- Developer: Artifex Mundi
- Publisher: Artifex Mundi
- Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
- Release Date: 22/01/2016
- Available on: PC, Mac, Xbox One, Mobile
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
I’m a massive fan of point and click adventure games, with my favourite being the Monkey Island series. The puzzles are great, the humour is amazing and it’s got pirates! The only problem is, whenever I play another point and click game I’m immediately comparing it to games like Monkey Island, Broken Sword and Grim Fandango which means a new game is really going to have to be great to make an impression on me.
Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink (which I will refer to as Clockwork from here on in) has a cartoony kind of graphic style, which when mixed with the steampunk theme is actually quite charming. As a puzzle game I’m used to having to control a character or at least click on items for the character to walk up to them, however in Clockwork you see the game from a first person perspective, but the character doesn’t move as such, you just go from set piece to set piece with no animation in between, which strangely made me feel like I was playing some kind of adventure book from my childhood (Famous Five ring any bells with anyone?). For the sake of this review I only played the game through on normal which I must admit was a bit too easy, but I’m not going to deny that I did get a little bit stuck in a couple of places. There’s a handy hints option available (which has a cool down period), so whenever I did get really stuck I called out for help.
I felt the game let itself down when it came to the sound, some of the dialogue lines were too cheesy and overall I was disappointed with the voice acting. The music for the game was quite enjoyable for the most part, but it did feel a bit empty at times when I was trying to solve a puzzle in almost silence (either that or the background music just got a bit repetitive).
Clockwork’s main story lasted me approximately 5 hours which seems on par with other reviewers, however I have read that people are managing to complete this game in under 3 hours. I would take a wild guess that these people are skipping through the game as fast as possible and using the hints too much, because if you take your time to soak everything in and do all of the puzzles without hints it can take some time. There is an option of normal/hard mode, and a bonus chapter that unlocks once you’ve completed the main story, but at 5 to 6 hours with limited replay value I’d wait until the price comes down from £7.99.
Playing through this has made me want to check out other Artifex Mundi games as I did quite enjoy it, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it over Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse unless you’re specifically looking for a short, charming puzzle game, in which case Clockwork is probably what you’re looking for.