Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Clockwork Tales lacks a compelling plot, but makes up for it with a unique steam-punk setting and some lovely hand-drawn visuals. It also veers a little too close to being short and easy for our taste, but it is certainly entertaining while it lasts. Anyone looking for a change of pace from all the supernatural themed hidden object games will definitely enjoy this game. Clockwork Tales is also very newcomers friendly, so if you are unfamiliar with the genre, it is a great place to start.

Gameplay: A nice gentle introduction to the genre with relatively easy puzzles and mini-games.

Graphics: The same high quality hand-drawn artwork that we have come to expect from Artifex Mundi.

Sound: The voice acting is decent enough and the music is rather good

Summary 7.3 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Developer: Artifex Mundi | Publisher: Artifex Mundi | Release Date: 2013 | Genre: Adventure / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

When strange earthquakes start to pose a serious threat to the world, it prompts Dr. Ambrose Ink to investigate. The good doctor eventually tracks down their source to the town of Hochwald, high in the mountains. Since the town is near the mysterious castle of the Barber family, home to the General Engineer of Gottland, Ink requests the help of his friend, agent Evangeline Glass. However, shortly after arriving in Hochwald, Ink is kidnapped by an enormous robot. With only a mechanical raven, named Matthew, as companion, you must rescue Dr. Ink and thwart the nefarious plans of the General Engineer before it is too late.

With so many hidden object games favoring supernatural settings, it is refreshing to play a title with a unique steampunk setting. From the snowy streets of Hochwald to the dark corners of the Barber castle, the game fully embraces the steampunk aesthetic. Each one of the locations you explore are hand drawn, with a beautiful painted style that is packed with detail. Although there aren’t a lot of animations the amount of detail in each scene helps to bring them to life.

While the visuals look great, the story could have been a little better. The steampunk universe in which the game is set has a lot of potential, which feels like it is somewhat squandered on a plot involving a mad engineer causing earthquakes. After completing the main game there is also a bonus chapter, which takes place one week before the arrival of agent Glass. However, it re-uses most of the locations of the main game and doesn’t really do much to flesh out the plot. The fact that the story feels a little anemic is probably due to the fact that the game can be completed in less than four hours. Thanks to the fast travel system, it means that no time is wasted on backtracking, but players expecting a little more from their stories than thinly veiled excuses for Nazi-esque villains and dodgy accents will probably walk away disappointed.

Although the story isn’t great and, to be fair, very few hidden object games have storylines that rises above the usual cliches, it is the gameplay that counts. It is here that Clockwork Tales impresses with a very accessible style. None of the puzzles or mini games are tedious, which is great for newcomers or anyone who don’t like getting stuck on obtuse challenges.

Unfortunately, this also means that veteran players will probably breeze through the puzzles and hidden object scenes with ease. Interestingly enough, Clockwork Tales actually leans more towards the point & click adventure style of playing, at least for the first half of the game. Gradually more hidden object scenes as well as fragmented object scenes also start to make an appearance, but there are no alternative for these, as in other Artifex Mundi titles. After repairing your mechanical raven companion it can be used to retrieve items that are out of your reach, but this happens so infrequently that we actually forgot about Matthew a few times.

In addition to the bonus chapter, players can also unlock concept art, wallpapers and the soundtrack of the game while playing. Speaking of the soundtrack, Clockwork Tales features some nice mellow tunes, that never annoy or become obtrusive. The voice acting quality is also fairly good, apart from the dodgy accents used by the villains. Players looking to pad out the experience a little more can hunt down all the “hidden” steambugs roaming around the scenes, but even these are obvious enough that it is hard to miss them. In fact, completing the game on “Expert” mode, which is really not that difficult, should enable you to unlock every single Steam achievement in one run. For players who care more about having a stress free and fun experience, there is a build-in hint system as well as the ability to skip puzzles, but abusing these will make an already short game even shorter, so use them with care.

While Clockwork Tales isn’t going to win any awards for its story, it remains an entertaining experience set in a unique steampunk universe. It doesn’t quite make the most of its setting, but it still makes for a nice change of pace from all the paranormal and supernatural stuff. Newcomers will probably enjoy this title the most as it is fairly light on challenges. We would have loved to see a more engaging storyline as well as a longer playtime, but what is on offer isn’t too bad for the asking price.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space

Related posts

The Yawhg

The Yawhg

I was surprised at how short a single playthrough of The Yawgh is but with more than 50 endings you'll definitely want to complete it more than once. The randomly generated story has a surprising amount of depth and the gorgeous artwork by Emily Carol is a definite plus. The Yawgh is best enjoyed with a group of other players so if you are a solo player the experience is just not the same. Gameplay: Short and simple but with tons of replay value. Graphics: Emily Carrol provides her signature artwork for the game. Sound: A moody soundtrack that adds to the ominous vibe of the game.

Enclave

Enclave

It might be a typical console port, but Enclave has enough action to keep players hooked. Don't play this one for the puzzles as you will be disappointed, but if you want some nice hacking and slashing you can't go wrong. Gameplay: A typical console port but still fun. Graphics: Very good for their time. Sound: Epic music score and decent voice acting.

Pinball FX2 – Plants vs. Zombies™ Table

Pinball FX2 - Plants vs. Zombies™ Table

It might have taken a while to reach PC, but this table is still every bit as good as it was upon first release. Zen Studios did a great job with the license and created a table that fans of the Plans vs Zombies franchise will love to play. It is simple to understand the goals, but feels a bit more challenging than the original console release. Gameplay: A nice table that cleverly incorporates elements of the original license into the gameplay. Graphics: Excellent use of the Plants vs Zombies license. Sound: Familiar tunes and effects will make Plants vs Zombies players feel right at home.

Shmups Skill Test

Shmups Skill Test

Shmups Skill Test is a collection of mini-games that are designed to test how good you are at playing arcade and bullet hell shooters. While this means it doesn’t have as much depth as other titles in the genre, it still provides a nice diversion and a way to hone your skills. Since it is based on a rather old arcade game the visuals are far from cutting edge, but the gameplay and low price tag make up for this. If you think you have mastered the genre, then try out this game to see for sure. Gameplay: Lots of fun in short bursts, but obviously doesn’t have as much depth as full-fledged shooters. Graphics: The visuals are definitely showing their age. Sound: Not your typical shooter soundtrack.

Concursion

Concursion

Concursion is definitely a game that will defy expectations. It is not as straightforward as it first appears and the way that five different genres have been combined seamlessly is impressive to say the least. Individually none of the genres would really have stood out, but mixed together they offer gameplay experiences that are just not possible elsewhere. While the visuals are not that great the audio is superb and Concursion offers plenty of challenging content. This is not a game that you will be completing in a hurry. Gameplay: A challenging, but addictive blend of five different genres and styles. Graphics: Plenty of variety, but I'm not a big fan of the visual style. Sound: The soundtrack is great and seamlessly changes along with the playing styles.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV

Its hard not to harbor some resentment for the delay and lesser port that PC owners have received with this game, but at the end of the day it's still a lot of fun to play and a great game. As long as you can look past the technical issues that is. Gameplay: The technical issues and more "mature" feel detracts a bit from the gameplay but it's still good. Graphics: With the right hardware this game looks stunning. Sound: Decent voice acting and loads of good tunes.

Leave a comment

9 − 5 =