Enter a steampunk world where every second could be your last in The Watchmaker.
The Watchmaker is a platforming/adventure game from Micropsia Games that follows Alexander, a clock tower repair man whose entire life revolves around keeping his tower in tip top shape. One day, he awakes to a strange voice informing him that something has gone terribly wrong. Someone has sabotaged the tower, causing time itself to cascade into disaster. Due to the sabotage, Alexander is effected and begins ageing rapidly, leaving him very little time to fix what’s going wrong. Working with the strange voice, and Alexander’s own ability to manipulate time, players must keep him alive by stopping his ageing process before he reaches 90 years old.
The Watchmaker’s premise is incredibly compelling. Alexander wears a sort of backpack which not only keeps track of his stamina and charges for his time manipulation ability, but there is a large number on the pack which keeps track of his age. As players progress through the story, the number will move up and down, acting as a timer constantly putting pressure on the player to act quickly. It is an interesting concept, adding the constant threat of growing old to the game – but because of this, you’re likely to make many mistakes due to the pressure of time.
One of The Watchmaker’s biggest setbacks is its controls. Everything feels a little bit ‘off’. Combat is easy enough to learn, but using keyboard and mouse, I had to left click multiple times for Alexander to attack enemies and even then it only worked sometimes. Other than combat, you’ll be spending the majority of the game platforming. As much of the setting is moving clockwork gears and pieces, you have be pretty precise in your timing. You’re going to fall, a lot. And more often than not it won’t be your fault. Alexander tends to slide in strange ways, jump only half way, or not jump at all at the most inconvenient moments.
The Watchmaker isn’t perfect, but conceptually it is very creative and the art style is just lovely. Fans of the adventure/platformer genre will definitely enjoy its story, but the technical issues will likely push some players away.
The Watchmaker is available now on Steam for $14.99/£11.39.