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Bend Time To Your
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Time in video games is a valuable thing. Unlike in the real world where it proceeds in a linear fashion, in a game it may speed up, slow down or even go backwards. There are some games where controlling time becomes a crucial and fascinating game mechanic. The best of these integrate your time travelling powers with both characters and narrative to create a compelling experience.
 
This list includes 128 games from the last 35 years, with 1,907 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to manipulate time to win.

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Before Your Eyes

Release Date: 08/04/2021, updated in 2022

Out Now: Android, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game about an 11-year-old boy revisiting his life before "crossing over" to the other side. You play by exploring scenes that represent snapshots of his life. Unusually, you make choices and interact with the game by...

Everything

Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Everything is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in...

Mini Metro

Release Date: 06/01/2015

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Grid

Mini Metro is a sequencing strategy game where you create an ordered, efficient underground train system. It sounds like hard work, but the simple Tube-map visuals, calm music, and streamlined interactions make this relaxing, like sudoku. Dip your toe...

Outer Wilds

Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. After twenty minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the...

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Out Now: Mac, PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Open World

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

Overboard

Release Date: 02/06/2021

Out Now: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Text

Overboard is a murder mystery narrative game played in reverse. You murder your husband at the start of the game and then try and get away with it. It's played on a ship where the characters are affected by your choices and changes their actions...

A Hat in Time

Release Date: 05/10/2017, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World

A Hat in Time is a running, jumping and exploring game inspired by retro platform games like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon and Psychonauts. As you explore each of the worlds, you discover characters to talk to, enemies to battle and an...

Dordogne

Release Date: 13/06/2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Dordogne is a narrative adventure where you play as Mimi, a 32-year-old woman who returns to the house of her recently deceased grandmother. You explore the house and area to find letters and puzzles that bring back memories of the past.

Proteus

Release Date: 30/01/2013

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita and PS3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Proteus is a narrative adventure game which takes you to a pixelated island. As you explore you discover that your presence changes the seasons and time of day. Delving deeper, there are rudimentary interactions with the creatures that inhabit the land,...

Hindsight

Release Date: 04/08/2022

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Hindsight is a narrative point-and-click game where you revisit the past by finding objects that trigger memories. Play involves exploring each scene, locating objects and listening to the story as you move the camera to look within what you've found...

The Gardens Between

Release Date: 20/09/2018

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

The Gardens Between is a puzzle game set in dreamlike island gardens where you play as best friends Arina and Frendt. You work around the island levels collecting balls of light in your lantern, manipulating time to solve puzzles and remove obstacles...

Ghost Trick

Release Date: 19/06/2010, updated in 2023

Out Now: DS, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a narrative brain game where you play a ghost that can stop time to solve crimes and save lives. You can inhabit and control objects and possess corpses to alter what happens. His ultimate aim is to use his memories to...

Crime O'Clock

Release Date: 30/06/2023

Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Cartoon and Hand-Made

Crime O'Clock is a point-and-click crime-solving game where you explore a detailed map to piece together timelines that prove whodunnit. You zoom in and study the detailed map to find time markers and work out the culprit of hacking, murder and theft.

Cris Tales

Release Date: 20/07/2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Cris Tales is a role-playing game where you see how your actions in the present affect the past and future. You play as Crisbell in a cartoon-looking adventure through four Kingdoms in a bid to stop the powerful Time Empress and rewrite the future of...

Superhot

Release Date: 25/02/2016, updated in 2019

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Web and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Cartoon

Superhot is a shooting game with a twist. Time only moves forward (bullets, enemies, damage) when you move your character. This is still a violent game, in fact, in slow motion, it feels more violent.

Heaven's Vault

Release Date: 16/04/2019

Out Now: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Heaven's Vault is a communication adventure game you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. While doing real linguistic work you interact with companions and locals. Your choices...

Returnal

Release Date: 30/04/2021, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC and PS5

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person

Returnal is a sci-fi shooting game played in repeating rounds that slowly change the world and your character. You are a pilot stranded on a mysterious planet and must investigate and fight through the world to both survive and solve the repeating...

Framed (Series)

Release Date: 12/11/2014, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, PC, Switch and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Framed is a puzzle adventure where you rearrange panels of an animated comic book to change the outcome and timeline of the story. With a noir-detective look, the puzzles start simply but soon get complex.

The Longing

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Persistant World and Pixels

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Disc Room

Release Date: 22/10/2020

Out Now: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Disc Room is an action survival game set in a sprawling intergalactic slaughterhouse. You are a scientist from the future exploring the facility and must get through each room that is filled with sharp discs by running and dodging. You have special...

Creature in the Well

Release Date: 06/09/2019, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Hand-Made

Creature in the Well is a pinball-inspired fighting game that reimagines the ball-bouncing fun of Arkanoid. You play the last remaining robot who ventures deep into a desert mountain to restore power to an ancient facility and save the village that...

