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Rating: 4.7/5 (158 votes)
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JoshChronotronIf you're a fan of time travel theory, or if you enjoyed any of the amazing time-based games (Timebot, Time Raider, and Super Earth Defense, in particular) from our replay-themed game competition last summer, then you'll love Chronotron, developed by Scarybug Games. Chronotron is a platform puzzler with a really innovative (and addictive) twist. Here's the angle: you play the role of a clunky-looking robot who's apparently the pilot of a time travel machine. This "time pod" runs into trouble, sustains damage and needs to be repaired. Thus in each level, you need to snatch up one of your missing "time circuits" so your gizmo can eventually be repaired. Unfortunately for your robot, the levels are designed in a way that makes it impossible for you to collect the pieces on your own. However, since your time pod is still semi-functional, you can just go back in time to help yourself!

While it's true that time travel or a "rewind" concept isn't necessarily cutting-edge anymore when it comes to casual games, the concept is refined—and executed almost to perfection—in Chronotron. First off, the controls couldn't be simpler. Move, crouch and jump with either the [arrow] keys (or the [WASD] configuration), and use [space] to interact with your time machine. Traveling back in time is the key to completing each level, since the levels are designed to require two, three or four (and even more) copies of yourself to work in unison, collectively allowing you to reach your goal and return to your machine. For example, in the first level, your circuit board is on a platform that's too high for you to reach. There's a pad nearby that you can stand on, which raises an elevator, allowing you to reach the circuit. However, the second you step off the pad, the elevator lowers back down. Hence, you need someone to stand on it for you. Why not yourself? Just stand on the pad for a few seconds, then go back and enter your time pod. A duplicate copy of yourself pops out, mimicking your previous actions exactly. Since the "previous you" is standing on the pad, the "current you" (always marked by a green arrow above your head) is free to hop on the elevator and retrieve the circuit board.

As you'd expect, the levels progress and the puzzles become increasingly more difficult, so you'll need to re-enter your time pod numerous times in order to accomplish certain tasks. The game requires a lot of lateral thinking; sometimes you'll be able to beat a level by thinking a few moves ahead, while other times trial-and-error becomes a necessity. As if that weren't enough, you've got time paradoxes to worry about, which is where the game really gets interesting. You can't beat a level unless all the past copies of yourself are able to re-enter the time pod. If one of the past versions of you gets stuck in a pit or trapped in a room they can't get out of (thereby not making it back to the time pod), then you wouldn't have been able to make it back to the future. And, as the game puts it, if you couldn't make it back to the future, you wouldn't be able to prevent your past self from making it back to the time pod.

Analysis: Chronotron is a game that draws you in, inspiring you to keep beating level after level just to prove to yourself that you can. As mentioned, the execution of the time-travel gameplay mechanic is great, but not perfect. There are some complaints about past selves not reacting exactly the way they did (for example, missing a jump that was previously successful), although this reviewer hasn't encountered that problem yet. On the flipside, the developers give you the chance to "rewind" your actions (pretty much like an "undo" on your PC), accessible by pushing [R] or using a neat little display at the bottom of the screen resembling the controls of a CD player. You can also restart the level, pause, mute the music (a funky sci-fi beat) or even hit "eject" to return to the main menu. Thirty-five levels and five bonus levels are available via the menu, as well as a walkthrough and your basic game settings. Bottom line: Chronotron is a game that's just as interesting as it is fun, which makes a great combination. If you enjoy platformers, puzzle or logic games at all, this is one game you don't want to miss.

Play Chronotron

Cheers to Joe for sending this one in! =)


queen-of-diamonds May 8, 2008 2:17 PM

Nice! Reminds me of the cursor game, in that you need to use your previous 'selves' to beat a level.


@queen-of-diamond: That was Cursor*10 I think and I love this game(Chronotron) I liked Timebot very much and this is superb. Thanks, Jay, Joe and all others of the team


Wow! Thanks for the excellent review!

The issue of past selves failing to do what they're supposed to seems to be an issue if the game's framerate drops too low. I'd advise lowering the quality if it becomes an issue.

Anonymous May 8, 2008 2:42 PM

Any hints on level 11? :(


Nice idea and good execution! I liked it.

Sadly i encountered the "misbehaving" past selves too.

