Games where you can control time

Chips over time robustly diversify the gameplay. By integrating such game mechanics, you can turn the project from an ordinary representative of the genre into a distinctive and interesting game. You don’t have to go far for examples, just remember the Braid adventure puzzle or the FEAR first-person shooter, which without time management would turn into ordinary and passing projects. In this article, we have collected the most famous games that deserve the attention of gamers precisely due to the gameplay mechanics over time.

Prince of Persia Series

Created back in 1989 by Jordan Meckner, the game about the adventures of a young prince was a breakthrough in the action-adventure genre. New life was breathed into the project by developers from Ubisoft, who bought the rights and created one of the most memorable adventures of 2003, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

The game was a resounding success, and over the next two years, the developers released two more parts, called The Warrior Within and The Two Thrones. The prince possessed great dexterity, able to run along the walls, spin on the crossbars and skillfully jump over the abyss. But in order to avoid risks, the hero could literally rewind time, which gave players a little more chance of a successful pirouette without having to pause the game and load the last save.

The second part of The Warrior Within noticeably “matured up”, became darker and acquired a heavy soundtrack in the face of American metalheads from Godsmack. Such a bias went to the game only in favor.


One of the most interesting 2D platform games that makes players move their brains, and one of the most beautiful 2D games in general. Braid has its own recognizable style, the game seems to be painted with paints. It is noteworthy that only one person worked on the project: the whole idea and program code belonged to Jonathan Blow.

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Despite a simple Mario-style opening where the protagonist rushes off to find the princess, Braid can evoke a great deal of drama and empathy for the protagonists. The game touches upon the issues of the value of time, the path lived and the mistakes made along the way. No one is perfect, and looking back at our lives through the prism of the years we have lived, the tragedy of our mistakes can be felt even more strongly. And Braid makes it feel great.

But other than that, the game is an interesting puzzle game. There are six worlds available in Braid, each of which has its own laws of time. And if in the first world gamers are introduced to the classic mechanics of rewinding time, then towards the end of the game, separate layers of reality are created at the levels with shadow worlds that exist parallel to the real time in which the player is located. Difficult, interesting and original.


A sci-fi first-person shooter where game mechanics over time were not just far-fetched for the sake of interesting situations, but were correctly integrated into the game’s plot. The main advantage of the protagonist was his chronosuit, which gave him several unique abilities at once, ranging from slowing down and stopping time, and ending with inversion (used only at strictly defined stages of the game).

Unfortunately, the project did not receive much recognition from gamers. We can say that the game was just unlucky. A good and well-developed project was simply lost in an avalanche of other first-person shooters when this genre was at its peak.

Perhaps the game was not prevented by the highest development budgets. For 2007, the project looked frankly weak, especially against the backdrop of Crysis and Unreal Tournament 2007 released in the same year. But, despite this, Timeshift remains one of the most interesting futuristic shooters that you can play with over time.

Max Payne series

Without tricks with time, it would have been a noir drama about a police officer who lost his family in one moment. No complaints to the developers from Remedy – they managed to create a truly beautiful story that is interesting to follow. They made a pretty good third-person shooter, but in 2001 the game managed to succeed not because of the story, but because of the innovative slow-motion game mechanics.

It can be seen that the developers were inspired by the film “The Matrix”. The protagonist knows how to make beautiful lunges in all directions in order to avoid bullet wounds, and it is at this moment that the time counter slows down several times.

The developers did it in a hell of a way. Bullet marks, neat streams of blood, pieces of furniture flying to pieces, breaking bottles and jugs, falling sheets of paper – all this sets the desired color and atmosphere. The developers even came up with a special definition for such game mechanics – “Bullet Time”.


We can say for sure that even without the bullet-time mechanics, this game would still have found an army of its fans. The first part of FEAR had a great story, great shooting mechanics, graphics that could easily compete with the titans of the time like Doom 3 and The Chronicles of Riddick.

The games had good destructibility and brutal artificial intelligence. The enemies behaved so thoughtfully that during skirmishes, some of the opponents could keep the player under heavy fire, while other team members ran around the location and came to your rear.

It was at such moments that the time dilation system came to the aid of the players. And yes, she was worked out even better and more beautiful here than in Max Payne. And there was a dismemberment here. Heads flying off in slow motion that leave a beautiful bloody trail behind them, bullet marks and a constant feeling of stress from the fact that one of the enemies could sneak up behind you. All this created an indescribable cocktail of emotions and gave the game a unique style.

Quantum Break

Another project from the Finns from Remedy Entertainment, who gave us Max Payne. It seems that the studio is not indifferent to the game mechanics with the use of time. This time, the protagonist’s arsenal includes several effective techniques for interacting with time. One of the most impressive is the complete stop of time in the selected area. Also, players are able to make a sharp dash to the side (or directly to the enemy) or use a shield on themselves that will absorb all damage.

It can be seen that the developers approached the implementation of game mechanics more creatively. The players had a choice, which gave them the opportunity to build a certain strategy and their own style of play. For example, “chronofreeze” (stopping time around the selected object) allows you to interrupt the flurry of fire in the right place. Each of the abilities has a short cooldown, which allows players to use them constantly.

We add here a rather interesting plot, love for details and good graphics for that time, and we get a good project that we are not ashamed to recommend to everyone who loves unusual gameplay mechanics. A well-deserved mention on our list.


The original first-person action game with elements of hand-to-hand combat found its army of fans precisely because of its game mechanics. Here, time only moves when the player moves. Imagine a situation where you are standing in a huge hall, and a dozen barrels are aimed at a character, on half of which they have already managed to pull the trigger. But only in Superhot, such a situation will not cause stress for the player. After all, when the main character stands still, time freezes with him.

And here you can beat off bullets with your own katana. To further diversify the gameplay, the developers have added a system of bonuses or so-called perks. For example, the game has a perk that causes all items to explode after being hit by a bullet from the player.

Even more flavor of the game gives its external style. The closest visual reference here is Mirrors Edge, which shone with its blue and red color palette and set the mood throughout the game. Initially, the project was positioned as a small browser demo, but later the game attracted the interest of gamers, and the developers received funding through Kickstarter.