Games about time travel?

I’m trying to help out someone who asked on another forum for recommendations, and I’m not too familiar with what’s out there in this specific genre.

Preferably they wanted games about going to different historical periods, not so much about hopping around in one character’s life, and The Hours was the only one I could think of right off. Either parser or CYOA style is fine.

One of the great, classic examples is Graham Nelson’s Curses, which has you visiting various historical periods while solving a family mystery. I haven’t yet come close to finishing it, but I find it very well-written, more literary than most puzzle games, and quite engrossing. But it’s a large, very tricky puzzle game, so for someone unfamiliar with parser IF, it would be very much jumping into the deep end of the pool.


I have a list of 19 time travel games here:

1 . First Things First
by J. Robinson Wheeler
Average member rating: (18 ratings)

Influence a house and a village over 5 decades, with past actions having a strong effect on the future

2 . Jigsaw
by Graham Nelson
Average member rating: (68 ratings)

Stop a figure named Black from messing up key moments in history. Large and very difficult.

3 . A Mind Forever Voyaging
by Steve Meretzky
Average member rating: (89 ratings)

This game is different than anything I’ve seen before. You play an artificial intelligence who runs simulations of a huge, explorable city for every decade of the next century .

4 . All Things Devours , by half sick of shadows (2004)
Average member rating: (74 ratings)

I haven’t played it in years; I remember it being hard, but I was new to IF. It would most likely still be hard. Use a time machine to win the game without encountering yourself.

5 . Fifteen Minutes
by Ade McT
Average member rating: (22 ratings)

For puzzle fiends. Deal with almost ten copies of yourself traveling in time to finish your homework.

6 . The Primrose Path
by Nolan Bonvouloir
Average member rating: (30 ratings)

A short-to-mid length time travel puzzle in a house with some very interesting PC’s and NPC’s and at least one outstanding puzzle.

7 . Vicious Cycles , by Simon Mark (2001)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

Story-heavy time travel game. Try again and again to stop a tragedy, while a separate story plays out in the background. Great atmosphere.

8 . Möbius
by J.D. Clemens
Average member rating: (30 ratings)

A time travel games on a short loop. Interact with your previous incarnation.

9 . Finding Martin
by G.K. Wennstrom
Average member rating: (4 ratings)

One of the truly massive games. About as long as 3 Anchorheads. Half of the game consists of intricate, repeated time travel.

10 . Time: All Things Come to an End , by Andy Phillips (1996)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)

Another huge game, but more linear. Travel through time to visit dictate your invention and stop a plot.

11 . Trapped in Time
by Simon Christiansen
Average member rating: (22 ratings)

A pdf game with brilliant parser like commands done with arithmetic.

12 . Sorcery! 3
by Steve Jackson and inkle
Average member rating: (8 ratings)

The game prominently features 7 or 8 beacons that allow travel between two time periods. It is possible, though difficult, to avoid time travel, but a typical playthrough uses it heavily.

13 . Moments Out of Time , by L. Ross Raszewski (2001)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

Great get your gear and go game. Pick a few of many interesting tools, go back and study an old house.

14 . LASH – Local Asynchronous Satellite Hookup
by Paul O’Brian
Average member rating: (36 ratings)

Control a robot to loot an old house. Then travel to slavery era America. Graphic sexual violence.

15 . Fingertips: Fingertips , by Michael D. Hilborn (2012)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

A one move game: stuck in a time loop, you have to decipher an alien number system and get out of dodge.

16 . The Binary , by Bloomengine (2011)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)

An early Javascript game about looping through an assassination sequence to prevent it.

17 . The Hours
by Robert Patten
Average member rating: (23 ratings)

A linear thriller about a time travel company that sells antiques.

18 . Paradox Corps , by John Evans (2014)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)

A Dr. Who-like Choicescript game.

19 . Harmonia
by Liza Daly
Average member rating: (49 ratings)

Set in a women’s college, this game focuses on a machine that allows travel between two times a century apart.

20 . Jesse Stavro’s Doorway
by Marshal Tenner Winter
Average member rating: (12 ratings)

Travel back in time to the 70s


Oh, this is perfect, thanks!


…how the hell did I forget about Jigsaw? Wow.


An oldie, from British company Level 9, is Lords of Time from 1983. You should be able to play it via an emulator, and there seem to be links on its IFDB page, though there’s more info about plot on Wikipedia. More info also available in an old article/review in Sinclair User magazine.


Jesse Stavro’s Doorway has time travel back to the hippy days of the 70s complete with attending a Grateful Dead concert. It’s one of my games.


I’ll add it to the list!


Looks like you reviewed it a couple of weeks ago actually.


You can play the BBC Micro version of Lords Of Time online (in a JavaScript emulator):


This does not quite meet the specified criteria, but All Things Devours is a very puzzly time-travel game that does not involve travel to different historical periods, but is too good a game not to mention.

EDIT. Typo. Sigh.


Perhaps Once and Future should be added to the list? Not only does it have a meet-future-self first meet-past-self later puzzle, the protagonist does visit an actual historical event near the end.

If anyone’s making a B-list of contenders where time travel is involved in one way or another, no matter how incidental, there’s Causality, Clusterflux, The Day time stool still, Doomsday, History Repeating, Missing Grandpa: Lost in Time, and Tapestry. As far as I know, none of these involve actual historical events of significance. You still might want to play them anyway; they’re a wide mix of stories and writing styles.


2 more Infocom games with time travel elements:
‘Sorcerer’: I’ve always been in aww over the time travel in this. How did it know in advance what I was going to do later?!
‘Trinity’: You have to travel to the sites of several nuclear explosions, 1 of a fictional X-ray laser, the rest historical. Finish this game and you’ll know more about the Trinity test than you ever wanted! Tempus edax rerum!

PS: I love ‘A Mind Forever Voyaging’. It always makes me cry, both for the tragedy that befalls the protagonist and for the happy ending. I was telling someone this week that it’s the Infocom ‘game’ that most deserves the label “interactive fiction”.