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Video Game / Offbeat in Tempo

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A fan RPG and puzzle video game made by Blobby Games, based off of Mystery Skulls Animated.

The story starts with Arthur waking up at home in Kingsmen's Garage. He dresses for work, eats breakfast, and repairs a car - serving to introduce the controls -, when various objects inside the garage start floating. He's promptly attacked. This starts the adventure that will lead the Mystery Skulls team to investigate the supernatural incident that is now sowing chaos and danger through their hometown, Tempo. Everything seems to originate from a mysterious artifact Vivi picked up during their last case...

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Encounters are turn-based, involving normal attacks, special actions, magic, items, and guarding. HP (hit points) determine physical health, while the amount of CP (courage points) determine if you can perform special actions and magic. If all party members fall unconscious, it's an automatic game over.

The game can be downloaded here.


Offbeat In Tempo provides examples of:

  • Alien Geometries: The magic from the artifact warps and distorts reality, especially space, the longer it stays active. Buildings become bigger on the inside, rooms or even pieces of a room are shuffled around as if they were a jigsaw puzzle, black chasms appear out of nowhere inside and outside, going through the wrong door leads you back to the beginning, etc.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: One of the magic's other effects - it animates various objects with some kind of dark energy and makes them highly aggressive.
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  • Bear Hug: One of Lewis' special actions. He's a big guy who can hug two average-sized adults plus one average-sized dog at the same time in a group hug.
  • Bottomless Pit: Black chasms of nothing regularly cut off the direct path to each quest's goal.
  • Doomed by Canon: Offbeat In Tempo is a prequel to the Ghost animated video. The team might break the spell at the end without anybody dying, but they drive along the road leading to the Cave during the game’s closing scene.
  • Foreshadowing: Several details as well as puzzles hint to future events.
    • When Arthur finds Lewis and Belle, he has a moment of shock when he sees Lewis’ chest covered in red. Their mother also thinks it’s blood at first. Thankfully it’s only sauce, from when he tripped onto one of the animated objects that were attacking him. This is an instance where A Bloody Mess and Symbolic Blood happen in the same person at the same time.
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    • The last dungeon predicts said events, to the point of partially showing them.
  • Hurricane of Puns: One of Arthur's special actions allows him to increase his attack strength by creating weapons, depending on what is available to him in his current environment (but otherwise not changing game play). Most of the weapons' names are puns, with Arthur's explanations containing even more.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating cake, snacks, etc. or drinking energy drinks, milkshakes, etc. restore physical energy / health at once. Likely justified, since the entire area is under a spell that distorts reality.
  • Magic Mirror: Various kinds appear through the game, from acting as portals, being used in puzzles, or as windows peering into the future.
  • Mana: Courage, counted as Courage Points in a meter, serve as mental energy to cast spells and perform special actions.
  • Mana Potion: Since Courage serves as the game's mental energy, the items, actions, and places which replenish the meter do so by encouraging and cheering up the player characters.
  • Party Scattering: Going through a specific portal in the last dungeon’s splits up the team, who land in entirely different rooms. You play each of them separately for one puzzle before they find each other, two by two. All four of them reunite after some more puzzle sequences.
  • Preexisting Encounters: Enemies spawn visibly on the exploration screen. Whenever they touch you, the battle starts, and they move around randomly, but usually you can avoid them.
  • Solo Sequence: You play each of the four original Mystery Skulls members one after another after a certain point in the last dungeon. They reunite later. See the entry for Party Scattering.
  • Theme Naming: Tempo is the Mystery Skulls’ home town which is afflicted by the artifact’s magic. “Tempo” as a musical term describes a musical piece’s speed. Cadence is a ghost town where Vivi found the artifact. They have to return to the place to stop the spell, which started there, before Tempo ends up the same. A “cadence” is a progression of two or more chords that concludes a unit within or a music piece itself. As effect, it evokes a sense of finality.
  • Underground Level: The last dungeon is hidden under Cadence. The team climbs several flights of stairs down to the magician's secret lab. But given that he cast spells over the entire place, likely as a defense, you don't know how far they actually travel beneath the ghost down.
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