When Alice visits the library one day to restock on some books, her life changes forever. She decides to wander into a separate back room, where she meets Hiro, a guy living his life committed to technology and fame. As they go through the books in the library, one of them sends our heroes back in time, with a mystery and riddles to solve. From then on they spend each day trying to get to the end of each book’s mysterious secrets in the Time Library, travelling through time in nine story chapters. Will you aid them in Adventure Escape: Time Library during 2016?
Adventure Escape: Time Library is a point and click adventure game, released for Android and iOS systems, developed by Haiku Games for 2016. Haiku Games is a studio most well known for their Adventure Escape game series, including titles such as Asylum, Cult Mystery, Murder Manor or Space Crisis, just to list a few.
The average user ratings for Adventure Escape: Time Library are at a fairly positive 4.4/5 stars on the Google Play Store, while it has earned an even better 4.5/5 stars rating on the Apple App Store in 2016. This is unquestionably one of the most popular point and click adventure games, with between 1 and 5 million downloads since release. Still, is the gameplay addictive enough to keep these millions of players to check back in for a long time to come? Let’s find out!
About Adventure Escape: Time Library
The storyline of Adventure Escape: Time Library begins in the library, where the heroine of the story, Alice is about to restock on new books. But this time around she decides to check around in a room she never saw before, and meets the technology addicted Hiro in there. Hiro lives for social media and his Youtube channel, where he is apparently very popular. As Alice starts reading a few of the books in this room, one of them suddenly sends both of them back in time to an old forest.
Hiro has already experienced time travel with these books before, and he explains to Alice that they have to find a time crystal to be able to get back to their time. The only way to do this is to get past smartly designed puzzles and riddles, and you are there to help them! Since the game plays out in a similar fashion to traditional point and click games, you will be able to search locations for certain objects, pick them up, then use them when needed.
So for example, when you find a few bottles of mysterious potions, you will be able to pour them into an alchemy jar, creating a new concoction that will help you solve an upcoming puzzle. At other times you will get to use a crowbar to open hatches or smash barrels to pieces, finding secrets inside. One of the main parts of the game is figuring out when to use these items.
Every time you reach a new location in one of the nine chapters of Adventure Escape: Time Library, you should first search around for any objects that can be picked up, then look for puzzles right after. Puzzles are another big part of the experience, as they are the key to the time crystal. Completing one puzzle will often lead to another, or reveal a new item that you can pick up and use.
Some of the puzzles you will face include one where you have to place aged rum bottles on shelves, while making sure each row and column has exactly 100 years of rum on it. Another one is about pouring liquid from containers into others, making sure they only contain the required amount. Then of course there will be rather simple puzzles as well, such as a jigsaw puzzle, or times when you will have to figure out safe combinations using the environment.
Once all puzzles are completed in a chapter, you will find the time crystal, then Alice and Hiro will have a short conversation before travelling back to the present. When a chapter is complete, you can decide to replay it at any time, or you can continue by selecting another one in the menu. At the start of each chapter, Alice and Hiro will have a conversation about their lives or the books, just before a new adventure begins in another book!
To make your job a bit easier, each chapter in Adventure Escape: Time Library allows you to use hints. These hints will cost varying amount of stars to use each time, depending on how far you are into a chapter’s story. When you spend your stars on unlocking a hint, it will tell you in a short message what you should focus on, or tell you how to face a puzzle. You start the game out with a few free stars, but they can also appear randomly throughout the locations, or be earned for successfully completing puzzles.
In case you wish to spend real money on the game, you can definitely do that. Adventure Escape: Time Library allows its players to get their hands on a bunch of stars by activating in-app purchases. The cheapest one of these costs $1.99 and provides you with 10 stars, while the most expensive one goes for $34.99 and includes 300 stars. The game also has a few popup ads show up randomly in the menus, but these can’t be disabled.
Cheats & Tips for Adventure Escape: Time Library
While you can definitely find stars throughout Adventure Escape: Time Library if you look out for them in each location, this can be a slow process. In case you wish to earn these much wanted stars faster, then why not take a look at some cheats? There are quite a few currency cheats available, along with some gameplay tips and tricks right below, just for you!
The first of the following cheats is one that I personally found to be really useful and easy to take advantage of. After finishing a chapter for the first time, the game will ask you to leave a review for it in exchange for 5 stars. This is a rather simple way to get you a few stars without any serious work, just be writing out your opinion on the game.
A similarly useful cheat in Adventure Escape: Time Library is the ability to invite Facebook friends to the game, and for each friend that actually starts playing you will receive a bunch of free stars. If you friend dislike these invites, then this could also be abused by inviting Facebook accounts that you just made for this purpose, essentially giving you an endless stream of stars.
