Time Hollow (Nintendo DS)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.3
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.7
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.0
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 4.0
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.7
Overall User Score (3 votes) 3.9

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Game industry News (GiN)
As you piece the puzzles and clues together Ethan will connect his past together. Investigating the scenes is a lot of fun and using the Hollow Pen is a good thrill to conclude the case. I would recommend this story driven adventure to any fan of the DS’s prior investigative titles.
Just Adventure
The best way to think of Time Hollow is to enjoy it as interactive storytelling. If you’re comfortable with that, you’ll probably have a great time with the game, as I did. If you need lots of chewy puzzles and tough challenges, you might find the game a little too mild. My hope is that Tenky (the game’s development studio) will build on the strengths of this game and produce a sequel with just as good a story but with stronger gameplay.
Time Hollow is not the best Japanese graphic adventure I've played on the DS or the best I've played period, but it was an enjoyable experience for me. It was fun to play, had some great production values, and sported a contemporary anime vibe. This is one game that I feel has a lot of potential and I would like to see more out of the Time Hollow intellectual property in the future.
Cave du Temps est un jeu d’aventure très convaincant, proposant une excellente ambiance, et offrant une histoire troublante -et même troublée- mais vous donnant tout de même l’envie d’en voir plus. Une chanson thème entraînante, des personnages attachants et très bien dessinés, ce titre a vraiment tout pour plaire. Dommage que la progression jusqu’à la révélation finale soit aussi courte… La cartouche propose néanmoins pas mal de réflexion concernant les changements dans le passé, en abordant les thèmes récurrents de ce domaine de la science-fiction : des paradoxes, comme le « Paradoxe du Grand père », ou encore plus loin, comme « L’effet papillon ». Une chose est certaine, ce jeu ne vous laissera pas sans réponse, mais vous fera quand même beaucoup théoriser, une fois arrivé au bout.
Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks
At the end of the day, I really enjoyed my time with Ethan and his friends. Even though Time Hollow is more interactive novel than your average run-of-the-mill adventure game, that’s not a bad thing as the story and characters are very engaging. Besides, there was a cat helping put things right. How is that not fun?
Adventure Gamers
My only real complaint about Time Hollow is that I wish it had lasted longer. In a way that's a compliment, because I was enjoying the story so much that I didn't want it to end. I spent about twelve hours playing the game — that's with one playthrough immediately followed by a second to look for alternate puzzle solutions. Worth $30? Maybe not if the "heavy on story, light on gameplay" formula is of concern to you, but for me the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, even having exhausted all of the gameplay possibilities, I'll probably play it again someday...
While Time Hollow doesn't necessarily bring a ton of new ideas to the adventure genre, it does provide a satisfying, if somewhat short, experience for fans of investigative gameplay and time travel story lines. With Junko Kawano, scenario writer for the Suikoden series and Shadow of Destiny, at the helm, an interesting story was a given, so fans of her work will also likely want to check in. If nothing else, Time Hollow answers the age-old question of what would happen if a kitty-cat jumped through a hole in the time stream upon multiple occasions.
Cheat Code Central
In conclusion, Time Hollow offers an enticing story, cool cinematics, and a nice soundtrack. It's possible some players will be bored after a while, especially with things constantly changing back and forth. Others might be left wanting for more, especially because there's only one game mode available. However, this is a quality title that some of you should explore. It's worth at least a rental if you're into games like Phoenix Wright. A purchase only makes sense if you're a game collector like me or if you plan to pass this game along after you're done playing.
The story was good enough to keep me playing through to the end to see what happens next, and told well enough so that I actually cared what happened to the characters. Ethan must deal with murder, jealousy, sacrifice, unrequited love and revenge, and these are topics not usually dealt with in a DS title. If you enjoy games that have the visual style of the Tokimeki games, including maps and environments, an interesting Sci Fi lite story, and don't mind a lot of dialogue ala Phoenix Wright or Hotel Dusk, then Time Hollow will certainly not disappoint. Hand cramps from playing the DS for 5 hours straight equates to gaming goodness.