Penrose

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Out Now: Android, Web and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Text

Penrose is a text adventure, where you don't only read the story and choose its next step, but can go back into the text to change it in all sorts of mind-bending ways. As the developer describes it, "Penrose is a non-linear narrative adventure game...

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia

Release Date: 24/09/2020

Out Now: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is a running and jumping game in the world of Trollhunters. You play Jim Lake Jr. and work to stop Porgon the Trickster Troll and his sneaky plans. With the help of other characters and their abilities, you solve...

Life Is Strange (Series)

Release Date: 19/01/2016

Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Life Is Strange is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at a high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover...

Okami

Release Date: 20/04/2006, updated in 2017

Out Now: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World

Okami (Okamiden on Nintendo DS) is an unusual action-adventure. Combat is via interactions that are achieved with brush strokes rather than weapons. It has a unique visual style that invites you to inhabit its painted world with brushstrokes of your...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Out Now: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person and Pixels

Return of the Obra Dinn is a narrative puzzle game where you play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the...

Splatty's Adventure (Dreams)

Release Date: 25/04/2019, updated in 2021

Out Now: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made

Splatty's Adventure is a running, jumping and fighting game where you play a small (4-year-old) hero who must escape an oversized bedroom and get on your way to save the world from destruction. Like stepping into a Toy Story film, but here you wield a...

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Release Date: 09/11/1996, updated in 2020

Out Now: DS, GBA, GameCube, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is the latest game in the Crash Bandicoot series, where you play a genetically enhanced bandicoot called Crash and run, jump and bash your way through levels while avoiding hazards.

Little Misfortune

Release Date: 18/11/2019

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Little Misfortune is a dark adventure where you play a small girl called, Misfortune, who, guided by a voice in her head, seeks the prize of eternal happiness for her mother. It's played side-on and unfolds a narrative about the girl's family as you...

Twelve Minutes

Release Date: 19/08/2021, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Components: 2D Overhead

Twelve Minutes is an adventure thriller game about a single apartment building. You view things from above and can interact with a simple click-and-drag interface. What starts as a romantic evening with your wife turns into a nightmare when a police...

Bioshock

Release Date: 21/08/2007, updated in 2016

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Bioshock is a first-person shooting game set in a fantastical underwater city. A dark story unfolds about the misuse of surgery and gene therapy, and what happens when a society develops with a power mad genius in control. It's an unusual combination of...

A Place for the Unwilling

Release Date: 25/07/2019

Out Now: Mac, PC and Stadia

Components: 2D Overhead and Open World

A Place for the Unwilling is a narrative adventure set in the final 21 days of a dying city. You investigate the city and its inhabitants to piece together what has happened. However, the clock is always ticking and the city carries on, with or without...

Burnout Paradise

Release Date: 16/03/2018, updated in 2018

Out Now: GameCube, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World

Burnout Paradise is the latest game in the Burnout series, an over-the-top racing game where you’re encouraged to crash, bash and ram other cars. Throughout the series the bravado and crashing increase, but they all have the same novel core gameplay.

Forza Motorsport 7

Release Date: 03/10/2017, updated in 2023

Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Weather

Forza Motorsport 7 immerses players in the exhilarating thrill of competitive racing. From mastering the new motorsport-inspired campaign to collecting a wide range of cars to experiencing the excitement of driving at the limit, this is Forza reimagined.

To The Moon

Release Date: 10/11/2011, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead and Pixels

To the Moon is a story-adventure following two doctors trying to fulfil a dying man's last wish to go to the moon. With only a few ways to interact with the game, you control the doctors, exploring and solving puzzles to reconstruct the dying man's...

Photographs - Puzzle Stories

Release Date: 03/04/2019

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Pixels

Photographs - Puzzle Stories is a narrative puzzle game where you witness the lives and memories of five different characters. You investigate old photos for memories that advance the story and solve simple puzzles that reflect their lives. It stands...

Lil’ Guardsman

Release Date: 23/01/2024

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon

Lil’ Guardsman is a puzzle adventure where you play a 12-year-old covering her dad's shift at the guardhouse. Play involves questioning each person who wants to pass to determine who to admit or deny. It combines Papers Please border-control decisions...

All Of You

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Out Now: Mac and iOS

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

All of You is a platform game where you can pause time and control the levels rather than the character. By rearranging the timing, order and orientation of the world you play in you can help the mother hen get her chicks back.

Dishonored (Series)

Release Date: 09/10/2012, updated in 2017

Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: 3D First-Person

Dishonored is an adventure game series set in the fictional, plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall. You play Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles. But you are framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin.

Into The Breach

Release Date: 27/02/2018, updated in 2020

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Stadia, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: 2D Overhead, Grid, Hand-Made and Pixels

Into the Breach is a fantasy turn-based battle. It's set in a future where humanity fights an army of giant monsters. You control mechs equipped with a variety of weapons and armour in carefully coordinated actions played out on super-small tile-based...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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