Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ravenous maw of Imperial Industry & Commerce. History is yours to seize for fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires!
User reviews:
Mixed (15 reviews) - 40% of the 15 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (382 reviews) - 70% of the 382 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 26, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Early Access is the single most influential tool we can find to receive feedback to improve the game. We've had tremendous success with doing this on smaller scales in the past with Dungeons of Dredmor, but with a larger game, especially a sandbox simulation game, more testing is dramatically more valuable. Early Access will make Clockwork Empires the best game we can possibly make it.

The benefits of Early Access for the players are, of course, early access to the game, and the ability to not only watch the game take shape but to help us shape it with suggestions on how we can improve systems, and be able to log in every month and see notable content additions and systems improvements inspired by your feedback.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We will be launching the 1.0 build of the game on October 26th 2016! For a bunch more information on this, check out our blog post about launching and leave a comment!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

This our giant Development Progress Report page (as mentioned) which we shall keep updated with each major public release of Clockwork Empires.

We're nearly finished now, so the major changes that you can expect will be polish, more events, cults and monsters, and bug fixing.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Nearly done! See above :D

If you haven't read the giant Development Progress Report page (which we shall keep updated with each major public release of Clockwork Empires), then we urge you to do so.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Years ago we decided that we would not change the price once the game had launched, and we are sticking to that. Price changes feel unfair to players who were with us in the early days, and we want to do right by them.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We're STILL involving the community as we get ready to release the final version!

To start, we spend time on our forums as well as right here on the Steam forums trying to answer questions directly, letting people know when we've logged bugs they find or responding to content or design suggestions.

We have had a running development blog for Clockwork Empires since before we officially announced the project, and we will be keeping that up to date with our progress and changelogs for new versions. We will also keep our Clockwork Empires Development Progress report up to date with our monthly releases. People who want more information can visit the Clockwork Empires Portal to see the latest updates on our twitter account for the game, @ClockwrkEmpires).”
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Recent updates View all (92)

October 3


A few small problems have been addressed in Beta 55A via your friend, and mine, the Hotfix. This has been pushed to the default branch, so you should not need to switch to the experimental branch on Steam.


  • added disturbance tooltip
  • balance: Bricabrac Prices of certain wall modules have increased in preparation for Things
  • FIXED: bandits now make better decisions when placing tents
  • FIXED: foreign_relations_correction would correct in wrong direction in certain cases
  • FIXED: public house will correct booze count when drinks are used up
  • FIXED: a few more bugs with flattening terrain not rebuilding everything correctly
  • FIXED: regenerate all height map passability when loading a new game
  • FIXED: a bunch of incorrect recipes including Vacuum Chamber
  • FIXED: Wine Recipe + Made it available on Mechanical Brewing Vats
  • FIXED: bug with emotion values in workshop QoL effects
  • FIXED: upkeep display on airship mast
  • FIXED: a bunch of typos
  • FIXED: spice rack / hanging pots quality

I'm just a bill, I'm only a bill, and I'm sitting there on Capitol Hill,

-- Gaslamp Games

2 comments Read more

September 30


Beta 55 of Clockwork Empires, "ONWARD! FOR QUEEN AND EMPIRE", is now available on Steam.

Major player-facing additions this month:

  • implemented an Office Supply system to replace the upkeep system
  • added biome unlocking
  • redid guns & ammo (pew pew)
  • added madness and enraged states
  • and made enormous improvements to UI all over the place

Begin the full Beta 55 changelog!


