Chronology: Time Changes Everything is a puzzle adventure with one foot in the past and the other in the future. It's an ambitious construct for a puzzler, and this game is a mind bender of a higher order.

Gamers take on the role of a brilliant inventor whose life has dealt him a huge bag of lemons. Although he's responsible for many technological advances, his discoveries have also contributed to the end of the world, and it's his task to rescue humanity from the rubble. Thanks to a time traveling clock and a snail that can stop time, the inventor can easily manipulate his surroundings. Whatever actions he commits in the past will have repercussions in the future, and certain items he picks up from a certain dimension will help him solve a problem in his current state. For example, if he grabs a box from the past and brings it to the same spot years later, that item can be used to help him climb or even jump over a structure.

Feeding local plants is also a good thing, since their growth enables players to climb or jump over objects and natural wonders that may have impeded their path. After feeding this venus flytrap looking creature, his body will eventually extend over the lake and help gamers continue their journey.

Osao Games

The first three chapters of Chronology are free to play, and midway through the adventure our intrepid hero encounters the invaluable snail who will help him through the rest of his travels. Virtual directional buttons are located on the left side of the screen to move both characters, with buttons on the right side used for jumping, picking up objects switching between characters, and, if you're playing as the snail, stopping time.

 

With the numerous time and character switches within a given puzzle, Chronology: Time Changes Everything is a pretty heady experience. Many of your decisions are based on a chain of events that can only be enacted by traveling to both dimensions and giving the snail and the inventor select tasks to accomplish.

As much as I love Chronology's complexity, the jump button is a bit haphazard, and I've fallen to my death countless times due to its lack of accuracy and through human error. Although the jump button doesn't yield the most accurate leaps, dying isn't such a big deal with this puzzler since the inventor is instantly resurrected whenever he falls to his death. The lack of jumping accuracy is a minor annoyance, especially since Chronology is such an addicting experience.

Osao Games

Along with its time shift element, Chronology is also blessed with an equally intriguing storyline. Betrayed by a fellow colleague, the inventor is retracing his steps and planting seeds (sometimes literally) to ensure humanity isn't wiped off the face of the earth. Though it pays homage to Hayao Miyazaki's animated work (‘Howl's Moving Castle’), the game thankfully doesn't parrot Miyazaki's wistful and evocative visual and thematic tones. instead, Chronology is an entirely different creature altogether.

Its blend of a steampunk metropolis and the primeval confines of Mother Nature may seem like mixing oil and water, but considering the inventor and snail are strange bedfellows, the hybrid actually works.

Osao Games

There's enough free to play material to make Chronology: Time Changes Everything a worthy download. Chapter two is a $2.99 download, and since I'm absolutely drawn into the inventor's complex universe, I actually forked over the money to continue the journey. If succeeding episodes will cost even more cash, I may think the wiser and save my money, but for now, I'm hooked.

Time is literally of the essence with this first rate app, and how you plan to change your future or reflect on your past is entirely up to you. With Chronology: Time Changes Everything, connecting the dots is just a click away, even if you're working at a snail's pace.

This review was based on a download of Chronology: Time Changes Everything for iOS.

App Store Link: Chronology: Time Changes Everything for iPhone and iPad | By Osao Games I Price: Free | Version: 1.0.8 | 250 MB| Rating 4+

8.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating