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) - 60% of the 15 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (371 reviews) - 73% of the 371 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 15, 2014

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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 have a list of features to complete which we've discussed in detail on our Clockwork Empires: Development Progress site. We'll release the game when these features are done. The most important thing for us is that the features we've discussed and wanted to include in the project make it in.

We also provide weekly development progress updates with changlogs on the Gaslamp Games blog and through the Gaslamp Games mailing list.”

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.

In terms of how the full version will differ from the current version:

The full version of Clockwork Empires will have more monsters, more character interactions, more vehicles, more events, a much improved user interface (based on feedback), more biome diversity, and ... of course, we will be improving game performance and resolving any crash bugs that are found as we go. (If anyone sees any crashing, please report it to Gaslamp Games for immediate Purging).”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Upon loading the game, the player is set to the task of building a thriving colony out of a pile of supplies and handful of characters. Making sure they don't starve and aren't killed by monsters are the most important considerations. Your military will shoot monsters if given access to weaponry, and your non-military characters will get to work building houses and workshops, and tilling farms as the player gives them orders to do so.

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?

“No, we are not planning on changing the price. Price changes tend to be confusing for everyone.

Increasing the price upon release is contrary to the long-standing tradition of games getting cheaper as they get older. Decreasing the price upon release effectively makes people pay a premium to participate in early access. While we feel that participating should be valuable to you, we don't want to set that price as something other than what everyone would have to pay anyway.”

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

“The scale of community involvement is pretty heavily dependent on the size of the community.

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've been doing this with our internal test group for the last few months, and with the Earliest Access players for the last month, which has benefited us a ton. At a some point, though, the community can get too big to guarantee that level of communication, at which point we might use other tools to answer questions. Reddit for direct conversations, strawpolls to gauge interest in different feature implementations, stuff like that which can help us hear everyone as effectively as possible. We're open to experimenting with this process to find out what works best, and we'll definitely listen to suggestions from players about how to better communicate with the community.

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 (86)

August 19


Beta 53B of Clockwork Empires is now on the Experimental Branch on Steam.

Major Changes:

  • added lights
  • Naturalist's office overhauled (not quite done): Naturalists can be set to Scout, Hunt, or Survey Minerals. Related: ore vein distribution on map has been redone.
  • colonists with high despair will now cease to work and do despairing things (there are various methods to alleviate this, esp. via Pub and Chapel)
  • upkeep costs significantly reduced, various bugs fixed, and "Advanced Workbench" added which can produce upkeep trunks (and other things) en masse

Consolidated Changelog for Beta 53B:

