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I’ve finally finished Lock’s Quest, which is pretty good news (spoilers ahoy!) and just in time for the annual winter humbug festival; it’s a great game, a few inexplicable bits aside, but after a while there the stylus-driven interface was just destroying my wrists. By the end of it, I’d play for five minutes, wait fifteen minutes until I could feel my fingertips again and then, possibly because it’s great fun and possibly also because I’m an idiot, play for five more minutes.

There are some minor oddities about the game, I should tell you – levels are timed for playability purposes, for example, the narrative excuse when you’re fighting your “clockwork” enemies being that they are only wound up to last a certain time. But when you switch allegiances and start campaigning against humans, they also fall over after two or three minutes in an oddly synchronized narcoleptic spasm. I can understand that the developers wouldn’t want to change too much in terms of gameplay as things proceed, but it would have been neat to see the differences in “clockworks” versus “people” be somewhat more profound than just the sprites.

That is a quibble, though, because altogether it’s a reasonably well-balanced and thoroughly enjoyable hybrid tower-defense/combat game. It’s got a plot on rails and there’s no attempt to bridge the tactical level you play at to anything like a strategic level, but that’s OK, really. And it comes with a storyline that is far more engaging than it had any right to be.

Oddly enough, it’s also the second game I’ve enjoyed this year involving clockwork people, the other being the very different but also excellent Professor Layton And The Curious Village.

So what am I playing next, internets?


  1. Posted December 19, 2008 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Have you Puzzle Quested?

  2. mhoye
    Posted December 20, 2008 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I have not! Is it at all related to the Puzzle Fighter games of old, though?

  3. Posted December 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    It is not related to Puzzle Fighter, no. The game is more or less a railbound choose-your-own-adventure role-playing game with random combat replaced with competitive Bejewelled. The DS version unfortunately has well-known AI holes and difficulty-scale problems, but it’s still ultimately enjoyable.

  4. Posted December 22, 2008 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Basically it combines a match-three game with levelling up and earning money, which gives the naturally addictive match-three gameplay a greater purpose. (It also adds a bit more depth to it, since you can match different sorts of threes to earn more XP, more gold, do more damage, or get mana for spells.)

    Basically, if you like Bejewelled, but wish there was more there, this is the more.