I just saw Clocker released on Nintendo eShop this morning for a reasonable $3, so I snatched it up and gave it a go. These Switch games are kind of hard to predict sometime, but you have to pay your portion for the privilege once in a while.
I do not really know what the origins of this game are. It was listed under Indie in eshop, with no publisher info. A little research revealed that the developer Wild Kid Games published this through a studio called Indienova in China. Are there indie studios in China? I have wondered about this a few times. I really don’t know much about it, but if there are that’s pretty cool.
(Okay, addendum, Wild Kid is a real developer in China, and if you search around they can be found on the Weibo forums. Indienova seems to be the localizer/porter. They’ve released some pretty cool games though. Apparently, the Chinese indie game scene is flourishing! Interesting.)
Clocker is a puzzle game, usually the best bargain genre under $5 on eShop. I get nervous buying these because once in a while the puzzles seem impossible. I had a good run on this one though and probably could have unstuck myself if I needed to.
The opening cut scene shows a feverish dream sequence involving clocks, strangers, money, and family. The family is really limited to the hero’s daughter, but she basically pivots the direction of the plot.
What Time is It?
The majority of the gameplay involves walking around a village frozen in time because of a fractured mysterious watch given to the protagonist, a clockmaker, by a strange old man.
The puzzles are pretty decent. You can control the time-frozen people in the neighborhood for a fragment of what they were about to do, you use this to have an effect your environment. Of course, this is a very structured and intuitive mechanic. There are plenty of strangers who didn’t seem to affect much of anything when I played them.
The art is worthy of some brief gameplay. It reminds me of some other games I’ve reviewed like Nordlicht and OPUS. It is very character-focused and most likely computer illustrated although it is rich in color schemes and familiar realism. I really like the main character’s jacket. I would wear that. Everybody is pretty stylized with their surroundings and it makes for value-driven gameplay.
The gameplay revolves heavily around restoring a clock tower which is magically altered by the time travel watch. There’s a reasonable amount of difficulty in obtaining these gears, but the gameplay is engaging. At one juncture, I had to make a car pass through time so I could jump on it to reach the clocktower.
This is 2D Platformer hidden object puzzling in its essence. By the way, the entire plot thus far is driven by the hope that the clockmaker can re-unite with his semi-estranged daughter (alienated at the least, he sold a locket at the beginning; that seems to be important.)
There’s an intriguing sequence inside a house being burglarized though, which was the highlight of the game during my session with it.
I really don’t know what the next step after this was. I definitely secured one gear, but instead of attempting to get the others by looking them up, I called it there. That seemed a pretty fair place to stop.
Clocker: Look at the Time!
The game is only $3, so if you like the art in the gameplay and screenshots, go ahead. It has fairly wholesome themes and is backed by the high standards of Nintendo Switch games, so you’ll get your money’s worth.
There is apparently more to this game, but first impressions are the name of the game on this one. If you can read Chinese, you can check out the developer wild Kid Games on Weibo at @Clocker. There are more games ported like Wild Kid on the Indie Nova site: https://indienova.com which is in English.
This game is very highly rated on its previous PC platform, it is even on Steam and Itch.io. It’s an indie dev creation, and it’s created by some chill devs, so give it a try.
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