(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRZKjJtT4Yc (/ embed)
What is the best way to convey an anti-capitalist message in a video game? I don’t know, but forcing yourself to work in real time in a grueling and tedious factory has to be up there.
Anant a Steam i Itch.io later this year, developer Joel Jordan's Time Bandit is a tribute to Metal Gear Solid, with top-down views and screen-filling codec calls. The difference is that it is not being poured into fortified compounds full of monologue eccentrics, but a complete change is being made in the box factory.
There is also one more catch. Everything from refueling a forklift to sleeping well takes place in real time.
Box changes? Chopping trees? Compacting garbage? This will take five, ten, thirty minutes or more. He is explicitly grumpy and consciously tedious, and each task drains an energy meter that takes eight hours of complete sleep to recharge. Are you surprised to take a nap in turn? It's 12 hours behind bars.
But in the middle of the tasks, you will meet new characters and discover how to steal the only thing your bosses have taken from you: time. You will receive phone calls every few days (from the real world) advancing in history, which will lead to MGS-style robberies to capture precious time crystals, suggesting that there may be some interesting twists in the trick in real time later.
"Time Bandit was designed to allow players to integrate the game into their lives in a unique way and give them plenty of time to reflect on the ideas they present to them as they play it, and as long as they don't." said Jordon writes. "Time Bandit's sources of inspiration include the atmosphere and storytelling of Metal Gear Solid, the political goals of Brechtian theater, and the time-based mechanics of Animal Crossing and Pikmin."
Part 1: The appendices of the machine will be released later in 2021, although there is currently a free "Prologue" demo available for download Itching.