Super Time Force was developed and published by Capybara Games. It was released May 14, 2014 on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for $14.99/£11.99. An Xbox One copy was provided for review purposes.
Super Time Force (STF) is a game that wears its 8-bit inspired graphics with nothing but the utmost pride. At its simplest, this is a Contra-style shooter with one hell of a modern twist to keep things interesting. As you might expect from this kind of game, the action predominantly takes place from left to right as players battle their way towards the inevitable massive boss encounter — the twist, however, is that there is absolutely no chance of (or incentive to) finish levels with just one life. That’s right folks, the clue is in the name: in STF, players are actively encouraged to roll back time, pick another character and repeat stages over and over again.
Of course, you might ask, why bother? Well, Super Time Force doesn’t just allow players to retry sections of a level after failure; it actually encourages rewinding (“Timeout”), changing characters and replaying sections to maximise collectables and because of a mechanic that Capy calls “single-player co-op.” This idea basically works by having the ghost of each previous attempt fight alongside the current character to deal damage, collect stuff and protect the live player with abilities like blocking. When a previously killed ghost survives as the result of a later playthrough, that ghost then becomes a power-up for the current player as a little thank you. Make sense? Don’t worry if it doesn’t, you’ll get the hang of things and the system will become second nature within no time at all.