  • added ability to attach lights to static props (& tool support for this)
  • added lights to a number of existing modules
  • you can now build lampposts
  • added a first pass at game over screen
  • the building commands menu is now split into more subcategories
  • added Rogue Artist event
  • new module: Advanced Workbench; allows creation of upkeep trunks, bricabrac, boxed modules in bulk
  • rewrote a number of building descriptions to make their usage clearer
  • Naturalists now can be set to various modes including: Scouting, Hunting, Mineral Surveying
  • a Scouting Naturalist can see extremely far, modified by naturalism skill
  • a Hunting Naturalist will hunt - and will attempt to find game if none is visible (only Naturalists & crew may hunt now)
  • a Mineral Surveying Naturalist surveys minerals in a normal way
  • animal butchery now returns stacks of meat, like other resource-exploitation jobs
  • removed Cot from Barracks
  • updated some icons
  • more traders won't show up if some traders are already visiting your colony
  • requesting traders via Foreign Office requires that no traders be on the map already
  • steppe biome now uses lower hill generator
  • camera tutorial now mentions that spacebar pauses the game
  • booze commodities are now crates when not being drunk
  • Booze Vats now required to increase Pub drink stock capacity
  • foreigners who die inside your colony will now automatically receive burial
  • despairing colonists will cure themselves using Laudanum distributed from the Pub
  • balance: added opium to traders
  • balance: further upkeep nerfing (deal with it)
  • balance: nerfed upkeep costs EVEN MORE
  • balance: animal meat output increased
  • balance: killing for the first time gives a harsher emotional impact
  • balance: colonists with over 50 despair will start freaking out and cease to work until their despair is under 20 (If possible they will avail themselves of pub/chapel services to speed up recovery)
  • FIXED: all instances of gathering materials for construction now require that you own said materials
  • FIXED: error in controlling skill for Foreign Office work
  • FIXED: you can un-designate trade goods and the green outline will disappear
  • FIXED: Public House will no longer be stocked with booze you do not own
  • FIXED: added additional check during character damage calc due to scripterror after attempt to damage deleted character
  • FIXED: logic error in upkeep job creation causes building with exactly 1 upkeep cost to not perform upkeep correctly
  • FIXED (53A): scripterror doing QoL string creation after drinking tea
  • FIXED: traders will no longer appear w/o trade goods in their hands
  • FIXED 53A: House UI wonkiness corrected
  • FIXED 53A: upkeep tooltip displays brought in line with actual upkeep values
  • FIXED: uncommon scripterror upon shiftchange for unfinished building when left unfinished for a very long time
  • FIXED: trade goods now correctly un-designate
  • FIXED: tooltip info persists across save/load
  • FIXED: an issue where for initial pause tooltips for characters were broken
  • FIXED: Work crew panel now displays the name of a workshop/assigned zone if there is one (instead of "No Assignment")
  • FIXED: large, complicated race condition
  • FIXED: game locks up suspending or closing a job where a job is being cancelled, but the FSM hasn't picked it up yet
  • FIXED: weird crash loading save games where you have a beacon with an interactive object with no message receiver, and no I don't know how this happens either but we handle it now
  • FIXED: a bug that was preventing colonists from getting memories sometimes
  • FIXED: "you need a barracks" warning firing when you already have a barracks
  • FIXED: button bug with mines
  • FIXED: mine output bug in deeper stratum
  • FIXED: infinite new ore veins in mine
  • FIXED: weird occasional scripterror when creating something in a workshop
  • FIXED: bug in "Stahlmark Smithing Prowess" event where it failed to track how many iron bars you had made
  • FIXED: unified name of all the variables for despair
  • FIXED: weird one-off script error with pathfinding not aborting correctly

Have a nice weekend,

-- Gaslamp Games

2 comments Read more

July 27


Beta Build 53 of Clockwork Empires, "A Juncture Most Unnatural", is now available on Steam!


  • added many event arcs, including REDACTED
  • civilians will now fight to protect themselves (just not as well, or as long, as soldiers)
  • added upkeep to buildings (& multitude of systems and balance changes to support this)
  • changed UI for creating on-map assignments to “stamp” system
  • many other UI improvements done to improve information available to player and improve control over game systems
  • significant optimization of game speed, save size, save/load speed
  • … which let us add a 2X game speed button
  • housing and immigration systems much improved

This is our single largest changelog to date for a monthly patch. If you are prepared, step forth and read the


