“Hourglass” by Patrick de Rijk & Ben Braß.

“[An] atmospheric first-person puzzle adventure inspired by [“Portal”], [“The Witness”] and [“Rime”] where you have to cooperate with yourself to solve difficult puzzles, explore a foreign world and unveil the big secret of ancient [Egypt]. […] Your ability allows you to record your actings for a certain amount of time. After that, time winds back to the beginning of the recording and a copy of yourself appears, repeating the actions.”

To use a clone of your own character to your advantage is always a neat foundation for a puzzle game concept, and “Hourglass” proves to be no exception from this rule: You can simply record a copy of yourself for a short period of time. Then the game rewinds to the starting point of your recording, which will create a doppelganger, performing your recorded actions. This idea in combination with the three-dimensional perspectives comes together as a fantastic puzzle platformer experience, as you do not only have to solve a puzzle in a linear way, but also with some good timing and planning skills.

The demo version of the game, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter in September 2019, contains seven puzzles so far. The first four are made mostly for tutorial purposes, but the teaching moments work very well and are not made too easy, as you still have to discover the solutions by yourself. The game helps you to get into touch with the ability, but it does not take away the work designed for your brain.

I am looking forward to see the full version of “Hourglass” for several reasons. On the one hand, Patrick de Rijk and Ben Braß seem to have a storyline in mind, which only gets teased in the starting cutscene so far: A famous architect got lost in the ruins of a pyramid and you have to search for him. How he got lost or what kind of relationship the two of you share remains unknown to this point. Another reason why I am excited for the release is to see how the puzzle design will evolve over time. [PLAY]