where you feel like you have hit a wall but it never gets so bad that you stop trying.


While Time Loader shines in terms of visuals and performance, it is held back by some terrible load times I have ever faced on the PS4. Despite featuring one of the most simplistic visuals ever and relatively not-so-huge room maps, the load times are excruciatingly long at times. It has slightly improved over the last couple of updates but there’s still room for improvement.

Real Talk

While the narrative aspect and the frustratingly unresponsive bot are not the strongest suits of Time Loader, its intricate platforming and interactive puzzles present some engaging challenges. Though the story seems smart at first and has multiple ways in which it can come to a close, its heavy focus on characters without making them engaging feels like a total emotional disconnect at the time of its closure.


Code provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review

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