Metroidvania-style games aren’t usually noted for their deep and expansive storytelling. That’s not a dig at the genre, this style of gameplay favors fast-paced exploration, not meandering plot points. Still, for those of us who appreciate a deep narrative, the format can be a little off-putting. Lunar Ray Games is challenging this perception with their upcoming 2D pixelated Metroidvania-esque platformer, Timespinner.
The project has been on our radars since its 2014 Kickstarter campaign. Developer, Lunar Ray Games promised backers a mash-up of classic pixel elements into one cohesive game. Focused on rich story, exploration, and tight gameplay, Timespinner raised $176,667, annihilating its $50,000 funding goal.
The devs are planning to release the game later this year. In the meantime, they posted a Kickstarter update to give some insight into how they’ve integrated lore and story into Timespinner. With a plot that involves multiple planets, cultures, and characters, taking the ‘lightweight’ approach to storytelling simply wasn’t an option.
Explore More Lore, Or Not
Not wanting players to feel bogged down with slow exposition, the team has split story and lore elements into three distinct formats. Throughout the game players will encounter skippable cutscenes, optional character quests, and collectible lore items which they can examine at their leisure.
From the update: “The general idea of these exposition formats is to allow players to choose whether they want to just explore and kill things, or immerse themselves in the lore of the game as much as they’d like.”
Backers have been extremely receptive to the proposed approach. It strikes the perfect balance between offering a deep and engaging storyline and quick-paced destruction.
The update also confirmed that currently Timespinner is not planning a Nintendo Switch version at release. Instead the developers want to focus on delivering the platforms promised during the campaign before planning any additional ports. Definitely a well-reasoned approach.