Jul 19, 2010

(Shock?) Preview: The Clockwork Man - The Hidden World

I really don't believe in the strict separation of the casual and the hardcore gamer, but I also am not particularly fond of those games that are explicitly described as casual themselves. As for them hidden object offerings, well, I've tried a couple, enjoyed their generally good art, but never really felt immersed or deeply interested; let alone wildly entertained.

I was thus more than skeptical when approaching the preview copy of The Clockwork Man: The Hidden World. It was supposedly a hidden object thingy, though admittedly one created by a developer that really excelled at the genre: Total Eclipse Games. And, yes, the teaser screenshots and trailers were definitely on the beautiful side of things and enough to get me initially interested. It apparently was a game of the steampunk persuasion too, that even claimed to sport some genre innovations and proper adventuring bits, that actually turned out to be rich enough to cover everything from inventory-based puzzles, to Myst-styled ones to exploring areas and interacting with characters.

The Clockwork Man The Hidden World

Incredibly, and after playing through the first chapters of The Hidden World, I must admit this looks like a particularly impressive and shockingly deep game, with an interesting plot, great production values and some truly gorgeous graphics. What's more, the hidden object elements are well implemented -actually enjoyable!- and mostly serve as the inventory gathering part of most traditional adventures. As for the game's adventure elements themselves, well, they are definitely there and -from what I did see for this preview- work very well.

So, uhm, yes, I strongly suggest you give this one a try. Should you decide to pre-order it (you've got till the 21st of July), you'll also be getting a free copy of the original Clockwork Man game along with a lovely selection of digital extras, including both the PC and Mac versions of the game in their glorious DRM-free forms.

The Clockwork Man 2

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. I have absolutely no interest in Hidden Object games.

    Now, i've only tried a couple, so maybe i'm wrong to write them off, but despite the gorgeous graphics, there's nothing that really grabs me about them. They're a lazy attempt at a 'game' imo.

    I'm always disappointed when I find a promising box on the shelf, only to find the words Hidden Object Game in the corner.

    Your description of TCM2 is interesting, although it sounds like they promise a lot and I doubt if it will deliver. The video on the website doesn't exactly give anything away, and one I found on YT showing off the gameplay still looks pretty static to me, like most HO games.

    I agree that the lines are blurred between 'hardcore' and 'casual' gamers. I'm not sure I would describe myself in either category. However, this game looks geared more for casual play, like the Professor Layton titles on the DS (which is no bad thing), rather than any substantial interest. If the story is really well done, I might consider it, but the voice acting in the videos leaves me unimpressed.

    I won't dismiss it, since I take any recommendation from your good self as gospel, but it's not the sort of thing i'd usually spend good money on, so will have to see.

  2. Thanks for the incredibly kind words (again!) Rambo, but I must admit I've been known to -at times- showcase a taste for the not particularly tasteful. So, well, I'd suggest you demo first.

    After all, I'm not that disturbed by hidden object games. And haven't played Professor Layton either, but I can tell you that Clockwork Man has some proper adventuring in it.

  3. Ah, yes, reading my comment back, it does come across as quite scathing, sorry. I'm not THAT put off by hidden object games, but they wouldn't be my first choice.

    I've only played the first Professor Layton game myself, but it's pretty good. It's a puzzle game more than an adventure, but the storyline keeps you interested and you have some freedom in the order you attempt puzzles so you're never really stumped.

    Oh! Your very welcome=)

  4. Scathing? Why, not at all dear Rambo. After all, I'm not much of a genre fan either.