  • added list of workshops/offices/houses to click on when the menu is open
  • added new buttons for spawn points to embark screen
  • added currently selected highlighting to lists of offices/housing, changed visual style slightly.
  • new, improved emotion value display added to character window
  • removed “chop down”, “mine surface node”, “forage”, “clear terrain” and replaced them with assignment stamping tools
  • added Upkeep display to workshops (still TODO: Offices & Houses)
  • did work crew selection box improvements (shows skill level, number of labourers assigned to crew)
  • improved FYI alert UI style
  • added disturbance counter.
  • added current/max population widget to UI
  • the population counter now correctly reflects your starting pop in all loadouts
  • “I have altered the tooltips on population capacity. Pray I don’t alter them further.”
  • “Delete Module” command renamed “Dismantle Module”
  • new building construction command tooltips added
  • disabled some empty UI containers
  • updated tutorial to reference new immigration
  • added production menu coloring feedback for stuff you don’t have the ingredients for
  • fiddled about with a lots of UI (cleaning out extra elements, making standard tooltips and displays consistent between buildings)
  • moved all workshops, offices, housing over to workshops, offices, housing panel
  • swapped position of trade office and naturalist office in the offices submenu
  • added alert for if traders attempt to visit but no trade office is built
  • modules slated for dismantling will display an icon to show that they have been so designated
  • text numbers for commodities in module placement tooltips turn red if that material requirement can’t be fulfilled
  • module placement button grays out when material requirements can’t be fulfilled
  • added “?” box tutorial for farms
  • standard welcome event should overflow the text box less often
  • made module menu glass buttons a bit more opaque
  • added smarter tooltip anchoring code
  • added anchored tooltips for emotion bars which should cause fewer issues.
  • Graveyards are now use fixed zone size system (like farms)
  • 2x button, workshops, offices, houses, and commodities buttons now highlight when in use
  • the Barbershop now notifies you in its UI when it is nonfunctional because of a lack of chairs
  • broken (due to lack of upkeep) module UI elements should no longer permit mouse events
  • added confirmation windows on all exit without saving options
  • FIXED: productionWindow not initialized after save/load and may contain garbage
  • FIXED: house demolish button
  • FIXED: when farms are removed they will be correctly deleted from Offices list
  • FIXED: Cancel button works for building creator
  • FIXED: explore waypoints can now be properly cancelled
  • FIXED: module tooltips now persist across save/load
  • FIXED: tutorial window sticks around when game is shut down, causing crashes
  • FIXED: no longer allow player to click individual trees for harvesting (will fill this need via TODO improvement)
  • FIXED: deleting null ptr when regenerating work crew selection box
  • added a major cult crisis or two
  • cleaned up various edge cases in Trader group behaviour
  • removed trader item drop on flee (avoids weird edge cases)
  • Bandits will become enraged (and an alert will appear) if you forage their tents when they’re nearby
  • added sounds to a number of steam knight animations
  • airships now crash in more varied locations
  • non-player agents who get stuck on the map will self-despawn if they fail pathing too many times
  • balance: immigration is more likely to give you lots of characters if you have significant excess capacity
  • FIXED: crashed airship ending scripterror (in certain cases)
  • FIXED 52D: grimoire scripterror when no vicar present
  • FIXED: grammar error in the airship crash event
  • FIXED: various typos
  • FIXED: bandits could be set to double-plunder your settlement, which was confusing
  • FIXED: error in certain cases during bandit plundering of goods relating to stacks and goods ownership
  • FIXED: traders will abort trade mission if you demolish the trade office (and they will not consider a trade office in process of being demolished to be valid trade target)
  • FIXED: Stahlmark special traders no longer use Novorusian flag
  • FIXED: steam knights will now never land inside buildings or in water
  • FIXED: in several cases, traders would not find a valid trade office
  • FIXED: “You recieved 1 immigrants” grammar issues
  • FIXED: Rogue Stahlmarkian could stay in your colony forever
  • FIXED: various edge cases that would cause traders to be stuck in player’s colony
  • FIXED: dormant obeliskian could attack people in very rare case where its dormancy sequence was interrupted by combat
  • FIXED: “Suspicious Goods” event now uses the proper start position
  • FIXED: foreign-office triggered traders were not showing up

