If you enjoyed hunting out the red striped shirt of Wally as a youngster, you might want to get your eyes on Crime O’Clock, a crime-solving search-and-find game now available on Switch and coming to PC soon. Tasking you with searching large, busy environments for suspects and clues, it feels like a Where’s Wally that you have to put some thought into.
You see, there’s much more to Crime O’Clock than simply searching for something or someone. It’s about piecing together a timeline of events in order to unravel a crime, and that means using a time-bending mechanism to track movements of suspects and such. The first step of a level in Crime O’Clock is spotting the crime itself: an early level has you figuring out how a rockstar got shot with an arrow on-stage. And so, after finding the crime scene, you’ll then need to find a clue nearby. In this case, it was an arrow lodged into the wall behind the stage.
Then, by reversing time just one step, your next job is to spot a potential perpetrator: trace back the path that the arrow might have travelled and you should find the culprit – or at least another clue to point you in their direction. There are nine timeline steps to explore, and by working backwards through each of them, you should be able to plot the chain of events that led to a crime.
It’s like Where’s Wally, then, in that you’re searching around a detailed environment for something specific. You don’t always know exactly what you’re looking for, but Crime O’Clock gives you clues if you need them. Once you’ve begun the trail, it becomes easier to work through, as you’ve already caught a glimpse of the person you’re looking for, and you’ve some idea of the trajectory they might have taken.
The downside is that the action of Crime O’Clock can become pretty repetitive. But unfolding a crime is enjoyable, and you’ll quickly become invested into how a crime plays out – and why. For a game sporting a quirky art style reminiscent of an illustrated children’s book, it can be pretty dark, what with people getting poisoned, shot with arrows and more.
We’ve found it’s not a game that we’ll want to play for hours upon hours on end, but playing Crime O’Clock for short bursts is the way to go. With levels set across multiple eras, no two crimes will ever feel the same, there’s plenty to go at – and dipping your toes in for a bit of crime-solving searching every evening will keep you entertained for a good amount of time.
Crime O’Clock is available now on Switch and will be coming to PC later this month. A free demo is available on Steam.