I really enjoyed Time Travelers, a Japanese 3D visual novel game for Vita and 3DS, back when it was released. It’s the most complicated time travel plot that I’ve encountered so far. I would be lying if I say that I have ‘gotten’ the story.
I’ve beaten the main game. The thing is, it has an extra mode, called TTPhone, which I skipped over to play other games:
It’s an extra game with different gameplay. Whereas the main game is more like an interactive movie, this one is closer to a dating sim. The concept is that the player is from the future, and he can somehow do a video call with Mikoto, the female protagonist, in 2002. Her existence in 2002 itself is a mystery, since in the main story she doesn’t exist in 2002.
The cool concept about this extra game is that the player’s and Mikoto’s times are synched. The year is different, but the date is the same. In the beginning, since she doesn’t trust the player so much, she often rejects the player’s call (which is what I’m experiencing T.T):
Player can “skip ahead to the next 4 hours’ increments and up to 2 days”. This feature can make Mikoto’s time faster. For example, at the beginning when the times are synched, when player’s time is 5:00pm, Mikoto’s time is also 5:00pm. By doing one skip, player’s time would still be 5:00pm (it’s synched to the device clock, actually), but Mikoto’s time becomes 9:00pm.
I think this feature is useful, for example, when you need to go to school (in real life), but one of the events would occur during school times. So you advance the time in the game, see the event and go to school without worries.
There is a corresponding wait feature that stops Mikoto’s time, to let the player’s time catch up to it after doing some skips (and once it’s synched back, Mikoto’s time would start moving again). The same catching up effect also occurs when player quits the game. Btw, if you don’t use the wait feature or quit after doing some skips, you would maintain the time difference. But like I mentioned, it is capped to 2 days. It feels pretty weird, I must say.
One last thing, this extra game has no auto save mode, so player has to explicitly quit the game (which will also save the game).
Like I mentioned, in the beginning Mikoto tends to reject your call and all you can do is wait. In the meantime, you can look up certain key words that come up during your previous conversations with Mikoto on the net. But the whole thing (the search terms) is pretty much scripted and that’s about the only thing you can do.
This is one of the games with real-time progression. I must say, it would’ve been slightly better if I have gotten the download version. With the cartridge version, it means if I want to play another game while waiting for a new event to come up, I would have to quit the game, take out the Time Travelers’ cartridge and put in another cartridge. Then in other to check TTPhone again, I got to do the reverse. With the download version, you still need to quit to switch games but at least you don’t have to do the taking in and out of cartridges.
The game also penalizes you if you don’t call her even once in a week (or 10 days, maybe). That’s what happened when I tried this game quite a while back. Mikoto would send a mail saying that she wishes to cut all connections with the player (since the player seems to be ignoring her), and it’s game over -.-;
I hope that it doesn’t take a lot of time to beat this mode… The developers assign quite a number of trophies for this mode. If they didn’t, I would’ve platinumed this game long ago -_-;