If you’re any kind of PC gamer, the words Myst and Riven should send you into shudders of ecstasy. They are absolutely gorgeous, immersive adventure games with some of the most beautiful music ever put into something that wasn’t a movie.
Cyan, Inc. is at it again with a Kickstarter campaign for a new project, currently called Obduction. There isn’t a lot said about it yet, but it will be a lot like Myst: you’ll be plopped down into a beautiful alien landscape, and okay, start exploring.
Since this is a Kickstarter, there are levels of giving and rewards. From as little $1 (Thanks and get Kickstarter backer updates) to $10,000 (attend a design meeting on Cyan’s dime or virtually, have lunch or dinner with the design team, test and give feedback on early builds, get updates from the producer, get credited in the opening credits plus all rewards at the other levels). Yes, they already have 1 backer at the 10 grand level. But for only $25, you’ll get a digital download of the release game, a digital manual, access to backer-only forums, your name in the end credits, and a digital high-resolution piece of concept art. For $25, that sounds good to me!
Check out some stills and then go to the campaign page and watch the video.
Available today in the Mac App Store is Old Clockmaker’s Riddle. I recently had the chance to play the game, but before I get into my thoughts about it, here is what G5 Entertainment has to stay about their game.
[quote] Life changes instantly in a small country village when the town’s massive clock tower suddenly stops working. The place suddenly falls into decay. Intrigued, you head on an adventure to help the dying city. You’ll play over 50 tantalizing levels to remove the curse and return the town to its former glory. Mr. Ryan, who lives in the only intact house, will help you unfold the story and make useful tools for you to progress in the game.
Old Clockmaker’s Riddle is a polished title with beautiful graphics and user-friendly controls. You need to drag and swap shining gems to make a match of at least three in a row and reveal a proper number of clock hands to restore one of the destroyed buildings. There are obstacles and bonus gems aplenty, as you’ll encounter pieces that can be swapped by frozen pieces. Frozen parts will simply fall to the bottom of the screen, and even locked pieces won’t move until a match is made containing them. Just as there are obstacles working against you, so too are there power-ups that help you out, like arrows that wipe out whole rows or columns of gems, lightning bolts, and bombs that remove small sections of gems.
There are two game modes: relaxed and timed so both beginners and advanced casual game fans will enjoy the gameplay. Wrapped into a fairy-tale storyline, Old Clockmaker’s Riddle is fascinating match 3 game for the whole family.[/quote]
I should probably tell you, although I’ve played match 3 games in the past, the puzzle genre is not really my bag of chips. With that being said, my husband and I (we like to play casual games together at night before bed) found ourselves wanting to play this game a LOT more than expected. This game is unlike any Match 3 game either of us have played.
I think what sets the Old Clockmaker’s Riddle apart is that it has a storyline (Read: Goal). Anyone can play a Match 3 game all day if they want, but in the end they’re essentially just wasting time if there isn’t a goal. The goal in the Old Clockmaker’s Riddle is to ‘return the town to it’s former glory’. With each match game I completed, puzzle I solved, and building I restored, I found myself wanting to do exactly that. I wanted to get to the end. I wanted to win. I wanted to see the beautiful colorful town live once again.
Aside from the storyline, the other addicting part of the game is it’s power-ups and upgrades. The power-ups are unlocked as you restore the buildings and progress through the game. To use them however, they must first be purchased with in game currency (tokens are collected as you match the different colored gems). The power-ups can later be upgraded to improve their duration and/or strength.
Although it is a Match 3 game from start to finish, some of the levels played differently than others. For example: During some levels the goal might be to collect a certain number of clock hands, which turn back time to restore the buildings. Other levels however are more puzzle like in nature and must be completed in a certain number of moves. The puzzle boards were actually frustrating for me. More often than not I was overusing the hint button (which will cost you experience points) or skipping the puzzle altogether, but I expect these levels to be more fun for those that really enjoy puzzle games.
My only real complaint about the game is how often it crashed on me towards the end. I was working on restoring some of the final houses and was only able to get through a level and a half before it crashed again. It crashed between 5-6 times in a twenty minute time span (My Macbook Pro is relatively new so I’m reluctant to blame my machine. However, anything is possible.). This was frustrating to say the least but my hubby and I were really happy to see that the game properly saved our progress. Despite the crashing hiccups we were still able to successfully complete the game. With our aggressive game play, and skipping some puzzles here and there, we finished Relaxed mode in just under 15 hours.
The Old Clockmaker’s Riddle is a fun game with beautiful artwork, and familiar (but unique) music. It’s definitely a Match 3 Game that stands apart and can be enjoyed by all.
Don’t forget to check out the trailer below. Also, if you’ve played Old Clockmaker’s Riddle let us know what you thought about it in the comments below. The Mommy Gamers were provided with codes for this game courtesy of G5 Entertainment. Thanks guys!