E3 2008: Time Hollow Hands-On

We change time with a magic pen in this Nintendo DS adventure.

Time Hollow is a traditional point-and-click-style adventure game for the Nintendo DS. You play as Ethan, a young boy with a big problem--his family is lost and you have no idea where they are. Luckily, you are armed with the hollow pen, a tool that can draw a hole in the universe and directly change things that have happened in the past. Though Ethan is only concerned with finding his family and helping fix his friends' many problems, there is also an evil person with his own hollow pen out there causing all sorts of chaos. We went hands-on with this interesting adventure and came away impressed.

The gameplay centers more on talking to people and accumulating clues than the pixel-hunt style of other adventure games. You are shown brief flashbacks with the appropriate information (who, what, where, and when) missing. It's your job to fill in those blanks, figure out a solution, and change the past to make sure it never becomes a problem in the present.

In the time we played, two sisters got into a fight over lost money and the younger one ran away. In most other adventure games, you would have to set out to find the lost sibling, but when you wield the hollow pen, you face no such restrictions. Instead, we were supposed to stop the fight from ever happening. We found the missing money (hidden conveniently in an envelope) and then tried to figure out exactly when and where the sisters fought. Once we had all the data, we drew a circle into the past with the pen and slyly placed the money between them. With the money found, they had no reason to fight. Problem prevented.

The use of the hollow pen is restricted to certain moments. Only after we had all the data and the precious envelope were we allowed to use the pen and change time. You're not allowed to just change the past however you see fit and let whatever damage you caused stand; you have to play responsibly.

The game takes place over eight days, with each taking an hour or more depending on your adventuring proficiency. The portion we played was certainly promising, though it does seem to focus more on story and character development than supersleuthing. It will certainly be interesting to see what sort of crazy time-changing ideas are in the final product. Time Hollow is scheduled to come out this fall.

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Discussion

21 comments
EvilLemon45
EvilLemon45

Sounds good. I really liked Another Code and this seems similar. I just hope it pulls through in the end. Many times have I had my eye on a game, only to see it crumble under the market like biscuit in a blender. But still... if Konami pulls through, they could have a hidden gem on their hands.

Peach100
Peach100

Interesting. I saw this game a while back and it caught my eye. I enjoyed Jake Hunter, Trace Memory, and the Phoenix Wright series, so I'd probably enjoy this game as well. I might reserve it.

thefireflower99
thefireflower99

I saw this in a nintendo power magazine, and it looks intresting. The story seems good

Phoenix2Raven
Phoenix2Raven

this sounds like a good adventure game. innovation is not always necessary for a good fun game. love adventure games on the ds.

angelwing21
angelwing21

I understood that Time Hollow was supposed to be released on August 27, 2008. Has release date been changed to September 23, 2008? I heard that this game was fantastic and have already reserved it. I'm bummed if the date has in fact, changed.

Parhelion
Parhelion

I loved the Phoenix Wright series, I hope this is as good, in that case, I'll get it :)

Jackyll87
Jackyll87

Can i give stock tips to myself 3 days ago??

dmfreak
dmfreak

this game reminds me of shadow of destiny

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

Not gonna pick it up before the scores are up.

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

not sure about this game i'll need more info

grambyte
grambyte

Well euhm this sounds innovative.... euh no wait that's not what I mean.. euhm this sounds... "DATED" yea that's it. Old, done, been there done that stuff.

CheddarLimbo
CheddarLimbo

This seems interesting enough. I'm all about the revival of point and click adventure games, even more so on a hand held.

Agulf
Agulf

DS? Come on. The Wii has some SERIOUSLY untapped point & click potential. Make it so.

Lord_Artix
Lord_Artix

Sounds like an investigation only Ace Attorney game.

carstairs
carstairs

Point and click? Nearly dead genre, but OK :).

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

i could get it buy i'll wait for the review when it comes out

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

Takes place over 8 days? That's a little different.

bionic4723985
bionic4723985

I'm very excited for this! I really enjoyed Hotel Dusk and this title seems similar. The DS is perfect for this kind of thing.