  • text input boxes now have a caret
  • keybinding widget now works in Configuration screen
  • added Serpent Bell icon
  • UI for all offices has been given a polish
  • UI for all offices now has various alerts for reasons why work cannot be performed due to lack of overseer/modules/supplies
  • mine UI now displays more information
  • added visual cue to indicate that a module must be affixed to a wall
  • all recipes should now grey out correctly depending on your materials
  • all modules in the game now have sort IDs and will display in the Modules Menu in a much more logical order
  • added/improved tooltips on a large number of constructions and buildings
  • renamed some office UI to try and make it a bit more clear
  • added more info to character panel tooltips
  • fixed order strings so they now also work on the filter buttons on the module placer UI
  • added randomized start backgrounds
  • added command tooltip details
  • did polish changes to where tooltips show up
  • made improvement to tutorial controls image
  • did major update to all tutorial text
  • redid a number of building tutorial images
  • wrote all Colonial Handbook help files
  • removed a mysterious sound that played when nothing happened
  • workshop button now turns red when commodities are unavailable for a production that is set for a job
  • area designation stamps now highlight what objects can be selected
  • “Designate Building” dialog now attaches to blueprint for confirmation once it is drawn out
  • lack of booze for Public House will generate alerts
  • Fishperson-related alerts should have sounds more consistently now
  • added product listing to mine tooltip
  • failure states for workshop jobs now show properly
  • added parent container code for office UI buttons
  • Quality of Life is now a first class element in the character info panel
  • Combat tooltips pared down significantly
  • building quality display improved
  • can now add widgets to the front of a container’s stack
  • scrollbar track clicks are now more useful (sorry track clickers, i never do it, didn’t realize what a sorry state that was in)
  • improved nametag code, incorporated alert icons into nametags
  • made interactive objects like rocks and trees have tooltips that are anchored and show up instantly rather than being on the cursor and having a delay. Some new players weren’t seeing them at all, so this should improve their visibility.
  • all instances of “work crew” have been changed to “overseer” to make difference between LC/MC chars clearer
  • you will now be alerted if you build a building with no door
  • FIXED: static buttons for work crews
  • FIXED: finally fixed our scrollable vert boxes so they don’t do weird things with scrolling too far and their padding isn’t horrible. Finally. After i think 2 years of this bug.
  • FIXED: edge cases for the building confirmation window
  • FIXED: offset so that modules menu isn’t below the screen
  • FIXED: progress bars with “0” percent in them still showed some percent
  • FIXED: lock up in character screen when character had maxed out skill tree or zero skill
  • FIXED: bug where unassigning an overseer wouldn’t immediately update the window.
  • FIXED: Tutorial FYI text boxes can now expand properly.
  • FIXED: tooltips being basically everywhere.
  • FIXED: image buttons not pushing their size appropriately
  • FIXED: gameSimRequireGameObject not working correctly for requirements; various other graying behaviours not working correctly
  • FIXED: a bunch of bad button typecasting
  • FIXED: a number of bugs in production menu grey-outs
  • FIXED: loading bay door claiming to add -1 quality in tooltip
  • FIXED: scrollbars not sizing correctly on OS X
  • FIXED: a number of buildings that displayed the wrong cost in the buildings menu have been fixed
  • FIXED: long-standing issue with wrapped text
  • FIXED: janky scrollbar movement while the game is unpaused
  • FIXED: wacky QoL tooltip offset
  • FIXED: workplace limit display not being reset properly on save/load
  • FIXED: crash in stamp area designation mode when an interactive object in the area is deleted (such as, say, setting fire to a mushroom)
  • FIXED: discrepancy of carpentry icon in command button vs. module category


  • upkeep removed as-such; it’s being replaced with Office Supplies!
  • Naturalist’s Office now uses ammo for hunting, paper for surveying (scouting is free)
  • Foreign Office now requires paper to do bureaucracy
  • Foreign Office workers will prioritize use of modules that increase their work speed ie. Bureaucrat’s Desk
  • Barbershop now requires Medical Supplies to do healing; if Sulphur Tonic is available, it will be used to make healing more effective and more pleasant
  • Chapel now requires Iron Cogs as votive material to perform religious services
  • Academy now requires paper to do training; if ink is supplied, it will double speed of training
  • Mine now requires trusses to operate
  • Laboratory now requires Science Materials to perform research
  • added a number of new commodities and workshop recipes to support the new office overhaul
  • added sugarloaf to traders
  • added additional safety aborts to consume supply calls in fsms
  • made artifacts tradeable
  • added small vs. large stockpiles
  • added a new mining tech
  • clarified bric-a-brac display names
  • “Workbench” is now “Assembly Workbench” and is used only to make modules, except in the kitchen
  • added new module: Decor Workbench. Makes all relevant decor items for that workshop
  • removed module recipes from ceramics/carpentry workbench
  • removed decor recipes from all modules that aren’t Decor Workbench
  • Mine now caps depth if you don’t have modules required to dig deeper
  • removed basic brew, added back individual brewing recipes
  • added Workplace system
  • sulphur made more easily mined
  • naturalist now requires musket locker to hunt
  • “Explore” command now works (from Naturalist ui)
  • Naturalist’s Office can now do targeted “Survey” and “Hunt” commands
  • product of fishpeople butchering humans no longer (always) auto-claimed by player
  • balance: Chemical Works has been moved earlier in the game progression (for ammo)
  • balance: changed cost tiers of a vew buildings to streamline the early game
  • balance: lowered quality bonus from rugs since they don’t block walkspace and are therefore superior to normal decor
  • FIXED: incorrect Ceramics Workshop tech modifier display
  • FIXED: you may now place the Lower Class Rug
  • FIXED: foreign office error
  • FIXED: trade bool on dormant spore
  • FIXED: Boxed Macroscope constuction
  • FIXED: increased range of Naturalist survey for minerals job so they wouldn’t get stuck in the middle of the map doing nothing
  • FIXED: scientists will now only use equipment inside their own laboratory
  • FIXED: added check so traders won’t leave and never come back, forever
  • FIXED: Pub did not stock booze until ordered to
  • FIXED: sometimes modules would suddenly stop working until demolished and rebuilt
  • FIXED: Larch farms would grow orange cubes
  • FIXED: various cost/quality display on various modules
  • FIXED: Bureaucrat’s desks properly count as desks in the foreign office UI


