The story of Beyond Time involves a group of thieves using time travel to steal artifacts from past civilizations. Unfortunately, the indiscriminate use of the time travel machine has weakened time itself, thus creating a dangerous time rift between past, present, and future. It is the duty of the player to stop such acts of aggression before the worlds of the different times begin to collapse among each other into different alternate realities. An excerpt from the novel Obelisk reads, "Inexplicable events have recently transpired. The World's museums cannot explain how or why ancient artifacts are vanishing into thin air. These priceless relics have disappeared from their pedestals, locked cases, and gallery walls. Even the most advanced security systems did not detect a single intrusion. The Director of a museum in San Francisco has sent for you. He wants you to solve the enigma behind the missing artifacts. This is probably the most baffling mystery of all time. One can only imagine where it may end."
You'll start the adventure standing outside the excavation site and as you move forward you will see an apparition telling you of some danger ahead. From here on out, you must navigate the area around you and look for clues and items along the way. A clue might be in the form of a scroll on a table or it might be some inscription on a nearby wall. You will end up traveling to many different locations in your quest for the truth. Also, there is an inventory that can be accessed at any time when you need it.
Graphically, the game looks fairly detailed and tidy. Locations are all represented with smooth backgrounds, interactive items and objects that you can manipulate. There is also some good-looking full-motion video in the game that is smooth and adds to the atmosphere. The interface and movement is exactly like the PC game Myst. Similarly, the audio department for this game is decent. There are some voice samples that bring you into the story and ambient sound effects are enough to make an impact.
The system command interface (save, load, quit) is easily accessed through a right mouse click. Online hints, provided through this menu (Egyptian numbering system, symbol meanings), are also easily acessible. Once a video sequence plays, it can always be replayed by standing in the spot where it is first seen. A black and white colored Strategic Clues Booklet containing hints and maps is packaged with the game. The booklet is stapled shut so to discourage peeking. On the negative side, the navigational interface (up, down, right, left) is maddeningly inconsistent. Clicking on the left or right pointing icon sometimes means simply turning left or right while at other times it means turning completely around. Another fault can be seen in Beyond Time's very first puzzle which sets the tone for the rest of the game. A vital object can be seen from several angles but can only be picked up from one. The game is also fussy about what it considers a puzzle solution. Two different puzzles (the Snake and the Mandela) can be solved in more than one way, but the game only accepts one solution.
Overall, Beyond Time is on par with similar games from the late 90s. It has some elements that made Myst great, and adds its own style to the mix.