Sicher, „Time Hollow“ enthält alles, was eine gute Geschichte braucht. Gefühle, Spannung, Knobeleien und Action halten sich gut in Balance, davon könnten sich viele andere Spiele eine Scheibe abschneiden. Auch die deutsche Übersetzung ist durchaus gelungen. Für ein wirkliches Epos fehlt aber noch die entsprechende Tiefe, für eine „Visual Novel“ im Sinne eines „Phoenix Wright“ ist es nicht lang genug und für ein gutes Adventure fehlt es noch an dem Quäntchen anspruchsvollerem Gameplay. Letztendlich habe ich das Spiel wegen der schicken Präsentation und den tollen Zwischensequenzen gespielt. Ergo: Kein Meilenstein wie sein Vorgänger, aber ein solides DS-Adventure, das einige Zugfahrten als gelungener Manga-Ersatz unterhalten kann.
If you enjoy story-based adventure games, you will really enjoy Time Hollow. There are plenty of twists and surprises along the way that you will want to see how it ends. The game is relatively easy but the hand-holding will disappoint the older crowd who will look for a challenge. If Time Hollow manages to sell a good amount of copies, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it becoming a full-fledged franchise. The concept is there and with some more tweaking, the possibilities for future titles are endless.
Time Hollow is a refreshingly different action/adventure game for the DS, and one that's quite worthy of your attention. It provides just the right amount of difficulty, presented with lush anime-styled graphics, and an addictive storyline that can be completed even if you're one of those people who has no time for video games.
Game Informer Magazine
Time Hollow, like any of the interactive novel titles on the DS, is a tough game for which to issue a blanket recommendation. In one sense, it isn’t much of a game at all – you generally just go from place to place and scroll through text. On the other hand, elements of classic adventure games are alive and well, including an intriguing story and some compelling puzzles dealing with time manipulation. It’s cool to see the ripples your actions in the past create in the present, but Time Hollow’s characters and writing fall a little flat, which makes some sections incredibly dull. Thankfully, the satisfaction you feel when the pieces start falling into place makes it worth the effort – providing you don’t expect any real action out of the gameplay.
The problem with the game is that it really isn’t a game at all. We’re not just saying it’s too linear – what little (very little) gameplay you’ll find smattered throughout is completely spoon-fed to you. So if you’re expecting any kind of logic puzzles or clue collecting, forget it. Time Hollow makes Phoenix Wright look like a marvel of interactive technology. Still, if you’re looking for a pleasantly passive DS experience with a great story that’s more akin to reading a graphic novel, Time Hollow is quite enjoyable.
Time Hollow may be light on gameplay, but the story's competent enough for fans of point-and-tap adventures. It has little replay value, save for the prologue of the second playthrough -- and you'd be wise to replay it if you want to see the "real" ending -- but there's just enough meat to get you through a short vacation or a really long day. And with luck, it may hold you over until the next Phoenix Wright installment.
The game will take most players about seven or eight hours to complete. Its simplicity and extremely linear structure don't offer any replay value, with the exception of an alternate scenario you can play through in a matter of minutes after completing the main story. There really isn't much to Time Hollow aside from its story, so thankfully, it's a good one, and Ethan's struggle to put the shattered pieces of the present back together by changing the past is interesting enough that science fiction fans may want to tag along for the ride. Just don't expect to play a very active role. If the team behind Time Hollow can somehow go back in time and make the gameplay worthy of the story before it releases the game, then we might really have something here.
Game Shark
It truly is the story which carries Time Hollow. The gameplay itself is shallow, overly repetitive, and offers no challenge that a six year old couldn’t overcome. The only way to “lose” is to dig too much, but even that can be averted by simply tapping Ethan’s cat in order to regain life. If you’re in the market for an entertaining 7-8 hour mildly interactive story, give it a go. If you’re looking for a fun and challenging point and click adventure game, you’re better off opening a portal to your future and putting that copy of Time Hollow back on the shelf.
Green Pixels
Adventure games are no stranger to murder and violence -- they're almost always based on solving a mystery and it's more often than not a murder mystery -- but Time Hollow takes the kill factor a bit further than most and leaves out the comic relief that accompanies many games in the genre. I can handle the chilling scenes in horror titles without a blink, but Time Hollow caught me wholly unprepared, and I have to admit that it made me feel uncomfortable. This seemingly cute anime-styled game reminds us that gory graphics aren't the only way to startle unsuspecting players.
It's a missed opportunity, because we like the story as well as the sharp and colorful graphics, but hunting for clues had us falling asleep. We understand that point and click is all about sifting through everything, but when you repeatedly click the same object without realizing that you need to do something random to trigger the next event, well, zzzzzzzzzz.