The Watchmaker, a Puzzle Adventure Against the Clock
It has been an interesting month for video games on Kickstarter. There are many interesting and unique games to be found on there and The Watchmaker is one such game. The Watchmaker is a Puzzle-Adventure game currently being developed by Micropsia and published by 1C Company. Micropsia currently has a demo available to download through Steam, to help promote their Kickstarter campaign and we take a look at what it has to offer.
Disclaimer: This article covers an in-development build of The Watchmaker and does not represent a complete or finished product.
Time has gone mad
You take on the role of Alexander in his steampunk world of giant clock mechanisms. For years he has spent every single day maintaining his giant clock tower, it is the only life he has ever known for equally as long. One day Alexander awakens to the voice of disembodied entity who warns him that something has gone wrong.
Some unknown being has sabotaged Alexander's precious tower and with it, time has spiralled out of control. Alexander is now ageing at an exceptionally rapid rate giving him little time to repair the damage that has been done.
With time not working properly, Alexander's memory is but a blur and with the aid of the mysterious voice, he must adventure through the clock tower uncovering its past and stopping the mysterious saboteur. The plot to The Watchmaker is an interesting and unique concept with quite a mystery behind it.
After playing the demo, it has left me wanting to know more. A small portion of the plot is revealed throughout in the form of the dialogue between Alexander and the voice. It gives a taste of what is to come and leaves you longing for more. I can't wait to see what surprises The Watchmaker's plot has in store for players.
Race against the clock
The demo throws you right into the gameplay of The Watchmaker. You must progress through the level solving puzzles and overcoming blocked or destroyed pathways. You do all this while also racing against the clock, as the digits on your backpack turn to higher numbers.
The number on your backpack represents your age, starting at 30. As your age increases, you turn from a young man eventually into an old aged man. If you reach the age of 90 you will immediately die but there are ways of countering the process.
Throughout the level, you will obtain keys that when used will temporarily make you younger again. These keys, however, are few and far between, so a hasty approach constantly needed. To help you on the way, there are a number of abilities at your disposal.
You have a magnetic pulse attack that helps you deal with hostile machines. These machines spray a purple mist over you accelerating the ageing process, so avoiding or dealing with them is essential. There is also a magnetic shield, that entirely protects you while destroying anything you run into.
To help you get through fast moving obstacles, you can slow down time temporarily. If you make a mistake, you can also rewind time by about 15 seconds. Each of the abilities except time rewinding requires power, that is indicated by the six squares on the right side of your backpack.
The magnetic pulse uses 1 power per use, slowing of time uses 3 and the magnetic shield requires all six. Your backpacks power is recharged at power stations found throughout the level. You can also pick up various items using the magnetic glove too to help you carry them to where they need to be placed. Something similar to that done in the Portal series.
The gameplay is exhilarating and intense as you attempt to figure your way through the level with the numbers on your backpack ever increasing. While it may sound harsh having the clock constantly against you, your age doesn't increase at an unfair rate. Mix that with using a key whenever you need, assuming you have one it is a fair game.
The combat in the game is a bit wonky at this moment in time, but that is to be expected of a game that is still in development. Aside from that, the gameplay is looking excellent and I am excited to see more.
A stunning and exciting puzzle adventure
The Watchmaker is an absolutely stunning game, with a beautifully crafted and breathtaking world that is unlike anything else out there. The only thing I can think of that compares to it would be that one level near the end of Medievil back on the PS1.
With an interesting plot, exhilarating and intense gameplay The Watchmaker is a game that is shaping up to be something very unique and special. If you love puzzle adventure games like the Portal series, then The Watchmaker is a game that you should definitely keep on your radar.
The demo for The Watchmaker can be downloaded through its Steam store page.