Flower May 8, 2008 3:04 PM

For some reason, it keeps telling me I've created a paradox in level 8. I didn't see how, as all of my former selves are able to make it back to the door just fine, so I peeked at the walkthrough, and I was doing EXACTLY what it showed, but it still won't let me complete the level...anyone else having this problem?

fattywads May 8, 2008 3:09 PM

level 11

you have to jump off the platform with a lot of weight (HINT) and land on the teeter totter to send your (other) self over high enough.

use 3 selves, one to push the button for about 5 seconds, the second to ride the platform and get the crate and jump onto the left of the teeter totter, the third just has to stand on the right of the teeter totter and wait for the other two.

now someone get to 34 and tell me how to do it!

HopefulNebula May 8, 2008 3:15 PM

Is that time machine what I think it is?

fattywads May 8, 2008 3:26 PM

nevermind, im truly stuck on 35...

fattywads May 8, 2008 3:32 PM

no, its a different blue box, completely different!


Woohoo! I did lvl 16 with only one guy!

Jump to the left and grab the pause. Stand on the left switch. A block comes down and holds down the right switch. Press P to pause. Cross the floor over to the platform on the right. Press P to unpause, and the platform will shoot upwards. As you near the top of the screen, jump off to the left, picking up the key and landing back where you started.

Of course, that's the only solution I could think of, so maybe you're supposed to do it like that.

LogicalDash May 8, 2008 6:50 PM

The phrase "time travel theory" made me think the game had something to do with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

It does not. I am a sad panda.

omgitsgir May 9, 2008 12:09 AM

This game is awesome. It took me like 2 hours to beat, but the puzzles were all really coordinated and well thought-out. I even had my share of head-scratching moments, but luckily I can see through space and time, so I was able to manage.

Also, the robot is ridiculously cute.

Level 35 is all about perfection. Here's the scoop:

- Obviously, keep the button held down for a while using your first guy. Use your second one to take the box and wait on the right side for a bit.
- Here's the tricky part: get your third guy to jump up on the box and up to the button. Stand as far right on the button as you can, wait a bit, and walk off exactly when the clock ticks off a new second. Remember the time on the clock when you do this. As soon as you clear the edge, start moving left. This is the hardest part because you can turn around a split second too early or too late and it totally screws everything up.
- With your fourth (and last) guy, head up to the button, grab the pause token, and get ready for pain. Stand DIRECTLY under the flux capacitor, and jump so you grab it right before your previous self walks off the button. Don't forget to pause as soon as you have it. After you pause, get back to the time pod and pray that you timed everything so your third self can make it back alright.
There might be an easier way to do this, as indicated by the hint sign, but I haven't found it yet.


Loved that game far too much! My mind seems to work them out instantly... maybe I should be a time travelling robot...
I did as above on the last level, except I found that doing things by the seconds did not work as they seemed to change in each replay (I think this is a bug?), but I'm sure the sign means something? Anyone?


Ooooh... can we have a full on philosophical discussion on the paradoxical nature of time travel? Bananas anyone? (this joke only works on people who have done dissertations on the subject... apologies to everyone else out there)


omgitsgir, there is an easier way to beat level 35.


Jayunderscorezero May 9, 2008 1:14 PM

I really enjoyed this game, but those misbehaving past selves are such a nuisance! I even tried adjusting the quality to the lowest possible setting but to no avail. Levels like #18 are impossible if the robots move whole units to the left or right.

Still, this is definitely one of the cuter replay/time-travel/past-selves games I've ever played.

Aegeus May 9, 2008 6:10 PM

Level 10 is impossible! I hit all of the buttons almost simultaneously, but there's barely one second remaining on the timer when the bomb lands on the bottom button. I think the trouble is my computer starts to lag when there are 5 bots on screen at once, but the timer counts down at a constant speed no matter how fast the game runs! This is unfortunate, because the game is very well polished, and it's a shame that it suffers from the same problem that many time-based games suffer from.

MatrixFrog May 9, 2008 6:38 PM

A couple ideas for level 10: Make sure you're jumping immediately when the time machine doors open, by holding down the arrow key as soon as you enter the time machine from the previous run. Also, go to the upper right button last, so that you can finish the level with 4 runs instead of 5.

Tondog21 May 9, 2008 7:01 PM

Level 10 Walkthrough

for lvl 10 use the first robot to press the lower left button till the bomb falls then enter the time machine... then with the second robot press the upper left button hold it till the bomb falls through it and go into the time machine then do the same with the upper right button and the lower right button... when the bomb falls onto the botton at the bottom it will open the verticle door and you grab the chip or whatever with the 5th robot but be fast...

Chaddie May 10, 2008 6:45 AM

How do you beat lvl 15?


