Time Flies Summer Game Fest Hands-On Mini Preview

Thankfully, I got a few minutes to preview Time Flies and let me tell you, that’s all I needed to form an opinion of my own.

June 16, 2022

Time Flies was the first title to be revealed during the Day of the Devs tenth-anniversary event that debuted straight after Summer Game Fest Live.

While, ultimately, it looked a bit simple, the message from the team to “Make the best of the time you have! Because we are all going to die” was so succinct and the trailer and the game’s mechanics did enough to pique my interest. After some time with my thoughts, it quickly became one of the games I was most looking forward to checking out during the Summer Game Fest media event in Los Angeles.

Thankfully, I got a few minutes to preview Time Flies and let me tell you, that’s all I needed to form an opinion.


Now, I’ll start out by telling you Time Flies is unlikely to win any Game of the Year awards. It’s not an epic blockbuster or a magnificent story-driven adventure but it knows that and it plays to its strengths.

The premise of the game is both simultaneously simple and clever. You play as a fly, represented by a small cluster of pixels and it’s your job, during your short lifespan, to complete as many different items on your bucket list.

The premise of the game is both simultaneously simple and clever.

What makes the game a little different is the fact that the titular fly’s life expectancy is determined by real-world locations. If you set the location to Switzerland, you’ll have a lifespan of 84 years (which is then converted to seconds), if you set it to somewhere like Madagascar for example, the lifespan will be shortened to 68 years.

It’s this small detail that will allow players to change the difficulty, without actually having any difficulty settings and will allow for speed runners to compete with each other based on the countries they choose. If the game gets the love it deserves.

When I jumped into the preview, I chose Hong Kong as my starting location, simply to give myself enough time to do as much as possible. I was then thrust into a very minimalist house. From there, I checked my bucket list and was off.

The controls are simple, as you’d expect from a game of this style and the tasks on the bucket list are cryptic enough to make things a little challenging. Along my way, I was tasked with starting a revolution, which was accomplished simply by spinning a wheel. Followed by getting rich, which was completed by finding coins and learning an instrument, which was crossed off by strumming a guitar.

There’s definitely a bunch of charm in the game, from the fly to the bucket list, to the hand-drawn art style.

My problem with what I played is the depth of gameplay, or lack thereof, and the replayability. As far as I could see at this point, there was only one location and one list. Once you’re aware of how to complete each of the challenges, you’re kind of just done. The big hope is that once the full game releases, there’s a variety of locales and a variety of different tasks.

The game is definitely fun and a genuinely cool idea, plus the death animation is great, but I’m not sure if in its current state it did enough to really satisfy me. Only time will tell if this one flies off the shelf.

Time Flies isn’t the only preview from Summer Game Fest that we have. Keep your eyes peeled on DualShockers for more.

Sam Woods

Sam (He/Him) is the Managing Editor at DualShockers. He's been playing video games for as long as he can remember and you can regularly find him on his Nintendo Switch. When he's not playing games, he'll no doubt be suffering watching his beloved Ipswich Town.

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