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Rewinding is one of the major gameplay elements in Life is Strange. It gives the player the ability to let Max rewind time, undoing any of her actions, giving a huge replay value to the game. It emphasizes the overall theme of cause and effect, and the Butterfly Effect.

After observing a new element of gameplay information such as examining an object or having a particular conversation which gives Max new insight, the player can rewind in order to use that information to Max's advantage in the game.

It can make her seem knowledgeable in front of her teachers, or less nosy in front of her friends. This element of gameplay can influence the player's experience enormously.

This action will have consequences-0
The butterfly icon in the top left corner of the screen is shown to indicate that Max has made an influencing decision which furthers the gameplay; this also indicates that those choices can be changed.

Timeline Edit

Rewind Swirl

The timeline is indicated by the swirl in the top left hand corner. It dictates what notable events have happened, such as a conversation, or interacting with an object, which Max had the ability to rewind. Using this, the player can see when they made decisions which can be changed within the game environment.

A conversation, for example, once had, will appear as a dot on the swirl in the timeline. To go back to before the conversation, the player must rewind beyond the point that the dot indicates on the swirl. It is then possible to have the same conversation and choose different options.

Consequences Edit

Using her power often causes Max headaches up to a physical breakdown, as seen in Episode 2 when Chloe forces her to rewind multiple times. When Max uses her photo jump ability, she often gets nose bleeding inside the photo boundaries or afterwards in the new timeline. However, player triggered rewinds, regardless how often, don't seem to impact her.

Mechanics Edit

Main article: Control Scheme

PC Controls Edit

Press Right Mouse Button and hold - Rewind

Press Right Mouse Button and hold Shift - Rewind faster

Press Control - Rewinds to the last event on the recent timeline (indicated by a dot on the swirl, as above)

PlayStation Controls Edit

Press L2 and hold - Rewind

While holding down L2 to rewind, hold down R2 - Rewind faster.

Press L1 - Rewinds to the last event on the recent timeline (indicated by a dot on the swirl, as above)

Xbox Controls Edit

Press LT and hold - Rewind

While holding down LT to rewind, hold down RT - Rewind faster.

Press LB - Rewinds to the last event on the recent timeline (indicated by a dot on the swirl, as above)

Puzzles Edit


In the tradition of adventure games, the player has to solve numerous puzzles by using Max's rewind, 29 in total.

Episode One - "Chrysalis"Edit

  • Convincing Justin to show Max a skateboard move of her choice. (optional)
  • Convincing Brooke to allow Max to fly her drone. (optional)
  • Forcing Victoria to move aside and let Max enter the dormitory.
  • Taking optional photos of Victoria's photo arrangement without leaving behind any evidence of Max having vandalized them. (optional)
  • Convincing Dana to admit to her pregnancy without knowing Max had previously searched through her room. (optional)
  • Warning Alyssa from football throw and taking optional photo. (optional)
  • Taking optional photo of Frank's RV without leaving behind any evidence of Max having vandalized it. (optional)
  • Saving the Blue Jay from killing itself. (optional)
  • Obtaining the box of precision screwdrivers in David's workshop.
  • Uncovering David's surveillance information without damaging them which will implicate Chloe. (optional)
  • Hiding from David who is preparing to enter Chloe's room.

Episode Two - "Out of Time"Edit

  • Warning Alyssa from toilet roll throw. (optional)
  • Searching for Kate's book without damaging it.
  • Convincing Taylor to open up to Max. (optional)
  • Convincing Chloe in Max's rewind powers by succeeding in her challenges.
  • Saving Chloe from an approaching train without damaging train tracks.
  • Convincing Courtney to allow Max into the planned Vortex Club party. (optional)
  • Helping Warren with his science experiment and score a higher grade. (optional)

Episode Three - "Chaos Theory"Edit

  • Sneaking past the Principal.
  • Breaking into the Principal's Office.
  • Warning Alyssa from passing car. (optional)
  • Taking Frank's RV keys without Frank knowing Max had taken them.
  • Obtaining William's car keys before William does and hiding them from his beeper.

Episode Four - "Dark Room" Edit

  • Undoing the fire extinguisher damage to Nathan's room door handle in the dormitories. (optional)
  • Opening the padlock to the Dark Room.
  • Warning Alyssa from being knocked into the swimming pool. (optional)

Episode Five - "Polarized" Edit

  • Helping David win the fight against Mark.
  • Warning Evan from being killed by flying debris. (optional)
  • Reaching the fisherman safely and warning him about the exposed electrical wire. (optional)
  • Preventing a fire from reaching the diner and causing a massive explosion.

Unrewindable Actions Edit


There are some situations or instances throughout the game where Max can't use her rewind powers (i.e Saving Kate), where Max makes decisions she has to live with as the game progresses.