It’s also quite possible that it’s not the stars you have trouble with, but the overall difficulty of the game. Sure, some of the puzzles can be quite difficult, and sometimes you might just want to skip them. Fortunately, each puzzle provides you with the ability to skip it in exchange for 15 stars. This can be used for any puzzle, although it might not be worth it for all of them. After all, if each puzzle is completed with cheats, then why play the game at all?
As for a last gameplay tip regarding Adventure Escape: Time Library, I suggest you try different approaches to each puzzle. Even though most of them might seem intimidating at first, thinking outside the box can usually help. Why keep randomly swapping bottles on the shelves, when you can figure out an order in which they fit perfectly? Don’t give up easily, as this game is all about the enjoyment of finding the solution for each puzzle!
Adventure Escape: Time Library Review
It’s been a while since I last played a point and click adventure game filled with puzzles, but I still clearly remember the challenges it presented. This is something that I looked for in Adventure Escape: Time Library as well, after seeing how it apparently features only free content and no paywalls.
As is usual in point and click adventures, this one also started with an inside look into the very beginnings of the storyline. I got to meet Alice, the main character, who later on I got to play as. A secondary character is also introduced relatively early on, namely Hiro, the guy who is a bit too much into technology and internet fame. I disliked the personality that was presented in Hiro, as it seemed to be a caricature of the Twitter generation, using hashtags everytime he talks. Although I’m pretty sure this was something the developers wanted the player to feel about the character.
Getting past the personalities of the characters, their conversations throughout the game are mostly meaningless, and they are only useful to get to know more about the locations they are about to visit. For example, when I got to visit a ship, I couldn’t have known it was the Titanic, if Alice wouldn’t have read the book’s title out loud. Unfortunately, the character personalities are not expanded in these conversations as much as I expected it to happen.
Now, the gameplay of Adventure Escape: Time Library is made up of two main parts: Finding objects and using them, as well as completing various puzzles throughout the locations of each chapter. The finding objects part works just as expected, a simple tap on the correct objects will collect and place them in the inventory, where they can be tapped on and used later on. There were no real issues with the controls, I found them to be mostly responsive and easy to use.
The puzzles are also fairly well made, although there is some repetition. There are at least 3 or 4 unique puzzles in each chapter, but the rest are usually about finding safe combinations. I didn’t have a serious problem with these either, but it might get a bit boring for hardcore point and click adventure fans, having to complete so many similar puzzles throughout the game. What makes it a bit better though is that the solution to each number combination lock lies in a different part of the environment, or in a previous puzzle.
That being said, thanks to the hints system of Adventure Escape: Time Library, it never feels overly frustrating getting stuck, as a bunch of stars can be exchanged to skip the hardest ones. I must admit I used this feature once during my time with the game, as I just couldn’t figure out the solution, no matter how much I tried. It’s also great how there are multiple ways to earn these for free. So while the whole game is free, even the hints system can be used without spending any money.
Overall, Adventure Escape: Time Library is a point and click adventure game with a story that is not expanded upon much, unfortunately. The gameplay makes up for it however, as even an adventure game fan will find most of the puzzles challenging. This combined with the object collection parts definitely spices up the experience, making this a worthy adventure to take on!
Adventure Escape: Time Library Ratings
Artwork: I give Adventure Escape: Time Library an 8/10 for its artwork. Most of the locations and character designs in this game are quite amazing, high quality pieces. The only reason the rating is not higher is because sometimes the user interface and text on the screen looks stretched.
Music & SFX: The music and SFX of the game deserve an 8/10. The music playing throughout the game fits very well to the mysterious adventure story, and for this I enjoyed it. The SFX are less prevalent though, with barely anything noticeable other than button clicks.
Story & Originality: As for the story and originality of this title, I award it a 7/10. I wanted to see more from both main characters, possibly expanding their personality a bit, or getting to know about their life, but unfortunately most of the conversations they have are not very interesting. For this reason the story could have been better, while originality wise the game is not that unique either. Although it deserves bonus points for not having a paywall.
General Gameplay: The general gameplay in Adventure Escape: Time Library gets a rating of 8/10. With a bunch of fairly well made puzzles and an object collection part, this game is a great mix of classic point and click adventure gameplay. The ads are only shown in the menus, so they don’t disrupt the gameplay either, making this a very smooth experience.
Addictiveness: For the addictiveness of the game, it gets an 8/10. Until the nine chapters are completed, this will be a game that is hard to put down. Unfortunately the difficulty will scare away more casual players, but thanks to the hints system maybe even players new to the genre will find fun in this title.
Overall Score: 8/10.