- Killing Time (2015 on Windows)
Description official descriptions
Tess Conway was a wealthy heiress to an estate located on Matinicus Island in the state of Maine. She financed an expedition to locate the Water-Clock of Thoth, an ancient Egyptian artifact that was eventually discovered by the Egyptologist, Dr. Hargrove. However, during the night of the summer solstice in 1932, Tess attempted to use the artifact and mysteriously vanished as a result. Many years later, a former student of Dr. Hargrove arrives on the island, only to discover that it has been overrun by horrifying creatures. He must explore the estate and its surroundings, and find out what really happened on that fateful night.
Killing Time is a 3D first-person shooter differing in several ways from the traditional template of Doom. Rather than being divided into successive levels, the game's world is fairly open, allowing the player to explore locations in a different order as well as backtrack to previously visited areas. The game's arsenal includes, besides various guns and Molotov cocktails, unique weapons such as an Ankh that damages multiple enemies at once. Various setpieces may involve sudden attacks by large amounts of enemies, traps, etc. The player character is able to jump, strafe, and crouch and those actions are required in certain places. The spirits of Tess and her guests appear occasionally and bring the story of that night to light, helping the player to find keys, unlock doorways, locate secret passages, and solve puzzles.
- 閉ざされた館 - Japanese spelling
Credits (3DO version)
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|3D Animation and Design|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 70% (based on 26 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 1 reviews)
Indeed, it is a rather random title to bestow upon a forgotten eleven year old game. What about this stupid old game can warrant that title, you might ask? Well, here’s my attempt to prove it to you.
Welcome to the Lonesome Killing Time Review.
The game’s plot is actually quite a solid noir horror plot: rich eccentric woman brings back ancient artifacts from Egypt to her mansion, rich eccentric woman plays with black magic and summons evil, rich eccentric woman throws party, rich eccentric woman’s guests and herself completely disappear without a trace, protagonist is sent to rich eccentric woman’s mansion to solve the mystery six decades afterwards. Sound good to you? It does to me. Not far off from early Lovecraft.
And that my friends, is where logic and reason end with this game.
The events that unfold after the initial cutscenes are so unbelievably WEIRD, that I’m unsure how well I can relate said events to you. The enemies are among the most hilarious, insane, abnormal enemies I’ve experienced in a game to this day. There are zombie bootleggers (this is during Prohibition, mind you), killer clowns, venomous beetles, nude maids with gargoyle wings, venomous beetles, floating fire-breathed skulls the size of small cars, venomous beetles, two-headed hellhounds, venomous beetles, good old reliable skeleton warriors, a gaseous green clouds that make evil faces at you in the dark, (see Episode 47 of Star Trek), and many, many more. Also included in this are loads of challenging yet wacky puzzles, find-the-key quests, dungeon crawling, corridor stalking, conversations with ghosts, and so on. The weapons early in the game are pretty standard fare (pistol, shotgun, etc), but get increasingly more strange as the game progresses (such as “Winged Vessels”, each of which contains a different random power).
All of this insanity aside, ‘Killing Time’ boasts a few characteristics that make it stand out from the mid-‘90s crowd. For one, it is surprisingly non-linear for the time it was released, when painfully linear ‘Doom’ and ‘Quake’ were the order of the day. The player wasn’t necessarily always required to do the “quests” in a strict order, and you can freely backtrack if needed. Second, the enemy AI is paltry by today’s standards, but for 1995 was pretty decent in that enemies would sometimes actually run away and hide when they were overwhelmed. It may not sound like much, but back then that was virtually revolutionary. Also, unlike just about every other FPS at the time, this game actually had a plot, something reserved only for adventures and RPGs in those days.
Probably the foremost aspect for me personally is that this is the first game I recall actually scaring me, and making me feel a sense of dread I’d not felt since first playing Eye of the Beholder. I lost count of how many times I jumped in my chair and spit took whatever I was drinking. Unlike most, I just didn’t get a similar sensation from Doom.
Despite the praise I’ve showered upon this game, there are some blemishes which probably kept it from flying off the shelves.
The difficulty of this game was, well…difficult. There are quite a few areas of the game where enemies are thrown at the player Serious Sam-style, and ammo/health isn’t as plentiful as it should be in those cases.
The puzzles, while engaging and wacky, can border on illogical at times, a few of which rival Hexen for difficulty. Also, the clues in the game aren’t the most helpful of clues, and oftentimes the player may be completely stumped as to where to travel next. It took me several weeks to complete the game on the first attempt because I simply didn’t know where to go.
Speaking of which, this game requires a lot of traveling, so be prepared for a lot backpedaling...and you should probably keep a notepad handy so you don’t forget the location of some key you’ll need.
The Bottom Line
Killing Time is a game from a bygone era – an era when it was ok for action games to be playful and essentially ridiculous all while maintaining an air of dignity about it, as opposed to modern times when every game in the genre has to have a deathly serious plot with a lesson at the end.
Doom too linear? Hexen not exciting enough? No One Lives Forever not evil enough? Clive Barker’s Undying too bleak? Have you ever in a moment of feverish insanity wondered what it would be like to fuse all four of these games together? Look no further, reader. If you would like a unique FPS gaming experience, hunt Killing Time down on eBay and make those gargoyle maids wish they had never been born!
Windows · by HandofShadow (49) · 2006
On July 31, 1996, Killing Time was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.
Related Sites +
Killing Time Walkthrough
for the MacIntosh version (compatible with the PC version)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by CheshireCat.
Game added May 14th, 2002. Last modified September 14th, 2023.