  • removed skill effects on tree chopping/foraging
  • added better feedback to early safety Quality of Life rating
  • made reactions to horrors more expressive
  • foreign civilians will properly flee from horrors
  • added “Cry over Body” job
  • made Occult Inspectors slightly more expressive
  • hunger emote now more expressive
  • balance: QoL effects adjusted to have more effect but not be completely extreme
  • balance: Immigration now takes longer between waves the later you are in the game (max immigrants increases as well, however)
  • balance: Chapel effects now emphasize lowering despair
  • balance: Pub effects now emphasize lowering anger
  • FIXED: attempt_emote.fsm
  • FIXED: scripterror in building name change
  • FIXED: some food was tagged as both overseer and labourer-preferred
  • FIXED: added check for scripterror when bandit group self-deletes


  • construction assignments will now always be prioritized over other work assignments
  • rewrote all flatten terrain code. flatten terrain jobs are now not listed in a giant bulky mess at the start of the assignment, but are assigned first-come-first-serve. this fixes lurching performance issues when a user has a lot of flatten terrain jobs selected, as well as… works…
  • moved flatten terrain to assignment beacon, so it can be cancelled etc.
  • Flatten terrain target height now displays in tooltip
  • added a safety check for if you removed a worker from the academy while they were working
  • removing forageables can be done via left-click, per object
  • FIXED: assignment beacon drop zones now only show those beacons visible for the current selection mode
  • FIXED: assignment beacons now correctly encompass all objects inside (Although it is a little conservative)

  • added new ore distribution – varies based on climatic zone
  • added locking and unlocking of embark locations by biome type
  • removed the Alone loadout
  • added details for unlocking biomes
  • balance: added more high ground in temperate swamp biome
  • balance: added more guaranteed starting surface clay/stone

  • Barracks now displays weapon stats & otherwise has a useful UI
  • Barracks now used to supply ammunition to soldiers; different weapons use different types of ammo. If ammo runs out, soldiers will default to using pistol
  • weapon power/damage/range rebalanced
  • military may now do “cull troublesome animal”
  • Steam Knights made more reactive to threats
  • gave better icons to most military techs
  • updated/improved costs of all gun lockers (can now build “Improvised Muskets” in Carpentry Workshop, can build “Ceramic Tripistols” in Ceramics Workshop)
  • “Rally” command now works (from Barracks ui)
  • balance: fishpeople made weaker
  • balance: bandits given worse weapons
  • FIXED: obeliskian_melee error
  • FIXED: military culling of bad animals
  • FIXED: civilians will now only consider melee/ranged attacks if they are not within some distance (X) of a military character

  • balance: increased starting food amounts
  • a huge number of events now trigger sounds on firing
  • made significant improvements to Meteor Shower event arc
  • fix to Event Arc-related science jobs
  • fix to Event Arc-related selenian AI
  • added airdropcrate pos test
  • minor cosmetic improvement to Artist event arc
  • added more cult stuff
  • improved more cult stuff
  • added additional safety checks to Rogue Stahlmarkian start
  • supplies requested via the foreign office will now take a bit of time to arrive
  • balance: changed arc point build + some arc mindays + costs
  • FIXED: added safety check for scripterror in fishperson cult arc
  • FIXED: added safety check for scripterror in rogue stahlmarkian
  • FIXED: Mysterious Ore drop position
  • FIXED: issue in tutorial that prevented it from progressing
  • FIXED: player didn’t get ownership of bar of gold gift
  • FIXED: incorrect action text on bandit spawn FYI alert
  • FIXED: incorrect Novorusian text
  • FIXED: bug where minimum number of immigrants could be 0
  • FIXED: crashed airship event weirdness
  • FIXED: dead cultists will no longer offer assassination services


  • crash DMP reporter now correctly reports crashes when triggering MSVC internal error or SIGABRT
  • rewrote assignment beacon rendering code to fix floating outline ugliness
  • added terrain decal scene graph to render assignment beacons and other “zone-like constructions” after terrain but before objects
  • FIXED: crash deleting a stockpile
  • FIXED: crash deleting a house
  • FIXED: crash deleting a workshop
  • FIXED: in the event that the game didn’t crash while deleting a thing, it would appear with a graphical artifact glitch
  • FIXED: on rare maps, all characters and everything in the world will suddenly start sliding into the lower left corner of the screen
  • FIXED: disappearing modules
  • FIXED: crash deleting farm and building new farm
  • FIXED: misc other crashes
  • FIXED: crash deleting modules (again)

As always, the full development report is available on http://www.clockworkempires.com - feel free to give us feedback on our forums at http://www.gaslampgames.com/ or here on Steam.

