I’d stop short of calling Time Stall a puzzle game. True, there’s a certain degree of brain teasing in each of its eight levels, but the solution is almost always to push incoming projectiles out of the way. And with that, I officially coin the term ‘pushing game’.
There’s a lot to like in this brief interstellar tale of catastrophe, even if relatively little of it is concerned with the main objectives. Set aboard a crowdfunded space cruise ship, you slow time in order to save your robotic captain and crewmates whenever disaster strikes. At one point in the kitchen, for example, a defective robot throws himself at your lovably naive leader, while in another he risks being sucked out of space.
You can see why developer Force Field is so eager to push the, well, pushing; Time Stall’s physics are a delight to tinker with. As time slows, falling objects slow to a crawl and you’re free to simply pluck them out of the air. You’ll often be able to use this mechanic in multiple ways to achieve your objective. In the first level, for example, I created a line of cardboard boxes to push some falling debris out of the way. When I replayed the same level I realized I could also just throw other objects in hopes of them colliding.
It’s definitely refreshing to see a game that gives you so much creative freedom in how you go about beating it. I was even able pull off some technically complex feats like hooking the arm of a chair with the end of a golf club and then pulling it around.