  • added building upkeep
  • Repair Trunks are now craftable (for upkeep)
  • housing population cap increase system added: houses will now increase population cap per appropriate social class as you add amenities, look for details in the UI
  • players cannot place modules into inappropriate buildings (Blueprints where you can place a module will show as blue. Blueprints where you cannot place a module will show up as red.)
  • added Rare Painting module to game. Placing these in your houses increases their population capacity. (it can be acquired from various events and traders)
  • farm harvests are now output in stacks rather than individually
  • foraging collects stacks rather than single units (as applicable)
  • “Chop Tree” job will place output stack into chopper’s hands & will return to stockpile if available
  • “Mine Surface Node” jobs will place output of up to 3 items in miner’s hands & will return to stockpile if available (job time increased to compensate for faster extraction speed)
  • doors can now be properly dismantled
  • added support features for multi-item system being used by upkeep trunks
  • added (deliberately) overdramatic particle effect to modules when they need upkeep. This may be toned down later.
  • added unique gun locker models
  • stockpiles can now be assigned to work crews (a work crew that is not busy and can haul will still attempt to haul, however)
  • commodities used in the production of module goods are now stashed in the module using them, and will be released if the job is aborted (!!!)
  • added some new techs to mining
  • sugarcane can be brewed into booze
  • buckets of agave syrup may now ignite if set on fire
  • dissecting horrors now has a chance to increase science points in random lab
  • modules will now return their materials when deconstructed
  • buildings will return their construction materials when dismantled
  • changed “Bricabrac” to “Bric-a-brac” upon order of the Dept. of Pedantry
  • added unique model for moonshine
  • Master/W-tier upkeep trunk commodities now show the actual number being produced in their recipe
  • balance: starter crops all yield faster harvests (the proportion of crops over time is the same)
  • balance: time it takes to chop tree and mine surface node have been changed
  • balance: added one MC and one LC character to all loadouts
  • balance: max science points for lab now determined by Overseer science skill level
  • balance: added upkeep trunks to starting loadout supplies
  • balance: added upkeep trunks to traders’ potential goods
  • balance: inactive workshops/offices do not require upkeep
  • FIXED: Scrap Iron can now be smelted into iron bars
  • FIXED: players cannot place modules on top of other modules
  • FIXED: construction jobs did not use closest materials
  • FIXED: pickling a certain type of fungus could lead to problems (and not the Fun kind)
  • FIXED: issue with healing afflictions in Barbershop
  • FIXED: display cost of mechanical mixing tank
  • FIXED: pickling chillies
  • FIXED (52A): chilli stew in Iron Oven
  • FIXED: <building_destroy_item/> did not actually delete commodities in a stack (this affects Make Stone Bricabrac etc.)
  • FIXED: smelt gold ingots
  • FIXED: label on bottle laudanum job
  • FIXED: icon on brick charcoal kiln
  • FIXED: brick charcoal kiln construction requirement
  • FIXED: barber job weighting

  • animals will now eat forest meat
  • reduced # of points on world; optimized world gen a bit
  • reduced map size and dealt with The Consequences Of These Actions (this has added benefit of provided great optimization to game speed, save/load time, save file size, etc.)
  • added embarkation button icon biome detection code
  • reduced animals spawned at start of game (they were crowding things)
  • scaled the terrain generator parameters to altered map size
  • added a new biome generator for alpine forests
  • balance: added clay to Tropical Dry Forest
  • balance: added clay to Boreal Forest
  • balance: the area immediately surrounding the starting location is now guaranteed to be flat
  • FIXED: removed some unpathable cliffs in temperate swamp