No Time for Love, Dr. Jones,

-- Gaslamp Games

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“Victorian Steampunk at its finest”

“I have a feeling it’s going to be something rather special”

“Clockwork Empires makes me uncomfortable”
PC World

About This Game

Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ravenous maw of Imperial Industry & Commerce. Build a prosperous colony, fill it with magnificent factories worked by oppressed labourers, and harness the awesome power of steam through fearsome machines invented by determined men and women of Science! History is yours to seize for fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires!

  • Colonists are simulated with individual personalities, memories, and will be happy or miserable depending on your management.
  • Free-form building: Design your own floorplans & arrange machines, furniture, and decorations as you see fit. (Or stuff everyone into bunkhouses.)
  • Mine ore, chop trees, farm cabbage, brew beer, tin weird caviar and try to keep your people from eating one another!
  • Weird horrible things: Menacing Fishpeople, cults, cannibalism, and more await your colonists.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7, Operating System of The Lower Classes
    • Processor: Intel i5 Processor or Equivalent ("The Little Scrapper" model)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or AMD card capable of supporting OpenGL 3.2 Core or Above. INTEL HD3000 AND HD4000 GRAPHICS CARDS ARE NOT SUPPORTED.
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Lord Palmerstoke's Sound-Reproducing "Old-Timey" Wax Cylinder Driver
    • Additional Notes: INTEL HD3000 AND HD4000 GRAPHICS CARDS ARE NOT SUPPORTED. The Ministry for Video Game Drivers would like to remind you: true Patriots of the Empire always install their latest Graphics Card Drivers before Enjoying A Bracing Video Game, lest the Blackness Consume Us All.
    • OS: Windows 7, 64-Bit Version (By Appointment to Her Majesty)
    • Processor: Intel i7 or above, fashioned of Stout Empire Tin and Burnished of Solid Pewter
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: A Big, Shiny NVIDIA or AMD Graphics Card With Lots of Fans Stuck to It. (Remember: More Fans Means More Steampunk!)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: "His Masters' Voice" Novorusian All-Wailing Gramaphone Module and Borscht Dispensary
    • Additional Notes: The Ministry for Growth and Monitoring encourages you to buy a Really Big Monitor.
    • OS: OS X 10.9 ("Mavericks") or above
    • Processor: 2013 Generation Macbook Pro or iMac or Mac Pro
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: We're still trying to figure this out. Stay tuned.
    • OS: OS X 10.... what number *is* Yosemite anyway?
    • Processor: 2014 Generation Macbook Pro or iMac or Mac Pro
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA or AMD Integrated Graphics Parts
    • Additional Notes: Note: some GeForce cards (700m series) are currently experiencing peculiar slowdowns. We are trying to figure this out. Stay tuned!
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (15 reviews)
Mostly Positive (382 reviews)
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297 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
806.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 26
As you can see, I don't have nearly enough hours logged to give a detailed review.

I agree with most of the positive reviews mentioning the dedicated community friendly dev team, the charming writing, and the addictive gameplay. Oh, and the graphics are impressively detailed for a modern colony builder. Here's a little stiuation from a recent game:

I had decided to make friends with the local Fish People, because why not? Everything was going along just fine before the Occult Inspector showed up. Turns out they're not too keen on Aquatic Eldritch Abominations, so he whipped out his flame thrower and went to town.

One particular flaming fish man walked into the dense woods beside my colony and started a massive forest fire. This in turn woke up a pack of sleeping Ancient Tentacled Stone Constructions known as the Obeliskians, who rampaged through the town until finally getting blown up by my military and exploding my food stockpile (yeah, I keep gunpowder and ammo next to my food, got a problem with that?). Several colonists nearly starved as a result.

They of course went a little sideways - renaming their workshops things like The Putrid Fungal Eatery. One of them actually went around examining dead bodies, which made her simultanously happy and desparing. Why? She had a morbid trait.*

Things were dicey, but I thought I could recover for the most part. That's when the cultists showed up - a Fish worshipping cult, of course. They spread rapidly, worshipping at their infernal shrine, until my scientist suggested whipping up a "cure" for everyone affected. Great! I thought. Turns out I didn't look closely enough at my scientist. He was a cultist too. This cure of his turned out to be a "fishy potion" that only accelerated the transformation process and and made things worse.

