The Last Clockwinder Review
Virtual reality can house unique titles that would not be as effective in the traditional format. The automation farming game, The Last Clockwinder, is a perfect example of this, but does this strange amalgamation of ideas combine to make the perfect machine?
The mystical clocktower, which is built in the trunk of a tree, is in need of revival. After many years away, you return to restore it back to its former glory and prevent it from sinking. Pontoco creates a lovely balance with the narrative to ensure that it is present but doesn’t overbear. Throughout you’ll encounter tape players that progress the story and offer insight into the world. Due to the audio delivery, you are never taken out of the world so therefore you continue with the puzzles at hand. However, the lack of cinematics does lower the importance of the story and makes it feel secondary.
A Room with a View
You spend the game in a lovely, quaint room that morphs into the various levels that possess puzzles for you to solve. Each stage has a task that you must decipher. These revolve around the idea of planting and harvesting fruit in a number of ways. New methods and mechanics continually appear to ensure that the game maintains pace and variety. To support the completion of conundrums, particular levels have a hint cylinder that will guide you in the right direction and at times, information in the environment will give advice. The non-intrusive help allows you to continue in the world rather than seek support in another manner.
With the help of some special gloves, you can create robotic clones that repeat 1 to 4-second actions. To do so, you simply press a button, do the sequence and then watch this take place. It’s wonderfully easy to create and remove bots and soon you’ll build huge production lines to harvest fruit. Most of the puzzles require you to transfer an item from A to B. While many of the tasks are quite simple, it’s extremely fun and satisfying to pass items from one to another in order to reach its goal. The open philosophy is what makes the game a joy. It allows you to experiment with the clones which results in many rewarding moments. Due to the free structure, you can tackle puzzles in a way that feels unique to you.
The Production Line
As missions progress, your chains become longer and more complex. You’ll soon need to combine fruit into particular structures, press them, and much more. These can get quite elaborate in the latter stages of the game and these segments will test your skill. An interesting addition is how The Last Clockwinder offers optional challenges. In stages, you’ll notice a sign that asks you to produce an amount of fruit in a minute with a particular number of robots. This then requires you to consider the most efficient course of action in order to achieve the target. The inclusion of these optional tasks not only increases the challenge but also adds an element of replayability.
There is a distinct lack of interactivity in the world. Every item you can pick up is important and is something you can use to either progress the story or solve the puzzle; however, you are unable to pick up random items in the environment. While this helps to ensure that players don’t focus on unimportant items, it does restrict investigation.
You can move around the small area via teleportation or smooth locomotion. This allows you to select your comfort level and engage with the game. While teleportation removes the likelihood of nausea, it is harder to refine your position which can cause frustration. As positioning is key, you will have to decide which movement style you prefer, however, both have their positives and negatives.
A Simple Sight
Visually, the game is nice as each asset feels natural to the environment. There is never a moment that blows your mind but it does enough to immerse you in the world. The audio however is much more impressive. Segments contain strong voice acting which gives character to those who are on audio tapes and the music builds with each clone you add to your chain to create an impressive melody that links to your progress.
The Last Clockwinder is a delightful puzzler that includes a clever mechanic. The ability to create a chain of clones to solve conundrums is a thrill and continues to be so throughout the campaign. Even though there is a lack of interactivity in the environment, you’ll enjoy tinkering with the bots to create the most efficient production line.
***PSVR 2 code provided by the publisher for review***
- Great Core Mechanic
- Engaging Puzzles
- Lovely Soundtrack
- Lacks Interactivity
- Simple Visuals
- Can be Awkward to Position Yourself