Lair of the Clockwork God by Size Five Games and Ant Workshop is an interesting mashup between a platformer and a traditional point and click adventure with a big focus on humor. Find out if it’s worth playing in our Lair of the Clockwork God review!
The story of Lair of the Clockwork God starts with a prelude that occurred two weeks prior to the current timeline of the game. Ben and Dan are in Peru, on a quest to find a mysterious flower that can cure cancer. Ben comes from the old 1990s point and click adventure genre, so he’s all about puzzles and combining items to help his partner Dan. Also, he can’t walk over a ledge – it’s just impossible! Dan, on the other hand, comes from the platforming world, where everything is about running, jumping, and finding shiny objects that don’t end up in your inventory and don’t change anything in the game – a.k.a. collectibles. After finding the flower, you are taken back to London in the current timeline, where all Apocalypses are happening… at the same time!
They soon meet with a computer that suffered a problem and doesn’t understand human emotions. With this understanding being the only way for the computer to fix things up since it’s the one who watches over the world, our duo will go on a quest to help it understand the eleven core human emotions before it’s too late.
Depending on who you’re controlling, the game plays in two totally different ways, and you can easily switch between them at any time by pressing the L1 button to swap. From Ben’s point of view, you slowly walk around and can’t jump or do simple things like moving over a step. Ben quickly points out that he doesn’t have the strength for such a monumental task! But Ben does have the ability to interact with the environment to look at things, use them, or pick items up to use them later.
Dan can move fast, jump with the X button, and can also push or pull objects with the Square button. Unfortunately, being a platforming guy, he can’t do things like pull levers, so he has to rely on Ben for things like these. As the story progresses, with Ben finding and combining items for Dan to use, he eventually gains other abilities, such as being able to double-jump or sprint to run faster.
Visually, the game is very detailed, with many environments to explore as you visit the worlds of the different human emotions. One of the biggest strengths of this game is the story, which is completely absurd and full of humor. I can’t remember the last adventure game I played where one of your items was your blatter, which sometimes gets full, which means you have to empty it before the other character can give you a piggyback ride. Moreover, Ben can only pee in toilets or on graves. Along with this, the game is full of funny references to each character’s playstyle, often bringing up recent things in the mix. For example, Dan, at one point, urges Ben to stop combining items, since this process is now called crafting, to a point where your command for this action is actually renamed to Craft from that point onward.
From a gameplay perspective, I found the game to be a lot of fun. It has a good balance of platforming elements that you have to take on in order to help Ben reach further places, as well as point and click elements with some puzzles that sometimes provided a few head-scratching moments. In the beginning, I found it a bit annoying to switch characters just to have the other follow up from where you left him as you switch, but this small complaint was quickly remedied when I got the ability to piggyback, bringing both characters together.
As for the trophies, the Platinum will be an easy one to get, although it will probably require you to replay some chapters in order to get a few of the trophies since a lot of them can be missed during your first run if you’re doing a blind playthrough. The good news is they’re not missable in the traditional trophy hunting sense, so you can eventually add another Platinum trophy to your collection without having to replay the whole game.
Lair of the Clockwork God is quite an interesting game that manages to find a good balance between two genres that aren’t normally brought together like this. The formula works, and it’s definitely a game worth trying for adventure and platformer fans alike on PlayStation 4, given its $19.99 price.
This Lair of the Clockwork God review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ant Workshop.