At its core this game is a "juggling 20 chainsaws at once simulator". Some may call it micromanagement, but that's a little reductive IMO; it's more about having to decide what you CAN manage, and hoping what you don't doesn't come back as a building sized Obelisk to level your colony.

*I once had a criminal with the DOOMED and CRIMINAL traits call for an airdrop of stolen goods. The crate dropped on his head. He called again. Same thing. This happened several times until he finally died.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
72.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 7
Steampunk city builder without ... steampunk ... and cities.

First let me say I love gaslamp though and their support during EA has been stellar. With one major patch every month and a blog post detailing the grim reality of game development every week.

However after so much time in early access, the game sadly fails to live up to the original promises and expectations.
Main issue is that they have been bogged down by core engine issue for so long in alpha it delayed a lot of the actual features and gameplay implementation.
Also game design of the game has seemingly never really be set in stone, resulting in lot of back and forth on core gameplay elements, the result being it’s not quite clear what kind of game they want to be.

It has elements from survival management games like Rimworld, some production chains principles from Factorio, it borrows from Anno with the needs of the populations. But it’s neither of these game and fails to implement the borrowed concepts in a cohesive and compelling gameplay.

Where the game falls short the most is that despite being adverstised as a steampunk game, the steampunk elements are still nowhere to be found except minuscule details and references.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
25.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 7
Clockwork Empire

A fitting title for a game where you build up your own colony.

Clockwork Empire is a Dwarf Fortress-esque game. The game has been out for a couple of years, it feels like and I've had it for a bit. It's an Early Access title, so it's been worked and refined over the years. When I first played the game, it was dreadfully optimized, buggy to the point of being unplayable, horribly interfaced, and just plain bad. It had potential and, thankfully, it's been reaching for that potential for years.

Let's start with the awesome parts of the game:

The Music:
Clockwork Empire (CE) has an amazing soundtrack. The tones in music really set the stage for an adventure out in the wilderness of unexplored, potentially hostile lands. The little bleets of rustic music during the day while you're watching your pioneers explore and work does well to capture the up-beat feeling of the game. When night time falls, however, the music turns ominous -- foreboding about the future as your settlers sleep in their homes. When the unnatural and unexpected happens, the music fits those themes just as well. The music is iconic and will get stuck in your head.

The Setting:
The setting is pretty interesting. Set in an alternative universe (or so it seems), you are the mastermind of a batch of settlers. Despite your domain being whatever environment you choose, you have a sense for a larger going-on in the world as events pertaining to your Empire continues on. You get a sense of being just a small cog in the giant Clockwork Empire. Little messages, mini-events and stories that happen reach you as the Mastermind and you get to understand a bit more of the world geo-political stage, but there's always a feeling of not quite being a part of the higher decisions. Ultimately, you're just a manager receiving an inkling from corporate, but you don't know how or why -- you just do as you're told.

Although not being the most lifelike, the environment is vibrant, with many differing biomes, animals, other factions, and natives. It has this air of the unknown, just as the music sets and the two compliment each other well. The animals look goofy when they move around haphazardly, the ores and other precious resources are just oddly placed most the time, but the colours and the artistic detail make it pretty nice. Overall, not the biggest strength of the game, but it is an interesting part of it.

The People/Traits
This is part of the game's throw-back towards Lovecraftian writing and experience. Each individual has their own traits, inclinations, preferences, and socialize with one another on different levels. These preferences and aspects of individuals are somewhat fluid and can change for a multitude of reasons (such as a traumatic fishmen raid on the settlement or something). In fact, this also applies to the natives (fishmen), and the local bandits and other colonial factions. It's an interesting mechanic that can be both hilarious and infuriating.

Now that we've discuss the good, let's discuss the bad!

The game is as creative and driven as the player. There are many ways for one to build their community or settlement and many ways to interact with the world around it. However, this relies extremely heavily on the randomization of the world. Since the map is so integral to gameplay, when it is randomized poorly it can really make for a boring or tedious run through the game. Allow me to explain:

When the game generates a map, you can pick from an area on that map, a biome or sector. This sector itself is randomized as well. So when you pick an area, it generates the sector you play in and then you may start ordering your people around. However, it seems like most the time you're spending, at least in the early game, revolves around clearing the terrain so you can even get started building your settlement. Raising the land so it is even just takes forever and you'd think settlers would pick a place a little more suitable to start their place. Then you have to cut down a million trees and so on so forth. Sure, this seems like the Dwarf Fortress/Rim World experience, but the amount one has to do it is just inordinate.

Then comes the User Interface. The UI started as a clunky, messy, incomplete and broken part of the game that was confusing and difficult to use. That's why I stopped playing the game at first. Upon returning, it has improved immensely. It's now organized and better situated but its position, provides basic information about the building and why it matters. However, the information along the top bar and the clunky feeling of moving around the map detracts from the enjoyment of the game. The save is extraordinarily intrusive and gives a reminder of the poorly designed save-system which holds your entire progress for quite some time.

