Whew, Epic’s Unreal Engine is getting a serious workout on iOS of late! Hot on the heels of high-profile UE3-powered games like The Dark Meadow and Warm Gun, comes In Time from Fox Mobile Entertainment (out now, $0.99), a good-looking and surprisingly entertaining survival running romp based on the upcoming sci-fi action blockbuster starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.
I say “surprisingly” because promotional tie-ins don’t exactly have the best track record, but thankfully In Time is put in good stead by a premise that lends itself remarkably well to a blisteringly-paced, arcade-style title such as this.
Here’s the dealio: the game is set against the intriguing backdrop of a near-future world where time has become currency due to a scientific breakthrough that means people no longer physically age past 25 — provided they can afford to keep buying themselves more time. You play as Will Salas (JT’s character from the flick), who finds himself being pursued by “Time Keepers” (cops) and “Minutemen” (time-thieving hoods) after he’s wrongly accused of murder.
In Time’s ‘Story Mode’ clocks in at 16 levels, each of which takes in a lightening-fast foot chase through narrow streets and alleyways strewn with obstacles and other dangers. As your character sprints forward automatically, you tilt your iDevice to move from left to right and quickly jab onscreen icons to jump over blockades and dodge enemies. The goal of each stage is, of course, to make it from A to B before your time runs out, while scoring points en route for saving time-strapped bystanders and snagging collectibles.
The main game is fun and nicely varied, albeit a bit on the short side (it can be completed in roughly an hour or so), however, a secondary ‘Free Play’ mode and Game Center leaderboards expand its lifespan somewhat. On the downside, In Time can get laggy when there’s a lot going on on-screen and the lengthy loading times between levels may test your patience. All in all though, this one remains more worthy of your time than the average film tie-in.
iFanzine Verdict: As far as movie tie-ins go, In Time isn’t half bad. If you’ve got time to kill and 99¢ to spare, you could do worse than give this surprisingly compelling survival running game a whirl.