The best games with a time loop concept

 

The best games with a time loop concept

The concept of a time loop has been repeatedly used in popular films like Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow, but game makers also decided not to stand aside from modern trends. We decided to collect games where this concept is best implemented and really makes the gameplay more confusing and interesting.


Attention! There are spoilers in this article, so if you haven't played any of the games it's best to skip this section.



12 Minutes

12 Minutes

Release date: Aug 19, 2021
Platforms: PC, XSX | S, XOne
For one only

Let's start with a new exclusive from Microsoft, which is completely built on the concept of a time loop. The indie game 12 Minutes has been gaining popularity since the announcement, because it offered players a truly confusing story. The main character is an ordinary family man who spends the evening with his loved ones. Suddenly, the cops burst into the apartment and accuse his wife of killing his own father. As a result, a quiet evening with the family ends with a real tragedy, after which the cycle starts over again.

Your task is to get to the bottom of the truth and understand why everything ends this way. This is not a funny movie "Groundhog Day", where the main character initially enjoyed the fact that every day he can do whatever he wants with impunity, and then everything will start again. In a similar situation in12 Minutes you will definitely have no time for jokes. The project turned out to be really interesting and, perhaps, this is the first game that initially tingles the concept of a time loop from the negative side and makes the characters exactly suffer without thinking about some kind of fun or similar things.


The forgotten city

The forgotten city

Release date: July 28, 2021
Platforms: PC, PS5, XSX | S, PS4, XOne, Switch
For one only

The plot of the game tells how the main character mysteriously gets from space to Earth during the ancient Roman Empire. Moreover, when at least one of the NPCs commits a crime, the entire city is destroyed and everything starts from the very beginning. The main task of the player is to find the criminal before he decides to go to his dirty business.

It is worth noting that in The Forgotten Cityno random events happen. That is, while you are talking with someone on the streets of Ancient Rome, the game will not suddenly end, because the criminal still got his way. Here you have the right to independently change the plot so that it does not lead to the end of the world and you do not have to start all over again. In the same way, if you make the wrong decisions, then one fine moment the crime will take place and the whole city will perish. In general, it is worthwhile to understand all the subtleties of The Forgotten City by playing it yourself, but in fact, the presence of the concept of a time loop perfectly explains everything that happens in the game.


Minit

Minit

Release date: April 3, 2018
Platforms: PC, Mac
For one only

Here is a funny mini-game in which you are constantly in a time loop that lasts only a minute! According to the plot, a terrible curse was imposed on the fictional world, which makes it so that every day lasts only 60 seconds, and not the usual 24 hours.

The game is very dynamic and offers tons of funny characters. At the same time, the gameplay changes over and over again, and sometimes you do not even have time to get used to what happened during the first race, as the second one begins right away. If you like fast and creative projects, then Minit is what you need. Well, and even shorter time loop than here, you will definitely not see anywhere else.


Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds

Release date: May 28, 2019
Platforms: PC, PS5, XSX | S, PS4, XOne
For one only

This is a very confusing game that exploits the concept of a time loop to the fullest. According to the plot, the main character constantly finds himself in the world 22 minutes before a large-scale explosion of a star, and if he does not have time to do everything that is needed during this time, then everything starts all over again.

The developers explained this approach by the fact that they wanted to make the gameplay more varied and bring into reality a changeable system that will constantly throw new challenges to the player. Most importantly, all the madness that is happening in the Outer Wilds is simply perfectly explained by the time loop that the protagonist fell into. Without all this, you probably would not understand at all what you are doing on distant planets and why after death you return to where you started.

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite

Release date: March 26, 2013
Platforms: PC, Mac, XSX | S, PS4, XOne, PS3, X360, Switch
For one only

If you've played the Bioshock franchise carefully, then in the last installment, subtitled Infinite , you probably realized that the franchise is constantly happening in a time loop. In fact, the developers explain it very simply, and you didn't have to solve any riddles to come to this, you just had to be careful.

The main character, Booker DeWitt, realizes that he has been to the floating city of Columbia more than a hundred times and he constantly needed to save the girl. In addition, it turns out that the main antagonist of the series - Zachary Comstock - is the main character, only from that alternate universe in which Booker decided to atone for his sins and somehow became evil. Even in the final of Bioshock Infinitethe game continues to flirt with the concept of a time loop because after Booker's death, players saw the credits, and immediately after them another scene with him, where he is safe and sound. There is a feeling that the loop has not broken, and we all should wait for the continuation, where it all finally ends. I hope we will see it someday.


Returnal

Returnal

Release date: April 30, 2021
Platforms: PS5
Asynchronous Co-op

The time-loop concept works best in roguelike games, as evidenced by the recent PlayStation 5 exclusive, Returnal . Thanks to this approach to storytelling, the developers were able to explain why you have to resurrect again and clear locations over and over again, and also why it becomes more difficult each time.

Also, with each new passage, you can meet the corpse of the main character Selena, which only makes the player more fearful and makes him accept the concept of a time loop, from which it is impossible to get out. Perhaps Returnal is one of the brightest examples of games where the time loop turned out to be really appropriate, and without it the creators would not have been able to explain anything at all.


Deathloop

Deathloop

Release date: September 14, 2021
Platforms: PC, PS5
Multiplayer for: 2

Let's end our selection with a game called Deathloop , which, in fact, inspired me to create this material. It turns out that not so few games use the concept of a time loop, and it is not a fact that the upcoming new product will do it better than the others, but we will find out about this only in mid-September 2021.

Gameplay in Deathloopis based on the fact that you play as an assassin who needs to kill 8 people in one day. At the same time, one more killer, who has only one target, and that's you, constantly interferes with completing his mission. All your future victims are scattered across a huge location in a random way and go about their business, so eliminating them in a day will not be as easy as it seems. In addition, do not forget about duels with another killer, which will have to spend a lot of time.

In general, the concept of Deathloop looks interesting on paper, but how it will be implemented in practice is not clear. Nevertheless, we simply could not not add it to this collection, because the game is directly aggressively advertised precisely through the concept of a time loop, so this component simply has to be great.


As it turned out, there are a lot of games in which the main character goes through the same time period over and over again. And they are all in different genres and use the concept of a time loop in their own way. If we forgot about some other similar projects, then be sure to write about them in the comments.

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