Time Stand Still


Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:    MDNA Games

Released:  October 2006

PC Requirements:   Win 98, 2000, XP, Pentium 1000 or higher, 128 MB RAM, 8 MB video card, 800 MB free hard drive space.

Additional Screenshots




by nickie


A portrait of a married couple cast in sepia tones upon a faded snapshot and a haunted house constructed by a famous architect. These are the clues which begin the latest Carol Reed mystery adventure. Carol is back for her third appearance in this creation from MDNA Games and -- much like the others -- it draws us into the dreamy, surrealistic landscape of Sweden, where Carol has now decided to become a full-time resident.

There is a sweetness and peaceful quality that resonates like a wind chime in the breeze in these adventures. The snapshot style, first person point-and-click controls will compel the player to take her time in traveling that garden path, to stand still with Carol looking out through the trees that frame the shimmering water. A remote gazebo, an inviting picnic table, an expanse of flowers – we come upon these with eager eyes.  An everyday scene is transformed into a painter’s canvas with smudges of color and the magic of light and shadow. This beauty is the essence of these Carol Reed adventures, and their strength.

“Time be still

If I could stop it

Stop it at will

You’d always be with me” (Time Stand Still)

Once again we get to greet some of the slightly quirky characters that graced the previous adventures. With a jolt of recognition we come across the tattooed and body pierced workman and know instantly that he will be able to help us with some aspect of the investigation. With a smile we once again see the handsome Bjorn Larsen (the graveyard worker that we met in the first adventure “Remedy”), and this time he threatens to steal the show with his charismatic fishing scene. There’s the hint of romance in the air, and I rejoiced along with Carol as she hummed to herself with glee to know of it. This was a very good moment for Carol, as for once we saw her personality fleshed out a bit. Through the first two games and until the end of this one, as we are playing from a first person perspective, we don’t see the main character.  However, we do get a glimpse of Carol Reed at the conclusion of this game, and she appears to be enjoying herself immensely.

Characters appear in a series of still photographs, which show different facial expressions, and dialog is completed by way of clicking on different subjects in a notebook. The voiceovers are all generally pleasant. There’s also a new character in this game voiced by the multi-talented Jonathan Boakes.


Players move from area to area by way of a map, and once at a location, there may be little deviation from the starting point, or there may be an expanse of area to explore. Sometimes an area will not open up until an action is completed in the game, so some re-checking of locales is necessary.

The navigation can be awkward, and it is easy to miss a needed item.  I knew there had to be a telephone book in that apartment, but spent an undue amount of time spinning like a top searching for it.  Also, on two occasions I could see an item I needed, but had to find another angle before I could access the item.  This entailed a series of moves to get to the item from another vantage point, which I thought a trifle irritating.

A gears icon appears when an action is needed on the screen, and a grabbing hand indicates that an item can be taken into inventory. The inventory is easily accessible at the top of your screen, and it’s also an easy matter to combine items, or drag an item to the main screen to use.

You can save from any point, and I didn’t encounter a limit on the saves. 

I encountered no bugs, with the exception of a minor one in the herb garden which had me carrying an inventory item acquired there throughout the game. It didn’t make any impact on the rest of the game.  The game installed from one CD flawlessly. It is not necessary to have the CD in the drive for the game to play. It was not alt-tab friendly.

The soundtrack changes at the various locations, and much of it is pleasant and mood enhancing. I particularly liked the lilting strains that added to the reverie of walking in the park, and also the ominous music when one visited the haunted house, for it combined a sense of disquiet that made me look in the shadows for what might be lurking just out of sight. The only music I found personally annoying was at one point when Carol visits the room of her friend’s son, which seemed to rev up in volume while I was trying to solve a puzzle.

The puzzles are a mixed lot of inventory and memory/logic. There are no timed puzzles, no mazes, and no sliders. There are color differentiations necessary, and also a sound puzzle. These, like most of the puzzles, have a bypass system which is a welcome addition to any game.

There is no combat, and you cannot die. That would be counterproductive to this peaceful respite. If you want never-ending action and excitement, this game is not going to be your favorite. Think of it more as a sojourn in the dreamscape, a chance to view some magnificent scenery while solving a mystery second most. There’s an interesting plot here, but it is more like something you would encounter in your dreams, a bit disjointed and requiring some leaps of imagination to round out. If you rush through the game to solve the underlying mystery, it is rather short. Instead, it is an opportunity to savor a moment and reflect on the plea: “Time Stand Still!

Just the Facts

Point-and-click slideshow navigation

Inventory and memory/ logic puzzles. No sliders, mazes, or timed puzzles. There is a puzzle requiring color differentiation, and a sound puzzle. These and other major puzzles can be bypassed.

You cannot die, and there is no combat.

You can save at will, and there does not readily appear to be a limit on saves.

The game installs easily from one CD, and thereafter does not need to be in the drive for the game to play. It is not alt-tab friendly.

Unusual graphics, the strength of this game

Easter egg type references to the game website Justadventure.com

Grade:  B

Time Stand Still is an Independent production of MDNA Games and can be purchased at the developer’s website here.


design copyright © 2006 GameBoomers Group

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