When you design a game, it should be for the console that would suit it the best. Time Hollow is perfect for the DS and could only be done, at the same quality, on the DS. That being said, Time Hollow is not really a game. It looks, at first glance, like a point and click adventure game, but is more in line with a visual novel. The real draw being its fantastic story. It follows Ethan Kairos, a 17 year old student who comes across a device called the Hollow Pen, which allows him to open holes in time and manipulate the events on the other side.
This discovery sets off a chain reaction of events. Ethan can only manipulate the past in locations that appear in flashbacks, single images of a scene that occur whenever the past is tampered with. He finds that as he manipulates the past to change the present for the better, it sets off events that he did not intend to occur. As he begins to attempt to fix some of his mistakes, he quickly discovers that he is not the only one that posses a Hollow Pen and that someone is attempting to ruin his own and those he cares about’s lives.
Ethan enlists the help of a girl name Kori, who has crossed a portal and has been removed from the flow of time. Together they try to unravel he mystery of who is trying to destroy Ethan and why. The story is by far the strong point of Time Hollow and is the best time manipulation story I have ever experienced. I felt compelled to see it through to the end as quickly as possible. I craved to know how everything wrapped up, unfortunately the gameplay motivated me otherwise. What added to the experience was the graphics. The graphics in Time Hollow are great. They do not reach that amount of detail as in Phoenix Wright, yet they do not draw any negative attention. The interspersed animated sequence are a very nice touch for a DS game.
The gameplay of Time Hollow is almost non existent. You spend your time tapping the screen: tapping to progress dialog, tapping to maneuver through environments, tapping to place time portals. Endless amounts of tapping. Stuck? Tap around, tap every item of the screen, ask each dialog option again, or check your flashbacks. There is no depth, the only real difficulty stemming from where you place the time portal, since you can only place so many before you run of of time and die. Time Hollow is in every way a book that you “play.”
If you are looking for the next Phoenix Wright, Time Hollow is not for you. If you want a stellar time manipulation story and do not need deep gameplay then I urge you to give Time Hollow a chance. I loved the time I spent with Time Hollow, it is one of the few stories in which all of its plot threads are all tied up, nothing is left hanging, yet it leaves a sequel possible. Please play Time Hollow and please Konami make a sequel.
Decent Visuals Accented by animated sequences.
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Nothing outstanding with the exception of the great theme song
Only good for a single playthrough unless you are the type of person who rereads books
Great game with an amazing story that everyone should give a chance.