A match three game with a story that is worth exploring, woot.
The small town has been cursed, and time is moving backwards. Everything is stagnant, and years of progression are reversing. Instead of sending in the US cavalry from the old Westerns, or an army of super heroes they send you. And as a weapon you wield not the power to cause fear, or rip arms off, but rather the ability to match gems. Yes, the weird Old Clockmaker somehow guides you into undoing the curse by reclaiming time.
Convoluted as the story might seem it is actually quite all right for a match three game with limited characters. The tap to continue the story button is a bit slow to react, and I managed to read the story before being able to skip it. Being told in a couple of written sentences at a time it is just enough to create the scenario for the game.
The gameplay is your standard match three fare at heart. There are a number of special clock gems that you have to remove from the board to complete the level. Matching ordinary gems give you currency to purchase upgrades, and tools. Special gems are introduced at a regular pace such as bombs, line removers and lightning bolts. There are also frozen gems, and unmatchable shadow gems making the game harder with each level.
After the ordinary level you get a puzzle where you have to make sure to remove the clock gems with the gems available. These can be skipped if you find them too hard. The game is laid out as a map showing the town. You free houses, and buildings and slowly light up the entire town. There is always the possibility to go back to the Old Clockmaker for some upgrades.
Old Clockmaker´s Riddle comes with two game modes: casual, and timed. Depending on your play style, and reason to play you can either opt for the more laid back experience or speed things up a bit. Personally I prefer playing match three games as a way to relax the mind, and having a casual setting is great.
The presentation is great, and completely coherent with the hidden object games that G5 usually publishes. Effects when gems explode are cool, and always pleasant.
I find the Old Clockmaker´s Riddle to be highly enjoyable experience giving a new spin on the match three formula by introducing a story, and map progression. The fact that it ends after 50 levels, and doesn’t really do much new limits the final rating. Still it is a game that most casual gamers will enjoy, and as you can try for free I recommend you to download it.
Old Clockmaker´s Riddle HD Free + $4.99 iAP to unlock full version