  • overhauled the immigration system (Immigration is now based on your housing capacity. 2 workers per Lower Class House, 1 overseer per Middle Class House.)
  • rebalanced off-shift social jobs to make things more interesting
  • improved “shoo animal” job; it will work more effectively now
  • added new event for reaching the 150 char population cap
  • added new trait: Light Sleeper. Can only sleep in beds.
  • added new trait: Heavy Sleeper. isn’t woken by preaching/gunfire/etc.
  • traits: Adaptable trait now gives bonus to skillgain of best 3 skills
  • traits: Brutish trait gives a bonus to melee damage
  • traits: Materialistic colonists are harder to please with house quality
  • traits: Reclusive colonists don’t make friends on spawn
  • traits: Scholarly trait gives bonus to science skillgain and penalty to all others
  • traits: Xenophobic overseers can cause diplomatic incidents if you assign them to a foreign office
  • traits: Patriotic overseers give a bonus to empire diplomacy point gain
  • traits: epiceureans learn cooking skill faster
  • traits: removed Voracious trait
  • traits: Hale and Hearty trait grants a bonus to HP
  • added new trait: Jack of All Trades. Gets a bonus to leveling skills that are below lv3
  • added new trait: Highly focused. Gets a bonus to learning their best skill and a penalty to all others
  • added new trait: Woodtouch, Stonesense, Ironborn. Gives boni to Carpentry, Ceramics, Metalworking skillgain respectively. Ironborn grants a small melee damage bonus.
  • added new trait: Oblivious Worker. Gains no benefit or penalty from workplace quality
  • decreased priority of idling when off-shift
  • added additional error checking in “vicar_take_confession” fsm
  • “Ceramics” skill is now “Stoneworking” (In future builds its scope will be expanded to include mining)
  • Steam Knights now contribute significantly to colonists’ feeling of safety
  • the following jobs will now show progress bars: Finish Upkeep, Clear Object, Deconstruct Building, Deconstruct Module, Flatten Terrain
  • added smarter abort case to carrying corpse job
  • balance: made drinking booze make colonists slightly happier
  • balance: made combat memories more fearful to civilians
  • balance: colonists must drink booze in a pub. They may not drink booze outside the pub. To do so would be Uncivilized.
  • balance: made some QoL bonus/malus changes (generally making these less forgiving as other game systems mature)
  • balance: all starting characters start with “Pioneering Spirit” trait
  • balance: civilian colonists will get more negative memories from combat
  • balance: seeing eldritch horrors is now more terrifying
  • FIXED: various jobs could be performed while carrying commodities now require they be dropped (eg. hunting, repairing buildings)
  • FIXED: colonists will no longer drink booze that doesn’t belong to them
  • FIXED 52D: items stuck to hands due to job interrupts
  • FIXED: colonists no longer only wander into the woods when afraid
  • FIXED:mining surface nodes took more than twice as long as intended
  • FIXED: dipping into trade-food required only half the hunger it was supposed to
  • FIXED: corrected more memories with non-player facing display names
  • FIXED: fixed up “slapped_other” type memory names
  • FIXED: “Repair Module” job now restriction to workcrews with “construction” enabled
  • FIXED: sermon-giving issues

  • added civilian combat AI
  • removed starting NCO and field promotions
  • added a number of new military techs
  • made people smarter about keeping guns loaded
  • FIXED: attacking with a quill would freeze character

Engine & Etc.
  • added 2x simulation button! HOLY VORPULON
  • FIXED: save game crash after starting new game, quitting, starting new game again
  • FIXED: replays not saving work orders for workshops, causing determinism break
  • FIXED: Replays now work again! Yay. Please look forward to Reproducible Bugs Being Removed.
  • FIXED: a couple of crashes switching in and out of building creation modes
  • FIXED: highlighted region now corresponds to where your mouse is in full screen mode when game is run with a backbuffer that is larger than the display area
  • FIXED: leftover jobs showing up in jobs menu after starting new game, quitting to main menu, starting new game again
  • FIXED: crash bug with the work crew selection widget
  • FIXED: beetles eating longpork will no longer transform it into charred meat
  • FIXED 52D: gridAddItem error, for real
  • FIXED: forest meat rides again

The development progress page has also been updated, with exhaustive notes on the status of the project, as well as even more details on the stuff we included above. And pictures of our pets. You know you want to see cute animals.

Let us know what you think! We may not respond to everything but we DO read everything. Feel free to discuss the update right here, over on the Steam discussion page, or on our official forums!

Beware the [REDACTED],

-- Gaslamp Games

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Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards


“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! Learn more
Mixed (15 reviews)
Mostly Positive (371 reviews)
Recently Posted
0.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 24
Mac version still SUPER buggy and unstable. Not recommended it you're planning to play on Mac.

