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Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink (Xbox One) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Formats: Xbox One
 
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Final Score
7.5
7.5/ 10


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We Liked?


An amusing couple of hours that casual gamers will enjoy.

Not So Much?


There's nothing really new or unique to the genre.


Final Fiendish Feelings?

Artifex Mundi brings a steampunk style hidden object adventure to the Xbox One. In Clockwork Tales, you play as Evangeline Glass. You have been called in by an old friend, Dr. Ink, who fears he is in danger. This fear is confirmed soon after you arrive in Hochwald, only to watch Dr. Ink being carried […]

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Posted February 28, 2016 by

 
Final Fiendish Feelings?
 
 

Artifex Mundi brings a steampunk style hidden object adventure to the Xbox One.
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In Clockwork Tales, you play as Evangeline Glass. You have been called in by an old friend, Dr. Ink, who fears he is in danger. This fear is confirmed soon after you arrive in Hochwald, only to watch Dr. Ink being carried off by a terrifying robot. Dr. Ink has been investigating the cause of a series of devastating earthquakes, and all signs point to unnatural causes. There are Nazi-like soldiers all around, and their leader seems to be behind all of the chaos. It’s up to you to figure out what exactly is going on in Hochwald and save Dr. Ink – and perhaps, the world.

The story in Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it is fun and a bit odd, which fits the steampunk theme quite well. The illustrations and characters also fitt right in, with plenty of antiqued elements, gears and gauges, and a feeling of timelessness to the setting. The gameplay plays out much like other games in the genre, combining a variety of object finding with a series of related mini games that keep the action moving along to the story’s climax without feeling out of place.

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The hidden object elements in the game are of two different types. You’ll visit a variety of different locations as you play the game, and many of them have usable objects hidden among the background elements. Using a combination of guessing what to look for based on the story line, and just plain luck, you’ll need to uncover needed items and then figure out where and how to use them to advance in the game. As you can guess, there is a lot of back and forth to this, as you discover locked or disassembled items in one locations, and the pieces needed to put them together in others. The map feature is quite helpful for those who get impatient with too much wandering, as you can click on any unlocked location to be taken there instantly. The map also serves as an extra hint, as it marks locations that have actions available.

The game also includes a number of standard hidden object jumbles. These involve finding a list of objects amidst a jumble on a fixed screen. The lists come in several varieties, some featuring written descriptions of items to find, and others giving you just an outline of the shape. Completing one of these will gift you with an item you’ll need to advance in the game. They aren’t particularly difficult, but they are often challenging. If you do get stuck, there is a hint feature that will highlight missing items for you – but it does have a timer to deter constant use. You can also use this to skip any of the mini games that don’t appeal to you. These mini games cover a range of puzzling skills, from reassembling scattered images to math tile games, and all of them are designed to fit right in with the story line.

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The main game in Clockwork Tales takes just a few hours to complete, but it offers a few bonuses to extend its replay value. Completing the game unlocks a prequel chapter, which gives gamers a glimpse into Dr. Ink’s investigations before Evangeline arrives on the scene. It follows the same gameplay patterns as the full chapter, so it fits well with the other chapter. You are also given the option to replay the game on a higher difficulty, if you want more of a challenge. Overall, Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink is an engaging story with a fun steampunk feel that should keep casual gamers happy for the few hours it lasts. While there isn’t tons of replay value, it does offer challenging gameplay that is appropriate for hidden object fans of all ages.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)