Not just a time machine: the best time travel games

Not just a time machine: the best time travel games


Who doesn’t love classic time travel movies like Back To The Future and

The Time Machine and consider them to be one of the most intriguing aspects of science fiction.

Not only because they are aspects unknown to humans yet, and the doors of imagination open wide, but because we all have many things that we wish to change. We wish we had just had a time machine to travel back in time and everything would change. But with all the scientific progress that humanity has reached, we have not yet been able to control time. Today we are going to talk about some of the games that explored time travel in interesting ways, some of them positioned as a core gameplay mechanism, others used it as an effective narrative tool, so here we go.

Life Is Strange (Season 1)

The game revolves around the character of Max and her friend Chloe, whose lives take a

dark turn after the death of Chloe’s father and the suicide of their schoolmate Rachel

, and one day Chloe is in a big dilemma and needs the help of Max, who in turn discovers that she has

a special ability that allows her to manipulate time and go back in it to avoid mistakes that you committed.

This gameplay mechanism enables you to learn from

your mistakes and adapt the choices in the story to go in the direction you want,

from managing your relationships with the characters to important decisions that will save

the lives of some characters or have a significant impact on them, whether positive or negative.

Not just a time machine: the best time travel games
Not just a time machine: the best time travel games

Not just a time machine

The beauty of the game is that it is just like real life, unpredictable, and you will never

be able to get things exactly the way you want them to even if you have the ability to

manipulate time like Max and that is the main message of the game. This is one of those games that treats time travel as a gameplay mechanism which is what makes it an even more interesting idea. You can see an unknown scenario, risk going through it, and then choose to go back in time and choose another scenario…how we all wish we had similar abilities in real life!

Prince Of Persia Sands Of Time

The story takes place in Persia in the ninth century AD, and begins with the prince and his father’s army

, Shahrman, making his way across India to visit the king of Azad. The local Maharaja’s minister, wishing to prevent his death by using a substance known as the “Sands of Time”, lures them into attacking the Maharaja’s palace, where the sands are stored. During the battle, the prince obtains a weapon called “the dagger of time,” and the Maharaja’s daughter, Farah, is taken as a gift to the Sultan of Azad. The Minister then manipulates the Prince into freeing the sand, which turns everyone into monsters except the Prince, the Minister, and Farah. The vizier attempts to seize the dagger from the prince, but he escapes and allies himself with Farah to undo the damage he has done.

Sand is used as a game

mechanism that allows

the prince to step back in time for a few moments to avoid

a difficult situation the game put you in, or to overcome some consequences in moments of

platforming, which prompted players not to be afraid of experiment and failure.



Not just a time machine: the best time travel games
Not just a time machine: the best time travel games

Quantum Break

Have you heard of the DC Comics character The Flash? The Quantum Break game tried to present its own version of this character by gaining the character of Jack Joyce (played by actor Shawn Ashmore) special abilities due to an unintended accident in a scientific experiment laboratory at a university, in which his brother William Joyce is working on building a time machine, but its breakdown wins everything Those in the place have special abilities, the most important of which is Paul, who, for hidden reasons, is trying to take revenge on Jake and William.

At the time of the game’s release in 2015

, it was one of the most demanding games because of its strong visual effects and

great details due to the ideas of time travel and manipulation of time and space that it offers,

and those ideas extend between the story and the gameplay in a coherent manner.

We also have to remember that the game was

developed by Remedy Studio, the developer of Control,

which has similar metaphysical elements, so it seems that the studio likes things above and beyond!

Through combat, Quantum Break lets you run fast, stop time, or rewind, all of which serve the gameplay well. Think of it as Chartred filled with talk about physics. If you haven’t played it yet, I recommend you to try it out soon.

Death Loop

It is one of the games that was nominated for the game of the year in 2021, and it was one of the first reviews of our site and your site Gamesmix.Net, and it got  us a rating of 9/10  for the great freedom it provided in arranging and how to complete the tasks. For those who do not know it or have forgotten what it presented, it is a first-person shooter game from the studio based on Dishonored and Prey games (Arkane studio). The Dreamers” who use a time machine on the island to replay the day over and over and do whatever they like without consequence.

Not just a time machine: the best time travel games
Not just a time machine: the best time travel games

To break this cycle you have to kill them all in one night, which is hard at first but every night you learn something new about their pattern of movements and what they do on the island. Here time travel or repeatedly replaying the day is an effective narrative device in creating a deep and powerful story that takes place all in one day in time.

Twelve Minutes

Criticized for its style so unlike anything you’ve seen before, this indie game from a small studio revolves around a routine day in the life of a married couple, which turns into a drama from the first crack because of a cop who breaks into their house (played by the brilliant Willem Dafoe) and accuses them of The wife kills her father, and she is arrested, but the couple resists arrest and ends up being killed, but the husband does not die, but rather returns to the beginning of the event, to find himself remembering everything that happened and trying to adapt the events in his favor in order to avoid the inevitable tragedy.

This game is one of the hardest and most creative games I’ve played, it reminds me of indie films that are usually quirky and difficult to understand the first time, relying on friends sessions to analyze the movie and make it as useful as possible. That ‘s exactly how  12 Minutes is , and especially because the game gives no instructions on how to handle events. Everything you have to discover on your own.

Not just a time machine
Not just a time machine: the best time travel games
Not just a time machine: the best time travel games


It is one of the best narrative shooter games and I really don’t know why so many people didn’t pay attention to it or why the masses completely forgot about it.

It follows the character of Nathaniel Renko, a US Navy SEAL who is assigned to head to the Soviet-controlled island of   Katorga -12, which has experienced strange disturbances that have disabled US satellites. The team assigned to investigate discovers that this island holds a big secret for scientific experiments on time travel that were conducted by Soviet scientists, which gives the hero the ability to manipulate through time to confront the main enemy of the game, General Nikolai Demichev, who was rescued by the Americans the first time they went to the island.

Time manipulation abilities are available for use as a narrative element in the events of the story itself

, during gameplay by using a time manipulation gauntlet to return physical objects to their previous state,

and using this object to progress in the environment such as repairing stairs to climb to the upper

floors of a building,

or viewing important papers before being burned etc…

The game also allows you to

use that gauntlet in battles and develop it into a devastating tool that can turn enemies into dust in moments!

Not just a time machine

In the end, I avoided mentioning one of the most important games in which time travel ideas appeared, which is Bioshock Infinite, because that element appeared only in its last moments, and it was never an important element during the events of the story itself, but these are not all games that dealt with the idea attractively, There is Telltale’s Back To The Future and other games from small studios such as the platform jumping game Braid and others.


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