It's still in Early Access, and I like the premise of this game, so I will happily update if this improves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
53.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 22
love it.. in overal its a great game.. it got more depth and story then any other games of this kind i know :)

i dunno where the bugs are.. besides the ones crawling on the ground destroying crops !!

what i did found that it is hard.. i always get over run by some aliens or fish ppl aafter 1,5 hr playing.

so im hoping for a sandbox option :D

Helpful? Yes No Funny
46.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 20
Good game, getting better and better slowly as things progress.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
43.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Had promise, now it's in a death spiral. The developers have incorporated an unkeep mechanic into the game such that one has to continually produce a series of 'repair trunks' and then make sure enough overseers are available to perform building maintenance using these trunks. This particular mechanic simply does not mesh with all of the other aspects of the game and throws a wrench into the entire operation. The sad part is that the developers are clearly devoted to maintaining this aspect for some reason, and as such are going to sabatoge the entire game with it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zap Rowsdower
8.0 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Just not a fun game. Very boring and slow paced and I love games in this genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dan the Conquerer
38.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15
ok this game has promise BUT currently as it is there does not seem to be any point to it, resources dont allow you to develop anything, and the trading does not let you pick up resource you are sorely missing. The population cap stops you from doing anything significant to try and grow your colony and the fact you can NEVER EVER feed who you have ensures failure. Currently the game consistantly crashes, but that is the least of my problems with it the biggest issue being that you get the feeling the developers have no idea what they want the game to be. A further indicator is the lack of current updates which gives me the feeling even the devs have given up on it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
57.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 14
Same style as evil genius / dungeon keeper. Still lacks the final polish but this is definitely a good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 12
Not quite sure what they are trying to make here. The building and worker controls are VERY confusing. There seems to be no way to directly control your people? You have "supervisors" and they command workers under them? You gather resources, build things and get attacked by fish people. I've tried playing it twice now and didn't enjoy it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
139.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 29
I've had this game in my library for 2 years now and have spent hours in the hundreds on it so far and... it's starting to have actual gameplay! It's always been funny and engaging (especially the patch note quips on Twitter), but now it's starting to be challenging from gameplay rather than bugs.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
27.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 29
This is a great game, despite being unfinished
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
139.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 29
I've had this game in my library for 2 years now and have spent hours in the hundreds on it so far and... it's starting to have actual gameplay! It's always been funny and engaging (especially the patch note quips on Twitter), but now it's starting to be challenging from gameplay rather than bugs.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 24
Mac version still SUPER buggy and unstable. Not recommended it you're planning to play on Mac.

It's still in Early Access, and I like the premise of this game, so I will happily update if this improves.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
38.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15
ok this game has promise BUT currently as it is there does not seem to be any point to it, resources dont allow you to develop anything, and the trading does not let you pick up resource you are sorely missing. The population cap stops you from doing anything significant to try and grow your colony and the fact you can NEVER EVER feed who you have ensures failure. Currently the game consistantly crashes, but that is the least of my problems with it the biggest issue being that you get the feeling the developers have no idea what they want the game to be. A further indicator is the lack of current updates which gives me the feeling even the devs have given up on it.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
43.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Had promise, now it's in a death spiral. The developers have incorporated an unkeep mechanic into the game such that one has to continually produce a series of 'repair trunks' and then make sure enough overseers are available to perform building maintenance using these trunks. This particular mechanic simply does not mesh with all of the other aspects of the game and throws a wrench into the entire operation. The sad part is that the developers are clearly devoted to maintaining this aspect for some reason, and as such are going to sabatoge the entire game with it.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Just not a fun game. Very boring and slow paced and I love games in this genre.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
248 of 287 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
127.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15, 2014
*edit* January 2015: So I first wrote this way back in August 2014. I've stuck with the game, and it's development has interested me enough to hold my attention to the present day, January 2015. I've even gone and made a bunch of YouTube videos, which I'll link - those should give interested parties a good idea what actual gameplay is like.


August 2014: My Hours Played don't reflect my actual play time; I've been loading this game directly from the .exe (which is a thing you can do, and which more Steam games ought to do, I'm looking at you, Skyrim). Also, sessions that crash apparently don't get added to your Hours Played. Expect crashes, this thing isn't even in Beta.

*edit* Apparently they do count!

