Life Is Strange Gameplay
Life is Strange (GamesCom)-10
Max rewinds time
Wielder Max Caulfield[1]
Origin Unknown
Out of Universe Information
Game Life Is Strange
"I did it. I’m a human time machine"

"Rewind" is a major gameplay element in Life Is Strange. Used by the character Max Caulfield, players have the ability to undo actions chosen or change the outcome of a specific moment.


“Rewind” is a form of time manipulation that Max possesses. With this ability, Max has the power to alter the events of a single moment at any given time. Max can go no further than the moment she just experienced, at most several minutes. If she tries to do so, she will experience symptoms such as dizziness and a headache.[1][2] If Max over exerts her abilities, using the rewind ability in a short span of time, she will experience nosebleeds and may black out from overexertion.[3]

Max's rewind ability appears to give her the power of precognition. She experiences "visions" of events that have yet to happen, but also appears to be physically present within the moment itself.[1] Though Max can rewind time, she does not move from the space wherein she originally was or moved.



The first time Max’s rewind ability manifests is during her “dream” in Mark Jefferson’s photography class. She dreams of a storm destroying Arcadia Bay and “wakes up”. Shortly after she goes to the bathroom, she witnesses her childhood friend, Chloe Price, being shot and killed by Nathan Prescott.[1]

When she extends her hand in reaction to Chloe’s death, the moment rewinds before her and Max returns to the time before Mark Jefferson’s class is dismissed. When she knocks her camera over, she tests the waters to prove to herself that she can rewind time by undoing her actions. When she is able undo the actions that destroyed her camera, Max decides to prevent Chloe from being killed by Nathan.[1]

Unique Manifestations

In at least one instance, Max's ability to manipulate time has manifested in a manner contrary to what is known about the rewind ability. When Kate Marsh attempted suicide, Max’s powers, in a state of flux, nearly ceased to function when she experienced another nosebleed and headache, a result of overuse beforehand.[3]

When she rewound the moment again, time completely froze everyone except herself in place, allowing her to reach the top of the roof and confront Kate. However, when she tried to rewind the moment again, her powers failed her, leaving her to figure out how to save Kate herself.[3]

Following an argument with Chloe Price after discovering her friend, Rachel Amber, was sexually involved with her drug dealer, Frank Bowers, a photograph that was given to Max by Joyce Price allowed Max to travel back in time to 2008.[4]

Inside of her thirteen-year-old body, an eighteen-year-old Max decided to prevent the death of William Price and hid his keys where he could not find them. The result of her actions created another timeline wherein she was a member of the Vortex Club and Chloe was restricted to a wheelchair because her parents gifted her a car for her birthday, and she had a car accident. After accepting or rejecting Chloe's request in the alternate timeline, Max was able to "focus" on the photograph again, returning herself to the original timeline by letting William die. [5]

Following Max's kidnapping and restrainment by Mark Jefferson in the Dark Room, Max once again utilized her ability to focus on photos and travel to the time it was taken. She uses this ability multiple times in an attempt to escape, ultimately focusing on the selfie she took at the beginning of the week. After changing history once more by submitting her photo into the Everyday Heroes Contest, Max found herself in an alternate timeline where Mark Jefferson and Nathan Prescott are arrested for their crimes, Rachel Amber's body is discovered by the police, and Max is declared the winner of the Contest and on her way to San Francisco with Principal Wells. However, Max's consecutive use of this ability has led to a distortion of reality, leading to a blending of timelines, as well as far more often nosebleeds. Further use of the ability later on in an attempt to save Chloe, results in Max bringing reality to the point of nearly falling apart, with extreme shrinkage and distortion of the surrounding area available to her.


Main article: Control Scheme (Life Is Strange)

The rewind ability is the core gameplay mechanic of Life Is Strange. With it, the player is able to explore different dialog options and choices that would otherwise be inaccessible in a traditional point-and-click adventure game. The player can rewind at any given moment, however, narrative specific moments are often checkpointed by a small dot on a spiral symbol located in the top lefthand corner of the screen.[2] Minor dialog events concerning character conversation is typically highlighted by a bubble speech and ellipsis.

Similar to the bloom effect used in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the visual effect of the rewind is meant to resemble the double exposure of a photograph and the edges of burning film. When the player reaches the limit of the a moment that can be undone, the screen will be overwhelmed by the burning effect.[2]





Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.