Time Recoil is a top-down perspective shooter that takes place in the 80s. You play as the rouge scientist Alexa and after you find out what's going on in your lab, you defect to put a stop to it. Only to be captured and experimented on with different time travel tests and injections. Once you finally wake up from the tests, you realize you can travel through time without dying like previous participants. You even have new powers to help you through your travels like stopping time or dashing through walls. This game's story can take you about 5-6 hours to complete, during these missions you may find yourself doing much of the same. The game is fun and brings back memories of the old flash top-down shooter games on PC. Time Recoil takes place back in the late 80s when a renowned scientist called Mr. Time decides to take matters into his own hands. He works in secret to create a powerful device, this device helps him take over Europe and causes the other countries to fall in line. This device destroyed areas in Paris and completely took it over, that was the moment everyone knew they had no chance of winning. Mr. Time wasn't a likable man, in fact, everyone hated him. Because of this, people who used to work for him decided to defect and turn away from the remaining projects. Some were captured and possibly killed, others managed to escape and take some of the time travel technology with them. Once everything settled down they began plotting against Mr. Time. They started going back in time looking for documents, any information they can find about Mr. Time and his machines. That's when they find Alexa, she's the character you play as, they bring her back and test you to see if you can survive time travel. After a few tests they bring you onto the team, then it is established that you will be the main person traveling through time. Because of the experiments, you had done on you, you find out from the director you are the only one who can come back safely. The other time travelers usually died doing these tests, but your character is able to survive.
Time Recoil is not meant to be a run and gun type of experience. Early in the game, that strategy may work, but since you die from one hit, you eventually have to play the game like chess. Most enemies do not move from their post, but those that do require you to learn their pattern. Also with how the camera works, you may need to try to scout ahead and develop a strategy as you progress. And be prepared to die a lot while you develop your plan or path through each level, again due to die after one hit. Time-altering abilities and temporary gun upgrades, such as those in the Contra series, serve as powerful tools to assist your time-traveling missions.
Every time you kill an enemy, time slows for a brief period, and if you can kill multiple enemies in this state, you are awarded increasingly powerful powers. If you kill two enemies, you can dash through thin walls and even enemies, killing them. Kill four enemies, and your dash now sends out a blast that affects a cone-shaped area in front of you. Dispatch six evildoers, and you get a psyblast, blasting a circular area ahead of you. Take out eight minions, and you are awarded the coveted time-stop, where you mean freely among the frozen level. Combine those time powers with the rapid-fire SMG, powerful shotgun, or wall-penetrating assault rifle, and you’ve got a just enough depth to keep the combat fun.
Your objective is usually to steal a few documents that were stolen from you, or kill a few bad guys and save a few people. Sometimes you get missions that follow a unique request from a character. After going through the story a bit, you will see that there aren't really a lot of different missions. They have you usually doing one of the things I mentioned earlier. The story is interesting but it doesn't keep players engaged with it for long periods of time. In terms of powers, you get these after going through the story a little bit. You also start learning new moves as the story progresses and gets harder. Some, for example, let you dash through walls after killing two enemies. While big moves like time freeze require you to kill 6 or 8 enemies to use it. This will be the theme throughout the game and it's very fast-paced. In later levels, you can also find different weapons like SMGs or Assualt Rifles. But these weapons are rare and usually spawn once on a map. You can find them at the later levels when you have multiple floors to get through. You will often find yourself dying over and over and getting frustrated. Since you only have one life as the levels get longer they add more groups of enemies. But this will cause you to think more carefully about going into certain areas. I often found myself going through half of the level and dying to an enemy behind me. Time Recoil makes you think more and keeps you on your toes; some people may not enjoy that gameplay style. The gameplay is fun though, it challenges you and makes you use your abilities in the right areas. But you also have some choice on how you want it done, you can run and gun, or you can save your shots for different areas. Overall the gameplay is solid, the missions themselves can get repetitive after a long period of doing them.
Some levels ask you to kill all the enemies in sight, while others have you capturing characters while being careful not to shoot them by accident. That’s no mean feat, either – the action is all quick, and with the bullets spraying everywhere, it’s easy to get someone unintentionally caught in the crossfire – especially on levels where explosives are piled against every wall. Precision is key with every shot. But some quite gruesome blood effects see it spatter everywhere when either you or an enemy is struck, leading to a quite emphatic visual presentation.
Time Recoil also has a long story that will keep you engaged for a while. Which also has a nice 80s soundtrack that differs from other games. This game isn't perfect though, the graphics aren't bad but they don't really stand out. You can go through all the levels in this game and still feel as if you went through the same office building. The missions themselves don't really differ from each other. Overall the game is nice and easy to play, so I recommend giving it a shot if you are still looking for games on the Switch and at $13.99, Time Recoil is great value for the money – you’ll get plenty of replay value out of it both with its achievement targets and simply working through each level in as quick a time as possible.