Well, well well. Here we are with a game that can only be described as Superhot’s younger sibling. Tick Tock Bang Bang is another title from Dejobaan Games, the studio that has honestly a good few titles under their belt at this point. You can see some of the inspirations for Tick Tock Bang Bang in some of their earlier projects, such as Drunken Robot Pornography and AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!.
The main mechanic of the game is that time moves incredibly slowly, but begins moving at normal speed whenever you move. The classic Superhot formulae. Tick Tock Bang Bang does introduce some of its own mechanics, so I don’t mean to portray this game as a simple Superhot clone, it can stand on its own two feet. The slow down mechanic gives you time to accurately line up your shots and plan your actions ahead of time. The game throws a wide range of different enemy types at you, with the focus being on dodging the incoming projectiles. More often than not, the game plays more like a first person bullet hell.
The player at any point can have flying lawnmower bladed enemies, roaming turret shots, massive saw blades, suicide bombers and bloody massive laser beams all aiming to seriously maim them. The combination of enemy types across all the levels keeps a good amount of challenge throughout the game. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings as Tick Tock Bang Bang does also throw some environmental hazards towards the player, in the form of cars or massive boulders. There is a good feel of pace, most enemies are introduced in something of a vacuum to get a feel for how they behave.
Tick Tock Bang Bang offers fifty-one chapters in total, which do cover quite the variety of different map types. There are ones that focus on killing all the robots inside the scene, levels where the challenge is avoiding getting hit and aerial levels where the player is either thrown up into the air or freefalling. A lot of the levels actually pay homage to other games, with even a direct reference to Superhot, Clustertrucks and Frogger. It is nice to see that the developers are aware of the similarities within other titles.
Power up wise there is quite a small selection. The standard weapon is incredibly short ranged, so players are seeking out the bullet pick-up that turns their gun into a projectile weapon. There is a EMP that destroys all enemies on the level and a black hole where all enemies are drawn towards where it is left. Last but not least is the orbital bombardment, which just rains fire down around an area. It does feel like the game could really benefit from a few additional basic power-ups, but the game doesn’t really suffer from a lack of variety.
Story wise, there isn’t really that much of one. The game is framed as a you being a stunt woman who is currently filming a movie, this is all explained within the title screen and not touched again. This isn’t the type of game if you wanted a deep narrative to carry you through, Tick Tock Bang Bang offers a short experience with strong mechanics done right. It is honestly interesting to me how Dejobaan games produce such a wide variety of genres, with Elegy for a Dead World being such a narrative driven experience. (Even though that was player input based.)
For the more creative players Tick Tock Bang Bang does have Steam Workshop support, but more importantly it has a “Create Titan” feature built right in. Titans are some of the larger enemies within the game that end up filling the screen with lasers and other such evil things. They are a little balanced as they all have a “heart” that if players can hit, it is a one shot kill. Most of the pieces snap together, so creating one is relatively easy. Just looking at some of the Steam creations, some of them look literally insane.
There is also a challenge mode where players can fight against user created titans or levels, other than that most of the replay-ability comes from trying to beat the time records of levels. The in game score board does give something for more competitive players to strive for, but once you complete all the missions you’ll have to rely on user made content to keep playing.
Overall, the game has quite a short playtime to completion. Tick Tock Bang Bang offers eight achievements which are all related to complete certain missions, total run time for myself was around an hour and a half. I must admit that I’m pretty sure a good chunk of my time was dedicated to the final level, which without giving any spoilers significantly amps up the difficulty. The game has a simple premise with a good amount of challenge, time honestly flew by as I was progressing through the levels.
One small pet peeve with the game is the loading times, I’ve got quite a beefy computer and I felt that some of the loading screens lingered for a little bit too long. I think I would be happy to recommend Tick Tock Bang Bang to anyone, for its price point and the enjoyment I got out of it. It’s an enjoyable little title, admittedly it doesn’t break too much new ground. That doesn’t however take away from what is a solid game, I shall be keeping my eye out for any additional levels released for Tick Tock Bang Bang in the future.
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