I am a big fan of building things up in these games, but it's been watered down over the years. Before, you had a chance to meet the natives and came onto the land with a soldier for protection (I even remember when there was more than one soldier). Now it feels like the beginning was watered down as an easy solution for the sector randomizer giving the surrounding area around a settlement poor terrain. If the sector around a settlement was better "picked" by the settlers, that would have alleviated have to spend most of the early game just setting up for it and doing tedious work. I'm sure others enjoy this boring, slow gameplay, but that just wasn't for me.

The AI makes the gameplay infuriating. Even though they've come a long way (they don't stand around and starve themselves to death anymore), the AI still refuses to function at times. Commanding them to do ♥♥♥♥ felt very slow before they actually went to work, opting to just stroll around aimlessly. They will also just throw stuff into the stockpile randomly and then another settler will put it in the right place. The AI just place and then stack the object. The enemy will make beelines through your soldiers, disregarding the dangers of those soldiers and attack your civilians. Your civilians will then run ten miles away, leading this conga line of soldiers, bandits, and sometimes angry natives until everyone dies. The AI also has huge fits at times, going delirious and killing one another for small slights or minor incidents.

Upcoming Content (Namely Multiplayer)
The big draw-in for me regarding this game was its premise and that I'd be able to play it with others if I'd like. However, after two years there hasn't been much in the ways of updates on when big, promised changes will happen. Multiplayer has practically been untouched for months on the development page of the CE website https://clockworkempires.com/. Other functions such as vehicles and, new animal behavior and other such entities also haven't really been added or expanded upon and the Steam release date states Oct. 23 (or something), 2016 to be the release date and these huge aspects haven't really been addressed.

Arbitrary Game Limitations
The game recently updated to a better world map that a player could choose to play on any point of it. However, recently the developers of the game chose to block off the majority of the new biomes until the player reaches arbitrary numbers (number of population), thus limiting the game for absolutely no reason. If they had chosen to reward achievements with gameplay improving aspects or new things that a player could build per session would be much more rewarding than removing content from the player. A serious gameplay blunder; it could only get worse if the developers asked money for this practice.
The game is okay. It can be fun, and that can be the most of the time, but really, that fun can be swamped by a challenging UI
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
44.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 8
I bought this game just after it came out on Early Access. It proudly displayed the Multiplayer tage on it; because it promised to have Multiplayer. So that's why I bought it. NEVER BUY AN EA GAME EXPECTING IT TO RETAIN FEATURES. Because without my knowledge they decided to cut multiplayer at the beginning of the year in a casually named blog post nobody saw.

This is why amatuer developers should not make distant promises about a game they plan to have in development for two years. Because it ends up just dissapointing everybody involved. I played a recent build and it was a sickeningly far cry from the game I had paid for. There is no mystery or suprise to this game anymore, it's just a house building simulator now.

Here is how the entire game works: You build workshops and assign overseers so that they make materials to build houses. The houses raise the arbitrary head count limit so that you can build better and more houses. If you ever have too many workshops your rate of progress sinks because of the overseer system, so before you can even start expanding you have to build a bunch of houses. So even though there are only four kinds of resource production buildings it takes hours to build them all!

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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
12.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 25
Gaslamp is being commendably transparent. There’s a page dedicated to the game’s progress, where you can see exactly what’s in the game, what’s close to implementation and what they are saving for the future.

What Early Access means really depends on the game, and in the case of Clockwork Empires, it means the foundations are there, but there’s not much on top of them. That doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable - if you like building and management games, then Clockwork Empires offers some compelling features, particularly when it comes to customising factories and homes or learning about the colonists themselves. Of course, being a complex game in Early Access, bugs are bound to happen.

It’s very exciting to see how Clockwork Empires grows. I have a feeling it’s going to be something rather special. When I think about what’s to come, I can’t help but want to play again.

- Exciting consept
- Great graphics
- Great potential

- Still Early Access

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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
60.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 29
I greatly enjoyed Dungeons of Dredmor and so I picked up this game as soon as it came out of Early Access. It had promise in early Alpha, but wasn't satisfying over the long term—not unexpected, since it's an Early Access game.

I just tried Clockwork Empires again (Beta 54C), and the improvement is MASSIVE. The game is rich and satisfying, with an interesting late game, many different routes to success once your colony stabilizes, and increasingly-difficult combinations of biomes (maps, basically) that open up for replayability and challenge. The overall artistic style of the game comes through very strongly and positively, The delightful Gaslamp Games sense of humor is evident throughout, and manages to stay fresh through several replays, which is a particularly difficult task for any 'funny' game. And most importantly, the simulation feels good, and responds well to good player decisions (a big change from early Alpha.)