MatrixFrog's trick worked (doing it in 4 runs). Thanks!

CyanYukachu May 10, 2008 8:00 AM

For some strange reason, it won't save my levels! D:

Other than that, this game rocks, but I do find that some of the past instances to move not exactly as I had moved them.

Kristinee.D May 10, 2008 8:35 PM

Any help with level 12? I got the guy onto the button at the top before, but I don't know where to go from there.

linderella May 11, 2008 2:11 AM

level 9?


lvl 7 plz?

PyroDragon May 13, 2008 11:17 PM

i can't figure oot level 29!


This is how I did Level 29:

Robot #1:

  1. Move immediately to the left and stand on the platform.

  2. Wait a couple of seconds, then jump!

  3. Return to the time machine and enter.

Robot #2:

  1. Move immediately over to the red switch on the right and jump on it. (Robot #1 should already be standing on the platform on the left).

  2. When Robot #1 jumps and catches the Pause chip, be ready to click the PAUSE control to stop time when the block has fallen about half way.

  3. Now jump up onto the block and by jumping again you should be able to reach the last chip PRESS PAUSE AGAIN WHEN ROBOT #2 IS OVER THE CHIP!!

  4. Make sure you don't fall down the hole!

  5. Return to the time machine and enter.



I love this game too - it's awesome. I'm really stuck on level 23 though. I've looked at te walkthrough, so I know how to do it, but I simply can't move fast enough to finish the level. I really want to keep playing! Does anyoe have any tips about beating it or a cheat that would allow me to skip the level?

Please help


i need help with level 12


How do you do level 20?!!? plz plz plz plz plz plz comment on this one!

what your's is May 24, 2008 11:10 AM

walkthrough for #5 ???


Level 18 is nearly impossible! It looks like all 3 of us have to jump at the exact same time! Little help?


HELP!! I can't do lv. 19 plz plz help me!!!!!

some one May 26, 2008 8:25 PM

for lvl 18 hold up and right as soon as you get out of the pod thingy that way you can jump exactly the same way as your past self

anonamous May 31, 2008 9:08 AM

i got a paradox on my 3rd self from my 1st self and all my 3rd self did was stay by the time pod.

if this happens to you then post it.


Any help on Level 33 would be appreciated. I assume you have to get that box onto the other side of the wall, but I don't see how it's possible.

bananatacy June 22, 2008 2:27 PM

i NEED help with level 9 plz help me!!!

sarrbearr June 23, 2008 8:28 PM

i can NOT figure out level 21. i got it figured out to the part where one of the robots opens the hinged thing so that youre able to get TO the next level chip, but i just cant figure out HOW, any help plz?


level 17 anyone? please??

googley eyes July 6, 2008 8:38 PM

PLEASE HELP ON LVL 27! i cant figure it out ive been trying for ages!

Anonymous July 9, 2008 9:33 PM

ok for level 7 forget the bok on the top right. start off with one guy to stand on the left platform for about 10 seconds then jump off and back to the door. have the second guy do the same, but jump about 2 seconds earlier to prevent a paradox. with the third guy, go to the right platform and get the play button. let the previous chronotrons get back before going back to the door to prevent a paradox


I need help on number 9

parke man July 31, 2008 10:26 PM

dude this game has a walkthrogh link in it you know. plus this game rocks and im very good at it.


I got why it says paradox in level 8. Let your past selves go before you.

gershony May 14, 2009 11:52 AM

Need help on level 5!

Spencer May 16, 2009 11:13 AM

how do u beat lvl 3? i cant get the people to stay out long enough

gershon May 16, 2009 2:46 PM

I need help on level 5!


please help on level 4! i got the crate by the wall, but idk where to go from there! help!

christy May 16, 2009 7:04 PM

help on 19?

Anonymous May 20, 2009 11:16 AM

Level 28, please! I think I know what to do, but it won't work correctly. Desperately in need of help!


I've just played this game and I have to say that is one of the most original ideas that I've seen in years. Congratulations to the creators.

As the review says, funny, original and adictive.


How do you beat level 15?


Here's a spoiler as to how you can make the level time not matter.

You create the first robot for a particular action, like jumping on a vanishing floor. All your other robots that need to do the same thing follow that robot's lead.

Don't use this technique if you have an abysmal reaction time.


I will shortly be posting a walkthrough from level 1 to level 25. Yes, level 1. Expect it by the day after tomorrow.


Please help with bonus level 5!!!

N I T R O MEfan September 4, 2010 4:11 PM

level 7-paradox-help now


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