The first time I saw No Time To Explain was as a demo on Newgrounds. It featured the first level of the full game, and I had a blast playing it. So when I saw the full release on Steam on sale, I immediately grabbed it.
No Time To Explain is best described as a puzzle platformer, where your weapon is also your main mobility tool aside from your legs. The small grey cylinder you got is a laser cannon so powerful that it can send you flying with its recoil. You use the cannon to propel yourself onto platforms or glide above hazards like a drunk Tinkerbell.
And no, there isn’t just ONE gun. The first alternate mobility tool you get is the best possible translation of Force-a-Nature jumping in a 2D platformer than I know of. Clicking creates a large BANG and an explosion which sends you flying in the other direction. Aside from that, there are other methods of getting around, such as something that can be best described as a slingshot that suspends you in the air when you are drawing to launch yourself ahead.
And aside from the multiple guns, there are also various other mechanics in the levels. One rather memorable one occurs in one of the boss arenas, where grey spheres generate strong attraction fields that curves your laser beams. The level’s main hazards are giant chunks of the ceiling dropping on you, which you must either dodge or blast it to kingdom come with your laser. The grey spheres are more of a hazard than anything as they severely disrupt your aim, but after getting the hang of it they allow you to shoot at the target from weird angles.
Another weird mechanic is self-immolation. By setting yourself on fire, you can use yourself to burn away wooden barricades that block your path. However, if you don’t move fast enough, you’ll literally burn to death.
No, it doesn’t really make sense.
The game is rather reminiscent of Newgrounds as I remember it. The LOLRANDOM humour, the simple sprites, it is pretty much taking a classic Newgrounds Flash game and making it into a full title. Much like Alien Hominid, Super Meat Boy, and Castle Crashers, it is what Newgrounds games were as I remembered: wacky humour and fun in a 2D plane.
The core concept of the game is rather interesting, but I find myself ending up having to trial-and-error my way through parts of the game, making small adjustments to my firing angle until I find the sweet spot. I am not sure if that is due to the game or my own incompetence, but this results in me repeating some jumps multiple times as I struggle to find the sweet spot. I got the right idea apparently, since I did get to the point in the end. But I just seem to be off by a frustratingly small but significant amount.
Sometimes, there’s a need to perform leaps of faith to reach my target. Some deaths feel rather cheap since I literally can’t see the spikes from where I was. At least the platforming sections features quick respawns at the platform you just leaped off from, which is good for the trial-and-error plays that I did. But the flaws just feel more and more grating as I progress through the levels.
Overall, despite being rather annoyingly frustrating at times, I think I like No Time To Explain. It is fun when the game is progressing smoothly. But the iffy parts are still grating especially when you get stuck, so I’ll recommend this game with a YMMV warning. If you aren’t sure about it, you can always get it on sale.