Definitely recommended.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
132.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 9
Day 1.
The empire has sent out us and other groups of colonists to remote savage lands. After an uneventful journey, we have arrived by steam-powered airship, in the middle of an untamed and remote jungle, teeming with exotic wilderness and unknown wonders. Our dozen or so colonists muddled around aimlessly, having not thought this far ahead. As an afterthought, supply crates are then dropped from the skies, all of them bursting on impact with the colonists’ heads.

Day 2.
None of the colonists have recovered from concussion yet. They lie on the ground, conscious but groaning, with fallen barrels of sausages and piles of bricks and timber still strewn on top of them. Some lizards occasionally wander past, chasing the jungle foul. One of the lizards ate Geoffrey’s face.

Day 3.
Finally, the remaining colonists have recovered and are set to work building a carpentry workshop and dumping Geoffrey in a ditch. They consumed the remaining food. Without any other accommodation, the colonists packed into the workshop, which was little more than a wooden box, and slept in a pile. Samuel Applebottom did not quite fit, but seemed content to sleep in the open doorway.

Day 4.
With no food remaining, the colonists constructed a makeshift kitchen and a chilli farm. Master Chef Tobias Blunderdash was appointed as the cook, and given the perpetual task to make all of the food from now on, using chillies as the only available ingredient.

Day 5.
The chilli farm was raided by giant beetles. Without a qualified naturalist among them, the colonists did not know how to respond to these happenings. A few ordinary sized beetles appeared to emanate out from the large beetles. Suddenly the cogs clicked into place in the colonists minds and they sprung into action, stomping on the small beetles with great enthusiasm. The large beetles however, remained a mystery, and were simply allowed to proceed. Once the farm was cleared, the large beetles consumed all of the kitchen’s carefully prepared food, only to suddenly die of food poisoning. It seems Tobias did not have any cooking knowledge whatsoever, but thought he would “wing it”.

Day 6.
Starving, and with no food remaining, the population began searching for mushrooms in the jungle. Fortunately, this group of settlers was still unaware of the dangers of unknown poisonous mushrooms, and were happy with their free meal. Sally Oldenburt immediately died, but we calmed the remaining colonists by explaining that she died of eating too few of the poisoned mushrooms.

Day 7.
A group of bandits led by a Ned Kelly impersonator arrived, setting up tents randomly on top of the empty chilli farm. Suddenly noticing that they set up their camp in the middle of our camp, and becoming embarrassed, they offered us a deal – they will leave us alone if we occasionally let them take items from our stockpile. Since we do not have any military yet and literally have no supplies, this was accepted. The bandits were pleased nonetheless, and spent the rest of the day slapping the colonists for amusement.

Day 8.
Something unspeakably horrible emerged from the swamp on the edge of the campsite. It was vaguely humanoid, but it had the gills of a fish, and it peered at us with dark beady eyes. Dripping with swamp mud, it shambled closer to the shuddering colonists, who were paralysed with fear. The bandits were equipped with firearms, but they were terrible at aiming – accidentally shooting one of the colonists, Clive Baker. He dropped dead, but at the instant which his corpse hit the ground, the fishperson lept forth and devoured it, leaving behind only a clean white skeleton. Incensed by the taste of human flesh, the fishperson let out an urgent gurgling shout, and soon two more fishpeople came bounding in from the jungle swamps. The bandits put up a valiant fight, killing one of the three fishpeople, but they were outmatched. All of the bandits except their armoured leader remained. The bandit leader wore a metal can on his head, which the fishpeople were hitting repeated with clubs. The bandit leader was forced to flee into the jungle – greatly slowed by his injuries and the weight of his helmet - but otherwise safe. We could hear the clanging gradually fade as the attackers followed him far, far away into the distance. We picked up the dead bodies left behind in our camp and processed them into sausages.

Day 9.
Geoffrey has returned. His former friends greeted him normally, as if nothing had happened. The initial conversations were somewhat awkward, trying to avoid the topic of why they let a lizard eat his face and then left him for dead in a ditch, exposing him to the physical and mental trauma of being abandoned in a supernatural jungle alone for a week. He seemed to take it well. He even invited some of them to go on a picnic, insisting that in particular they should bring “only their fleshy selves” to participate in a special meal and he would do the rest. What a nice fellow, offering to do all the cooking work.

Day 10.
The colonists have not returned yet, since they left with Geoffrey for a nice picnic in the jungle somewhere. A replacement colonist arrived, a ‘hale and hearty’ obese chap called Reginald Gunderfist. Sensing by smell that there was food to be had, he went out in search of the others. Soon after, he came running back, hysterically screaming at the top of his lungs, “There is no Cog!” He jumped off a cliff overlooking the ocean.



