A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that No Time to Explain is a cartoony downloadable action game that has a bit of blood and animal-related violence. A 2-D, side-scrolling puzzling platformer along the lines of Super Meat Boy, Super Mario Bros., and Braid, this has you using guns to propel your little avatar around a world that's fraught with such dangers as fields of spikes and huge cliffs. Pointing your shotgun downward, for instance, sends you flying in the other direction. Parents should be aware, though, that at the beginning of every level, you're greeted by the image of your future self being eaten by a giant shark or crushed by a huge crab, and apparently you're a bit of a bleeder.
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What's it about?
When NO TIME TO EXPLAIN begins, your future self crashes through the wall of your house and says, "I am you from the future. There's no time to explain," and then tells you to follow him. But before you do, he's killed by a giant crab and drops his gun, which you pick up. Setting off, you have to make your way to the next time portal, which brings you back to a slightly different version of the level you were just on, until you finally catch up to the crab and get to use your new (or is it old?) gun to take him out. At which point a giant shark shows up, and you get to run the gauntlet all over.
Is it any good?
This 2-D, side-scrolling action game is inventive and invigorating, especially if you like such platformers as Super Meat Boy, Braid, and Trials Fusion. Using guns to propel yourself upward and sideways -- the shotgun, for instance, sends you flying in the opposite direction in which you aim it -- players have to avoid such hazards as high cliffs and fields of spikes, as well as destructible bricks you can carve your way through, hopefully to make their way to the next time portal ... which brings you to a slightly different version of the level you just survived. You then repeat the process until you reach the giant shark or huge crab that killed your future self and, using your guns, try to take out the beastie. But though the game is inventive and creative, it also get really tough rather quickly, and there's no option to change the difficulty, which may bum out younger gamers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games such as No Time to Explain. Could this game be just as enjoyable without the number of firearms and fights that break out? Is it OK because the violence is cartoonish?
Talk about trial and error. What does this game teach you about trying to solve problems by doing things slightly differently?
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