Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink is one in a long line of Hidden Objects Puzzle Adventure game or HOPA to you and me. But is there enough here to make it stand out?
Earthquakes are tearing the cities of the world apart and nobody can explain why. So step forward Dr Ambrose Ink one of the most celebrated geniuses of his time who has made it his mission to find out what the hell is going on. But just as he's about to get stuck koto the mystery he vanishes. You decide to step into the breach and take the role of Evangeline Glass who is Inks protege.
The gameplay in Clockwork Tales of Glass and Ink is as simple as it gets but don't let that put you off. If you like Point and Click adventure games you'll be right at home here. As you move the cursor around the screen you will come across objects you can interactive with. You can add items to you inventory or you may be able to magnify a specific area which usually brings a mini-game into play or a puzzle. The hidden object puzzles are very, very simple to complete and they are nothing more than finding specific objects. There are two different hidden object types though. One sees a list of specific items appear at the bottom of the screen that you must find. Or pictures will appear with specific parts highlighted for you to find.
You don't need to be Stephen Hawking to solve any of these puzzles but some of them are head scratchers but persevere long enough and you will not be found wanting. There is a big variety of puzzles to solve with each one tying into the game's pathetic beautifully. One puzzle tasks you with guiding coloured lasers to the the same coloured crystal but another puzzle will task you with mixing together the correct ingredients to make gunpowder or building a wing for a glider so you can escape a zeppelin. They are not the most original of puzzles but they kept me coming back for more. And don't panic if you get stuck because there is a hint button that recharges over time so you will never be completely stuck and you can also skip puzzles but why would you want to do that? There are hidden Steambugs to find throughout the game but these are merely a momentary distraction and offer no other purpose other than something to collect.
Clockwork Tales revels in its Steampunk aesthetic and rightly so. All the tropes are here from cogs, gadgets, gears and steam propelled machinery. The visuals are quite striking and they ooze Steampunk atmosphere and fit the story superbly. The voice acting is a mixed bag with some really great performances mixed in with some really poor ones which unfortunately take you away from the game's atmosphere.
Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink is one those games that drew my entire family in. It's very rare that we all sit in front of the TV and game together due to their lack of interest but this had us all glued to the TV and any game that can do that scores very highly in my book. The one problem that really stands out is the game's length. We finished it in just over four hours on its hardest setting and that included the bonus adventure called (“Ink’s Story”) which is a prequel story. The only incentive to go back is to find the Steambugs I had missed during our playthrough.
Clockwork Tales of Glass and Ink is available now for £7.99.