Despite the amusing concept, the reasons for negative rating cannot be overlooked:
- The game is unfinished and full of bugs. This might change over time but might not, and reviews should not be about what the product might be.
- There is no endpoint, apart from repeating on a couple of different biomes.
- The full pricing is completely unjustified for what this is.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 8
Okay, so it's a management game.. With supply chains.. And no order queueing.

My Despair is way too high.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
42.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 10
Build 55A (As of October 10th, 2016)

Clockwork Empires is a mix of a city builder/survivor/economy focus type game that seems to do a descent job of each but somewhat lacks in creating something amazing out of all of it. (It won't stop you from putting in a ton of hours though).

Ignoring the backstory on Early Access and how this game came to be, lets get to the gameplay.

City Builder- This game does okay in this category, its not the greatest since the UI just went under a major overhaul and still needs quite a few tweeks before this area feels more immersive to the player with buildings and strategic layout. As your town gets bigger you'll start to wonder..... "why can't I build roads?" or as the town gets bigger, the pace of which the pawns move starts to become a pain which brings me back to my original point of road quality with some type of speed boost.

Economy - I would say this is probably the strongest card this game plays, its pretty immersive, growing and mantaining the town and developing more intricate products keeps this very interesting.

Survival - I'm mixed on this one, yes, if you don't produce enough food, you die but the "battle" in this game is AI controlled and right now, there's no strategic gameplay to it, its numbers or more powerful guns, not much to it. Local life (animals) seem to ignore buildings and go through them while enemy footsoldiers seem to obey them.

Overall, the optimization of this game is still poor, the pawns still seem quite "glitchy" or lag on a given loop which gets somewhat annoying. There is a lot of polishing still to do which prevents you from getting to "end game" or a fully functional town without the issues become more and more apparent.

As of right now, I do recommend this game but since we are leaving Early Access this month, I hope that some major optimization and polishing takes place or I'll probably have to change this to negative in the future due to overall quality. I am very satisified with the current content of the game though.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 4
I've been following CE for a few years now, and feel that Beta 55 is where the game's finally hit its stride and is a clean recommend for any fan of city "managers" in the vein of Dwarf Fortress, Rimworld, Gnomoria, and their ilk.

The pace of the game is steady, as you start from a small batch of overseers and workers and build up your colony. Add more housing to support larger work forces, build new workshops to create the supplies needed to create those houses and generally push your colony forward in a smooth pendulum of expansion and solidification.

In the later game, CE introduces more of its eldritch themes, bringing cults, arcane horrors and THINGS MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO KNOW to the fore, adding not only new challenges, but entirely new content to the game as you progress in a way games of this genre rarely manage. And that, right there, is one of the key draws for me: it has a solid late game.

Note, there are still some visual gacks, the AI can be a bit silly at times and first-time players can have a hard stretch figuring out exactly how to proceed, but all of these problems have been ruthlessly whittled down to "annoying" as opposed to "crippling" by the tireless efforts of the Gaslamp Games crew, who have been very open, transparent and responsive through 55! beta releases.

Good game with good devs. Highly recommended.
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Recently Posted
42.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 12
The developers have grown bored with their own product and have decided to leave Early Access and move on. So should you.
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89.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 12
Early access has had its fair share of ups and downs (as to be expected) but my experience has been a positive one. The devs have released updates on regular schedule and I hope post-release support will be just as good.

Clockwork Empires is going to make you laugh, it is going to make you think, and at times it will frustrate the hell out of you. It has consumed an immense amount of my time and I continually find myself coming back for more punishment.

The game definitely still has some kinks to be worked out but I recommend it for people who are looking for a society builder, don't mind having limited control over everything, and have a good deal of patience (or a sadistic sense of humor).
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Musket Squid
120.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 9
Can not recommend the game due to coming out of EA to early. Just to many bugs and gameplay issues to list.
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12.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 8
This game is the worst case of pay to test I have come across in a very long time. I purchased it several years ago and was extremely disapointed by not only the glacial progress being made but the lack of any real roadmap for the game. Major features were release into beta and completely scrapped a week later. A great example of this is farming which must have been pointlessly rebalaced at least 100 times. The beta patch history is an aimless list of wasted time and I'm shocked that they are calling this 1.0 when major features like the chest building maint system was created. added and scapped not two patches ago. It looks to me like the devs have run out of steam and are just arbitrarily saying here take this mismatched incomplete random product because we are done.

This game is a dream that didnt make it and buyers should prob avoid it
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The Internet Janitor
1.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 8
Releasing from EA buggy, unpolished, and with major features like multiplayer entirely cut. Unfortunate as the game had a lot of potential.
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