Commodore User


Time Trax

Author: Fred Reid
Publisher: Argus Press
Machine: Commodore 64

 
Published in Commodore User #35

Time Trax

If you enjoy a game with a challenge Time Trax could be the game for you. The action starts in your nuclear bunker shortly after the Holocaust, and will take you backwards and forwards through the time portals searching for the most treasured possessions of the 'Eight Minds' - who and what these minds are, you are not told. Return each to its own and find the four rune-tiles needed to stitch up the fabric of space itself, and you've saved mankind's future from the bad guys.

Well, I never said it would be easy (or original) and to make things worse, your efforts are hampered by all sorts of flying nasties.

The action window occupies about half the screen, the other hand contains option menus and status indicators, energy displays, weapon icons and rune-tile storage areas. You will need to use the menu options to find and manipulate the various artefacts on each screen.

Time Trax

To use the menu, you have to flick the joystick back whilst holding the fire button down, then release the fire button. Until I discovered the secret, I found this very haphazard indeed!

Each screen (there are three screens in each of the seven time rooms - 21 in all) is split into three levels, accessed by stairways, ladders and other climbable things. Doorways will take you through to the other screens in that time zone, and any furniture fittings and fixtures can be searched for useful objects (guns and crossbows are particularly useful).

Every few minutes, a time portal will open, and you can jump to another time zone. The instruction booklet has a table showing when each portal will open and where it will take you, the cycle repeats every ten minutes.

Time Trax

Nasties will appear and attack you if you remain on one screen for more than about thirty seconds. This will reduce your energy which can only be recharged using a potion or using a spell. If your energy falls to zero, you simply start all over again.

Although I found the plot a little far-fetched, I quickly became captivated despite the strange way in which the joystick is used to access the menus, but there is a knack to it so a little perseverance will help. Graphics are good looking, the character moves around smoothly and the continuous soundtrack is bearable.

In all, Time Trax is a very good game, guaranteed to test your mental faculties to the full. You can start playing Time Trax almost immediately, but it could take you years to finish.

Fred Reid

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