We loved Time Geeks: Find All, with its charming pixel art, silly pop-culture references and simple, entertaining, hidden object gameplay. Time Geeks & Friends still offers all of those things, while also giving the game a competitive element using turn-based multiplayer. It’s no longer a question of just finding the relevant character, but instead, it’s about finding that character faster than your opponent.
Both the premium and free versions of the game allow you immediately jump into the online multiplayer mode and play against opponents of a similar rank (determined by the number of wins). You’ll take it in turns to find characters and objects on a particular map, and at the end of each round, receive a score based on how quickly you completed the objective. If you have the highest score after three rounds you’ll be declared the winner. It’s very straightforward and as the nature of the game ensures that you’ll be completing rounds very quickly, it’s well suited to pick up and play.
Strangely enough, the premium version also comes with a singleplayer practice mode, called “Kids mode.” We’re not entirely sure why this is unavailable with the free version, as there’s little reason to play it once you’ve got the hang of the game, or indeed, why its name suggests it’s aimed primarily at children. If you’re after a singleplayer version of this game, then you’ll really want to be looking at the original Time Geeks instead.
However the real advantage of purchasing the premium version is that you’ll have unlimited access to the multiplayer games, without needing to purchase tokens. The free version has a 10-minute regen time for its tokens, so if you want to play a lot without spending any money, you’ll have to do some waiting.
The tokens are also used to purchase power-ups during games. They can increase your time limit, remove the clouds that obscure your vision and, in the final round, directly help you locate some of the objects that you’re looking for. This seems relatively harmless at first, but it unfortunately means that you’re going to be at a potential disadvantage in every game in which you don’t invest in these power-ups. Players who purchase additional tokens, or who are willing to wait for their tokens to regenerate, have a considerable leg-up when competing against players who don’t.
The highlight of the Time Geeks series continues to be its delightful presentation. The different backgrounds really do look fantastic and are crammed full of characters and references to all manners of popular culture. The island from Lost is still a clear favorite for us, with its surprising level of detail. Expect to see the shell of Oceanic Flight 815, the smoke monster, a Dharma van, the sonar fence and plenty more in pixel-art form.
Time Geeks & Friends is a great game that absolutely benefits from the inclusion of multiplayer. We’d recommend using the free version as a demo if you’re still unsure, and then purchasing the premium version if you intend to play the game on a more regular basis.