  • In Episode 2, Max can't rewind on the rooftop with Kate because she used all her energy to freeze time to get to Kate.
  • In Episode 4, Jefferson injects a syringe with drugs in Max's neck, making her unconscious and unable to rewind for the duration of the drugs.

Forced Rewinds Edit


Throughout the game there are multiple instances where Max is forced to rewind because she herself or a friend nearby is in a life-threatening situation, or Max is required to do something specific in order to progress further. During such moments, Max's surroundings will freeze and the screen will be desaturated.

Episode One - "Chrysalis"Edit

  • Chloe Price gets shot by Nathan Prescott.
  • Paint can is allowed to hang nicely on scaffolding for Samuel to paint the wall, or paint can falls down onto empty ground below.
  • Box of precision screwdrivers falls under furniture with no easy way to get it.
  • Hit by lighthouse debris (avoidable).
  • Hit by boulder (avoidable).
  • Falling tree falls down on the path in front of Max (avoidable).
  • Hit by falling tree (avoidable).
  • Hit by falling logs (avoidable).
  • Hit by lighthouse debris again (avoidable).

Episode Two - "Out of Time"Edit

  • Accidentally spilled soda on Kate's book.
  • Failed Chloe's challenge to guess what items are in her pockets.
  • Made a challenge to Chloe to predict the four events that will happen within the diner.
  • Accidentally broke a bottle while trying to get one of the bottles for Chloe.
  • Trapped by heavy debris while trying to get one of the bottles for Chloe.
  • Chloe Price misses her first two shots.
  • Chloe Price is directed to shoot at any target other than the wheel rim on the left or the car tire on the right (avoidable).
  • Chloe Price gets hit by a bullet after being directed to shoot at the car bumper (avoidable).
  • Chloe Price gets hit by a moving train (only avoidable if the quicker option to damage the train tracks with the cable drum is chosen).

Episode Three - "Chaos Theory"Edit

  • Forced Rewind Max and Frank
    Principal Wells finishes trying out all his keys and sits down to watch the dormitory exit.
  • Using a pipe bomb to blow up the door into principal Wells's office and triggering fire alarm.
  • Spotted by Blackwell security guard while in locker or toilet area in Blackwell swimming pool (avoidable).
  • Attacked by Frank Bowers when Max takes his keys or spills his beer or beans, he lunges at her saying he’s going to kill her, but it’s unclear how far he’d go.
  • Breaking the knife to open a vent with nothing inside while in Frank's RV (avoidable).
  • Allowing William Price to leave Chloe's house with the car keys.

Episode Four - "Dark Room"Edit

  • Spotted by David Madsen while trying to distract him and take his locker keys (avoidable).
  • Entering a wrong PIN code on Nathan's phone three times (avoidable).
  • Entering a wrong padlock code to the Dark Room multiple times (avoidable).

Episode Five - "Polarized" Edit

  • Overdosed by Mark Jefferson.
  • Attempting to warn David too early (avoidable).
  • David Madsen gets bludgeoned or shot to death by Mark Jefferson.
  • Hit by falling electrical pole (avoidable).
  • Preventing a fire from reaching the "Two Whales" diner and causing a massive explosion, killing everyone in it.
  • Giving an unconvincing answer and Chloe continues to head into the Vortex Club party (avoidable).
  • Spotted by any of the characters searching for her with their flashlights or rotating Blackwell Academy founder statue beam in Max's nightmare section (avoidable).

Trivia Edit

  • If Max looks at her journal in "Chrysalis", she thinks that she hasn't kept up with it as much as she should. As she reads it, she wonders what other people would think if they looked at it. If she looks at it again after rewinding time, she notices that nothing has moved and wonders what is going on.
    • That may be due to the fact that any object in Max's possession (in contact with her or in her bag/pocket) travels with her, as evidenced when she takes Frank's key and then rewinds time, letting her keep the key while it is still on the table or in Frank's pocket (since she technicaly hasn't touched it yet), allowing her to effectively duplicate it.
  • If you rewind time after using the vending machine and use it again while searching through Blackwell at night in "Chaos Theory", Max will make a funny comment about it.
  • If you go inside the Swimming Pool lockers in "Chaos Theory" and then rewind to open the door for Chloe, Chloe says, "Dude, it's getting old! Try and dazzle me with another trick!"
  • The Vortex Club symbol is the same as the rewind metre that is displayed at the top left corner whenever Max rewinds.
  • The sounds Max hears while rewinding are reversed future and past dialog pieces.[1]
    • In the reversed Blackwell Academy sequence of Max's nightmare in "Polarized", you can hear and see things normally if Max uses her rewind in this scene.
  • Max rewinds time at 2x speed normally and at 20x speed while holding Shift.

References Edit

  1. [1], [2] - Rewind sound effects backwards, cleaned up

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