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Review: The Clockwork Man – The Hidden World

January 8, 2012

Well, I’ve looked through my collection, and I must have played every game I own at least twice. So, Steam demos to the rescue!

The Clockwork Man: The Hidden World is more or less your standard item-hunt style game, although unlike a lot of them, this includes a steampunk robot as a sidekick and hint-giver. I’m a big fan of even the idea of steampunk, so just the appearance of the robot bumps the game up a couple of notches for me. The mechanics work well compared to some other implementations, I feel it strikes just the right balance between insultingly easy and “fuck whoever designed this shit with a broken broom handle” hard.

The story is, surprisingly for an item hunt game, existent. It’s also pretty good. You play as a girl whose name I can’t remember (because I skipped the introduction figuring there wouldn’t be a story I could care about. It was a calculated risk and it backfired) who embarks on a search for the circumstances of the deaths of her parents. In the process, she discovers four jet black cylinders with strange electromagnetic properties and references to a strange hidden world.

Personally, the way it’s handled shows some influence from writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Jules Verne but made much, much lighter in tone. Given that the full game costs fifteen dollars, I’d say it’s probably around the right price for the game, but if you like the game but not the price, I’d say just wait for one of Steam’s many sales.

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