The Old Clockmaker's Riddle is match-3, Bejeweled-style game built around the
story of a town that's been affected by a curse that began when the town clock
stopped working. One by one the town's buildings have been damaged by the curse
and it's on the verge of becoming a ghost town. Fortunately you arrive on the
scene, determined to save the town building by building.
So how do you save a building? Well, that's where the match-3 gameplay comes
in. You're given a grid filled with different colored gems and your goal is to
make horizontal or vertical matches of three or more gems by swapping the
positions of adjacent gems. That's Bejeweled in a nutshell, and The Old
Clockmaker's Riddle's only contribution to the formula is the addition of clock
hands which are embedded in some of the gems. If you make a match that includes
one of the clock hand gems, you'll release the clock hand. Release the required
number of hands and you'll complete the level and save the building. If you're
playing the game at the easy difficulty setting then you'll have as long as you
want to get the required number of clock hands, while the higher difficulty
setting will make you make your quota within a set time limit.
Once you complete a level you'll be presented with a puzzle that challenges
you to eliminate all of the gems within a set number of moves. The puzzles can
be pretty challenging, but at the same time they're forgiving in that they let
you undo moves or skip the puzzles entirely.
Unlike many match-3 games, matching more than three gems doesn't result in
power-upped gems appearing on the board. Matching more gems does have its
advantage, though, in that eliminated gems serve as a currency of sort that can
be turned in to a shop to buy power-ups such as a hammer that can be used to
break frozen gems.
As you advance through the game some twists get added to the puzzle boards
such as blocking gems that can't be matched or frozen gems that must be matched
twice to be eliminated. However, the changes aren't significant enough to make
the gameplay any different than that you'll find in the innumerable Bejeweled
clones on the App Store. Wrapping everything within a story doesn't help things
much; the levels are indistinguishable from each other aside from the short text
at the beginning telling you how important the building you're about to save is
to the town.
There's nothing that The Old Clockmaker's Riddle does really wrong, the
match-3 gameplay is a proven formula and it's competently implemented here.
However, the game doesn't add anything that's really different to distinguish
itself from all of the other match-3 games available. You may as well just stick
Final Rating: 67%