iPad Game Review: Old Clockmaker's Riddle HD Review
Reviewed by JadeDragon
Old Clockmaker's Riddle is a Match-3 game that includes 50 levels of solid match-3 puzzles and 25 levels of "collapse" style mini-games in two distinctly different modes, timed and relaxed. The game offers sharp and colorful graphics that look great on the iPad with Retina Display and good quality music and sound FX. Old Clockmaker's Riddle was originally developed by DAVA for the PC and published for iOS by G5. The game is free to try the game with IAP option to unlock the full game.
Old Clockmaker's Riddle has just the right amount of gameplay that will entertain both casual and veteran Match-3 players. It doesn't have as many levels as games such as Cradle of Rome, but the 50 levels are very well designed, adding new power-ups as you earn enough gems to purchase them at the town's shop. The game offers a simple story where a cute little town is now a ghost town and you must beat the puzzles to same one building at a time. With each level you've completed you get certain number of gems and you can use these gems to buy power-ups. There are total of 12 power-ups, each is unique in the advantages they provide. And for more replay value, you can upgrade the power-ups to make them more powerful and efficient.
Match-3 levels offer the usual obstacles you'd expect from the games in this genre including locked tiles, frozen blocks and pre-occupied blocks. Some obstacles require only a match-3 move others require power-ups to solve, such as bombs and tiles with special powers. Some tiles can take out a line of tiles, or all the tiles in the same color or the entire board. So it's a good idea to use your gems buy all the power-ups first, then upgrade them later. The power-ups come in really handy when you play the game in Timed mode where you must collect enough clocks to beat the level. The game offers a frenzy mode that gives you the opportunity to score higher and collect clocks fasters.
While the Match-3 gameplay is quite easy to beat especially if you play the Relax mode, the toughest part of the game comes from the 25 mini-games that require strategy and patience to beat. These Collapse type levels have limited number of move, though you should have enough or even more than enough moves if you solve them correctly. Many levels require several retries to find the correct moves, and luckily the game offers both undo and restart for as many times as you wish. If you really can't solve them, the game offers a Skip button so you're not stuck on that level, though you won't get the gems as reward.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics in Old Clockmaker's Riddle HD looks very sharp and colorful on the iPad with Retina Display. The gems look different from each other and UI looks clean and easy to see. Power-up icons are large and clear on the side, and animation is smooth and explosive. We did experience some crashes during our test, but the game mostly run smoothly.
Old Clockmaker's Riddle has a nice sound track expression curiosity and mystery in a lighthearted way. The game has plenty of sound effects accompanying the animation, and the sound FX really brings out the explosiveness and excitement of power-ups and frenzy gameplay. The game gives you options to turn on/off music and sound FX as well as adjust the volume.
Old Clockmaker's Riddle is a very solid Match-3 game that looks great on the iPad's Retina Display. Two game modes ensure both casual gamer and the hardcore players enjoy the gameplay, and since you need to collect enough gems to buy and upgrade power-ups, the game offers plenty of replay value. Some players might miss the geometric-shaped boards found in games like Cradle of Rome or Fishdom as this game has only one board shape. The game is free to download from the iTunes store, and it's free to try.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4.5- Sharp, bright, colorful, smooth animation. Sound: -4.5- A nice background tune, great sound effects. Controls: -5- Responsive, smooth and easy to use. Gameplay: -4- A good number of Match-3 games and Collapse puzzles.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Buy all the power-ups before spending your gems for upgrades of each power. Experiment with the mini-game puzzles, be patient and don't be afraid to try since the game doesn't punish you for trying.