A Matter of Time: First Impressions

Following on from my Q&A with Haywire Studios earlier on this year, the indie developer based in Adelaide, Australia, recently released a demo of the game following the games having been successfully backed on Kickstarter. Eager to try it out, I downloaded the demo, and played what Haywire Studios have been working on since, and I wasn’t disappointed. The potential this game has was obvious enough to me after having watched the initial Kickstarter trailer, but after having played the demo, I’m even more excited for the game’s upcoming release.


The game incorporates 8-BIT style graphics similar to classic titles of the third generation of gaming. But the game’s most appealing aspect from a visual perspective it in it’s conceptual design, with the game being set in a medieval fantasy world with elements of science fiction blended in. This was one of the most exciting aspects of development for Haywire Studios, and even in the demo, it’s obvious to see how much dedication they’ve put into the visuals. Elements of classic games such as Dragon Quest and Hydlide are prevalent, but it will be extremely interesting to see how the makers diversify things like enemy design and scenery for hen the game is released.


A Matter of Time is a 2D top-down RPG pioneered by developers such as Nihon Falcom with their Ys series, and then later popularised by the likes of Nintendo with The Legend of Zelda. The game is heavy on both combat and exploration, and will be set in a massive open world with entire planets to explore, which makes particularly excited for exactly what scale this game will be on in terms of long-lasting gameplay. The developers have also teased unique combat abilities with the release of the final game, making use of an in-game item called the Paradox Cape. In my Q&A with Haywire Studios, the developer revealed that the Paradox Cape will introduce elements of stealth combat among other things. What other things are is anyone’s guess at this point but it will be intriguing to see what other abilities will come with the Paradox Cape.


The controls featured in the demo are quite preliminary compared to what the final game will inevitably offer, using basic keyboard commands for movement and standard combat features. But with the vast amount of combat mechanics and exploration potential the developers are boasting, even at this early stage of development, there will definitely be scope for expansion either on a keyboard, or for when the game will provide controller support.


With entire planets to explore within the game, it has the potential to easily outlast many classics within its genre, lasting hours upon hours. Provided the developers include enough to do within the game, which from how development was going the last time I spoke to Haywire seems extremely likely, then the game could very possibly capable of matching, or even exceeding the quality of many classic top-down RPGs.


The game follows the exploits of a man named James armed with his Paradox Cape. Short of that, further plot points are detailed throughout the demo, and I won’t say anything else in case readers may want to try the demo for themselves. But the potential for story is quite monumental in this game; as well as it being extremely ambitious too. If time travel is implemented into the story as well as in the gameplay, my main concern is that Haywire may find this one of the more challenging aspects of development. Perhaps this is another way the Paradox Cape, as the name suggests, is used throughout the game, as it may be used to either explain or implement more complicated aspects of the game’s story. As speculative as it may be, it is also very exciting to contemplate.


The game has a great deal of scope for expansion on top of what the demo showcases, which in and of itself, is what could possible make this game stand among many other titles within it’s genre, as well as other games in general. It’s visual design and use of unique weapons already make it a potentially drastically different gaming experience compared to many others, but with what Haywire told me in our initial Q&A, it’s extremely thrilling to think of what else will included; even compared to many other recently released games like it that Haywire will inevitably have to compete with, such as Moonlighter and The Binding of Isaac.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the demo of A Matter of Time, and I would highly recommend any RPG fan reading this to try out the demo for themselves by following this link:


I am looking forward to playing the final result now more then ever and I again want to take this opportunity to thank Haywire Studios for our Q&A, and sharing what they had to say about this potentially evolutionary title.

Game on,

Scouse Gamer 88

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