January 31, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson
Smudged Cat Games knows temporal puzzle platformers! The Adventures of Shuggy was one of the cutest, funnest XBLA platformers I've ever played. Smudged Cat provides a great, free challenge here with Timeslip, which feels like a Shuggy prequel in terms of mechanics.
Timeslip is a time travelling 2D platform game where you are caught in a continual time loop, forever travelling back in time to encounter past echoes of yourself. While using past echoes is the key to opening doors and progressing through the levels, they must also be avoided to prevent causing a paradox.
Also worth avoiding are the pesky gnomes! In their defense, though, they seem to just doing their job of guarding the play area. One neat thing about the gnomes is that they, too, are caught in the temporal loop. Don't count on them staying dead. Fortunately, your past snail self should take care of them.
Not only does the player snail have to reach the exit, but it also has to grab a certain set of coins. A tiny complaint: the mid-air coins are a little too spastic for my tastes. That aside, Timeslip is hard (it quickly becomes harder than Shuggy) and fun.
Bonus history lesson: Timeslip was originally a Playstation One game developed with a Net Yaroze dev kit and released on an "Official Playstation Magazine UK" cover disk. Smudged Cat touts Timeslip as being the very first game to feature "self co-op" back in 1999. It was re-released for the XBLIG channel featuring updated HD graphics and a fresh sound track with the ability to switch back to the original version for that retro feeling.
Grab Timeslip for Windows for free. If you enjoy it even slightly or if you want something even more polished, be sure try out The Adventures of Shuggy on XBLA.