This Early Access offering is a good example of the way Early Access should be done - the game itself is only nominally functional - there is currently no save function, for instance, there are still many bugs and crashes, and the interface is undergoing constant revision. Many planned features have yet to be implemented, and the game itself could stand some optimization.

*edit* I'm testing the 'internaltest-' build which has, among other things, a save function. It crashes more than it saves, but still.

The value of an Early Access game is the opportunity to participate in feedback that will shape the direction of the game. Submit suggestions, tweaks, typos, bugs and playability experiences to the Devs. They've shown themselves to be very responsive, and actively solicit player feedback (on the Gaslamp Games forums), and the whole development process has been the model of transparency, with weekly Dev Blog updates and a Twitter presence.

Clockwork Empires has a lovely aesthetic, and great potential, but it's nowhere near finished. Wait for full release (projected to be ~9 months) if you want it feature-complete and polished. I'm in it because the Development Blogs are great, the Devs are active, and I enjoy contributing my 2 cents worth.

This is a game on the same shelf as Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria, Spacebase DF-9, et al. It's a city builder sim; there's no direct control of your citizens, who you direct largely by creating jobs and juggling priorities. The setting is a sort Victorian-era English colony; your soldiers wear red coats and wield muskets, your menfolk sport glorious handlebar moustaches, and your colonists (literally) gossip about things like the Monarchy. It's brass, elbow grease, laudanum, dodos, and cabbages everywhere. You already know if this stuff appeals to you or not.

Also appearing: fishmen, dark cults, insanity and ritual murder. Still in the works, tentacled horrors, secret geometry, and Lovecraftian modules for your Lumber Mill (!).

If you do get this game, get involved in the Dev side or you're missing a great opportunity; check out the blogs, read the forums, share hilarious stories about mass starvation and game-breaking bugs.

p.s. I forgot to mention cannibalism. Cannibalism is always hilarious. I don't know if fishmen count as cannibalism, but I'm pretty sure your fellow colonists do.

p.p.s Read the system requirements.
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84 of 86 people (98%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
560.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 19
At 439 hours played I have to say that this is my favourite game on steam. I just love it. Yep it is not finished. Yep major bits are not yet working, yep there is still quite a way to go.

But it is funny, charming and bonkers. It has lovely animations and background flavour text, cubes of flesh and sausages. I am 51 and should really be getting on with my life but keep clicking the damn play button even though I have seen everything in the game many times. Some eldritch facination keeps drawing me in like a dumb cultist to some sleeping horror bemeath the waves. I have watched the game grow from something that barely works at all to something that sometimes works a bit.

But beware my review as I thought Towns was really good.
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87 of 103 people (84%) found this review helpful
77.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 17, 2014
UPDATED REV 42E: The Devs have been focusing on bug fixing and mainly changes within the User Interface and Farming area of the game. The U.I has had an overhaul in terms of the character selection menu and information panels. They tell you more about each character, their mood, emotion and progress towards desires. Each character's current effects now show bars as to how it affects their mood within these panels.

The Farming and Kitchen has been addressed in a sense that instead of mass lists of recipes, the vast majority of standard food you can find, gain from hunting and farming has been condensed into a simple "Make food" job where the colonists will use any standard type of food they can find. I much prefer this because it is at the end of the day what you order anyway, all food you can.

Militarily, the barracks function and NCO has been fixed so they now properly train into Regular troops from militia.

Overall, not a bad update at all however as I have previously stated, the game is very much playable and more of the game "content" in that regard, new items, clothing etc, should be coming in the near future because it would seem most systems are now functioning as intended and have been fixed.

UPDATED REV 41D: Constantly changing and evolving, CE is more stable than ever. So many changes in the latest builds from REV 38. The majority of issues have been addressed to the state that you can pretty much play for however long you like. Once you start getting larger populations however you may still encounter the odd bug or issue. On that note the Devs are reaching what I call the last loose ends. Fixing the remaining issues that people encounter and adding in the systems left.

