[Review] The Temporal Invasion

The Temporal Invasion was released July 4, 2016 from indie developer Hybriona Labs on Steam. Currently, the developer only has a Windows version up, but promises iOS and Linux within the week. It’s been on my Steam wishlist for a couple of weeks now, following some of the hype coming out of E3.

I was pleasantly surprised and delighted by the quality of this game. The price point is an extremely reasonable $3.99.

I occasionally play puzzle games like 100 doors or various hidden object games on my iOS devices while killing time, say, in an airport. So, when I got the email yesterday that The Temporal Invasion was coming up, I downloaded it with a subset of expectations that were wildly off course.

Case-Puzzle

Firstly, this game is hard. It more closely resembles a virtual treasure hunt of information throughout history than any puzzle games I’ve played lately. The game gives you a few sandbox tools, but is designed for the player to utilize external internet searches (or other resources, if you have them) to fact-find through multi-step complex riddles and produce an answer for each case that moves the player through the story.

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The premise of the story involves being contacted for help by the mysterious “Dr. Quantum.” As the protagonist, you’ve already identified that occasionally your memories are out-of-sync with reality, but are completely unprepared to be whisked on a journey through the past and future to uncover the truth behind a massive conspiracy perpetrated by a mysterious group of scientists from the future.

Actual graphics in the game are just what the screenshots in the post show, no flashy graphics or crazy cut scenes, but the story holds your attention and the difficulty level is phenomenal. Some puzzles are intuitive and you only need a google search or two to find where you’re going, while others are positively confounding. As yet, very few hint posts or walkthroughs are up, so you’re completely left to your own devices to work through the puzzles and riddles.

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There are a few rough points, a few puzzles have awkward wording that actually make the puzzles a bit harder and a couple of the puzzles took me a couple of read-throughs to figure out what piece of information was being asked for. There’s not a lot of introduction in how the game works or what kind of research is expected alongside the game. That said, the intro quests do a great job of introducing you to some of the tools. Also, word to the wise, there’s a “Help” button that would have been good to read before I launched directly into the game. Overall, I really enjoyed this game!

Check out my walkthrough for hints and answers if you get stuck!

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