Blinx the Timesweeper
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox
Publisher
Microsoft
Developer
Artoon
Genre
Platformer
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Mild Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Graphics look nice
• Timesweeper elements add variety to game
• Lots of secrets to find

The Bad

• Enemies look bland
• Shooting mechanics are inconsistent
• Time limit and one-hit kills may lead to frustration

 
Grade
B

Blinx works for the Time Factory as a Timesweeper. His job is to clean up glitches in time in the various worlds which become manifested as crystals. If left too long, the crystals turn into monsters, which absorb energy and in turn can destroy that world. When the Tom-Tom Gang breaks into world B1Q64, captures the princess and starts sucking up time crystals, they accidentally start events that is sure to doom that world. In an act of heroism (and even some infatuation with the princess), Blinx jumps into the portal to the world in hopes of saving it.

Blinx is broken up into series of stages, each series in a different area, where the player needs to defeat all the monsters by sucking up debris and bombs and shooting it at them. All along the way, you can pick up various "Lucky Charms"-like crystals. When you pick up 3 or 4 of the same color in a row, you gain an ability to alter time, much like a VCR controls. Initially, most of the time elements are nothing more than for looks, but further into the game, you'll actually need to use these time elements to solve puzzles. At the end of each area is a boss monster, which is often just a larger version of the regular monsters and can be dispatched through tactics you learned in the previous levels. While the game may at first seem quite easy, you'll find yourself challenged in later levels as as both the monsters are harder to take down and the crystals you need to acquire certain time skills may be hard to find. Also, each stage has a time limit of ten minutes and Blinx himself can only take one hit before dying. If you have retry crystals in your retry gauge, though, time will rewind a few seconds and you can dodge the attack that killed you.

In each area is a shop in which you can buy retry crystals, empty holders for retry and time crystals or even bigger and better timesweepers. Later models can sweep up sand and fire and even suck up larger debris, which you'll find useful as it will give you access to certain hidden parts of previous levels. Each level has a number of hidden medallions, which is sure to give completionists a reason to replay each level multiple times. Or, you can just go back to get more money to spend in the shop.

For the most part, Blinx the Timesweeper looks great. The levels are large and detailed with some fine lighting effects that really accent the crazy cartoonish design of each location. Blinx himself looks great. He's well detailed and animated nicely. When you get the camera in close, you can even see his whiskers and fur and even the reflections off of his goggles. Some levels don't look as good as others, but that's really from a design standpoint. Also, the design and look of the average monsters are fairly boring. They serve a functional purpose, but I really wish that like Blinx, they had been given a little more detail.

The music is quirky - it feels both crazy yet fun at the same time. The odd techno soundtrack really works for the bent futuristic feel that the game delivers. Both the sound effects and limited vocal parts aid in the overall structure of the game.

There are a few aspects that seem to detract from the game. First of all, Blinx runs like he has lead in his pants. For a game where each level has a time limit, I kind of wish that Blinx ran with more impetus. On top of that, the mechanics for shooting garbage and bombs seems inconsistent. Sometimes, you can shoot at a monster across the room and nail him, but other times, the garbage seems to get caught on something invisible. And when you're shooting bombs, this becomes extremely dangerous. Some of the more difficult monsters are challenging more so because you can't trust whether your aim will hit it's mark. Add in the time limit and you may find yourself redoing certain levels multiple times before finishing.

Even with some of the aspects that I wish had been changed, I would state that this game is a success in providing both challenge and fun to the Xbox. If you're a fan of the genre, you should check this one out.

- - Vane

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