Time Loader is about a young boy who has a terrible accident at the age of 10 when he slips on a toy car while playing in his tree-house, resulting in him falling and breaking both of his legs. Looking forward into the future, Adam, who is now all grown up, looks back on what has happened as a terrible tragedy that he wants to change. Using his extensive knowledge in the field of technology, science and advanced AI, he builds a time machine and a charming little robot who he intends to send back to that fateful day to change the outcome forever.

The Good

Time Loader is a creative little puzzle game where the story is told through cutscenes that play at the beginning of each of the three acts as well as expanded through letters and recordings that you discover along the way. The controls are simple; for example, you can move left and right with the analogue stick, jump with the B button, pick up items with the ZR trigger and interact with items with the Y button.

Your main objectives will be shown in the top-right corner of the screen and a white arrow will constantly point you in the right direction, making navigation of Adam's household a breeze. The game constantly wants you to be moving forward, progressing the story and solving its many puzzles.

Each puzzle requires a few objectives to complete, such as: retrieving a small object that needs to be thrown at a switch or swinging on a light fixture to activate a certain tool. There are a lot of interactable objects that activate something in the environment, allowing you to progress. While I did get stuck on two puzzles later in the game, most of them simply required a little common sense, meaning that this game is suited to players of all ages.

There are nine secret symbols hidden around the house to discover and some key items to find and interact with that can lead to three different endings. I managed to get the best ending thankfully but after completion, you can return to stages and attempt to find the remaining hidden items and other endings if you wish.

Upon starting the game, you’ll be treated to a brief tutorial explaining the basic controls before being sent back in time to 1995. The house sets the scene with the same décor of that era and this is a nice touch. The environments are a big highlight as they all boast plenty of detail and the addition of voice acting truly brings Adam’s story to life. Lastly, it wouldn’t be set in the 90s if it didn’t have some cheeky nods, such as the Back to the Future DMC DeLorean and little hints that call back to 90s pop culture.

TL;DR

  • Nice story about the perils of time travel
  • Creative puzzles
  • Three different endings
  • Very 90s

The Bad

While the core gameplay was satisfying, I do have a few little gripes, such as when your claw arm gets stuck on environmental objects or how it sometimes doesn’t turn with your vehicle when moving left to right, making it difficult to pick up items like balls and other small objects. Also, when you transition from one part of the house to another, you’re treated to a blue loading screen every time and considering some of the stages are fairly short, I felt like I was looking at that loading screen a lot more than I would’ve liked.

My final gripe is with how short the game is. I got the game on Friday evening and had already completed it by Saturday afternoon, which is a shame as the game itself is great. Yes, there are collectibles and multiple endings but I felt like I’d seen everything the game had to offer pretty quickly.

TL;DR

  • Claw arm can get stuck on objects
  • Many loading screens
  • Very short

Final Score: 7/10

Time loader is a great little title for an hour or two and there is some replayability to be had here if you want to see all of the endings but after I’d completed it with the best ending, I felt as though there wasn’t any real need to play it again. The game shines in its puzzles and environments, providing a great sense of scale. I just hope we see this little robot again but in a much bigger adventure next time around.

Thank you for checking out our Time Loader Switch review, thank you to Postmeta Games for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:

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