Dragon’s Lair was a pretty groundbreaking game for its time...It featured interactive video footage that really impressed anyone who saw it. The problem was that once you peeled back the beautiful animation and video, all you really had left was a pretty limited game. Time Gal takes the formula from Dragon’s Lair and slightly alters it to try and make it a little more of a rewarding experience. Does it succeed? Well, read on.
Time Gal plays very much like Dragon’s Lair. You watch video footage and wait for a prompt to press a button. You have a very limited time to hit the instructed button, so immediate reaction times are necessary to avoid a quick ‘game over’ screen. Knowing what button to press is simple...If the left arrow flashes, hit the left directional, if the down arrow flashes, hit the down directional, etc. When all arrows flash, hit the action button. Also, on certain stages, you’ll come across a choice. You have a few seconds to choose from a few options on screen. One means you’ll survive and the others mean death.
Now, in Dragon’s Lair, this got boring pretty quickly. Time Gal attempts to vary things up a bit by randomizing the levels you enter, and on top of that, it randomizes the buttons you have to press...To a point. Each level has two different variations to it, so if you go into a level thinking you’ve already beaten it and memorized the buttons you need to press, you may end up getting the alternate version. This does help add a little replay value to the game since you’re never really playing the game the exact same way each time.
Graphically, it’s pretty decent looking...But it is nothing but an interactive movie, so that’s to be expected. The sound isn’t really great, though. It’s in decent quality...It’s just that aside from the opening theme, there’s not really much audio here other than listening to the Time Gal lady mutter things and hear sound effects. Those are nice and all, but perhaps a little background music for each level could have tied everything together a little better...Even if some levels are literally about twenty seconds long.
Time Gal does a decent job of improving upon the Dragon’s Lair formula...Unfortunately, even with its improvements, there really isn’t a whole lot of replay value here. There’s enough to give it a passing grade, but that’s about it. In my opinion, though, Time Gal is better than Dragon’s Lair, so if you enjoyed Dragon’s Lair, I’m positive you’ll also love Time Gal.