The UI has been updated massively and there are various new systems in place such as the events which are now much more refined. There is a starting property ownership system in place which is going to be built on to eventually include owning clothing, various objects and so on. The workshops have been overhauled and recently just added in is the new Military Barracks which replaces the old system of training. You assign a Military Officer or Militia NCO to the Barracks and he/she will start to train troops into Regulars.

The favour system has also been recently amended. For example you can now recieve a prisoner work group which will assist your colony doing various tasks for 3 days. Many now have a time frame. The squad of Regulars led by an NCO also assist for 3 days (or is it 5?) for example.

All in all a lot has changed to list, including minor changes but the game has made substancial progress certainly.


UPDATED REV38 : So much has changed since my last update. This is now Clockwork Empires in the Official stable gameplay stage now. You can play without any major issues, no crashes or that. They have added removal of buildings, planning changes, new User Interface elements and refined Combat mechanisms and A.I for colonists and elements alike. If you were following this previously, then now is a pretty good time to join in the fun and development of Clockwork Empires.

The team is constanly updating it, each update bringing much better features and now that all the bug bashing has really been done, it is content that is being brought in. Cults have been revamped, basic diplomacy is now functioning with minor factions like bandits and so on bringing all sorts of events that your decisions can affect your colony and how long it survives. Far too much to list but the future of CE is very bright indeed!

UPDATED: REV33: By far the best update that has been implemented. Now with complete re-designed mechanics and Graphics, the game runs certainly, much smoother and MAC support is now in the works with basic features working. The game has came a long way from the past 2 builds and with new features such as bandits, new animals, refined combat and economics and UI the game is definitely coming together. Again I would still be waiting a couple more before buying but in terms of my level of "playablility", that stage has almost been reached.

Original Review:

While this is Early Access.......very very early. I have to say that this game has huge potential. The developers are keen and very open and the game itself is the perfect management game for those who loved traditional city builder games crossed with a bit more things to do such as combat, defence etc.

It is based during the Colonial-Early Industrial period and already the developers have nice features set out. The game itself does have a sense of humor thrown in and the like such as having to fight off Fish people and all sorts of creatures. In future they plan to add bandits and all manners of factions and allow you to ally, trade and conduct diplomacy for your newly starting colony. There is also a map set out what looks like it will be a sort of campaign style base in which you choose where you would like to set out your next adventure for the Empire and start to form new colonies.

The artstyle in my view fits perfectly along with the current mechanics which are currently implemented it really does look and function well. If you play it you will see just exactly what this game could offer in the near future and even now.

The game is one of a kind and unique in so many ways. If you don't mind investing in such games then by all means take it into account but if you want a finished product then you will have to wait. I would say another month or so and this game will get better and better......hopefully :) It really is up to yourself but I can say this certainly. If you decide to invest your money in this EA game.
You will not loose out. The Devs are like PA Devs in that sense but even better. They are constanly interacting with community to fix things, release experimental build updates pretty much from 2 days-1 week. Really are making significant progress and fast.

EDIT: And I was correct when i said a month or 2. Saves are practically on the table with loading now as are basic defences. Many fixes and performance improvements to allow smooth running of the game and ruled out majority of crashes. Now they can finally give it a few weeks, start working on the games mechanics and content more rather than bug fixing. For now anyway :D


On that note: The team plan to adopt a monthly update schedule which will release major build updates to the public. If you would like to assist in testing or just mess around with it early then they have an opt in "experimental branch" which as it suggests is "experimental" but enough to keep you playing. I can see the team relating to Prison Architect in that sense as they always keep the community interested and up to date and these guys are constantly fixing and addressing issues with their game so very active :D

As I am constanly testing the Experimental builds which are updated regularly with new things to check out and suggest, I will be updating this throughout each build, or when I can :)
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62 of 72 people (86%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 7, 2015
As a fan of games that allow the player to start a civilization from a small group of people, it felt like a no-brainer to keep an eye on Clockwork Empires, and when I was given the opportunity to review it, I gladly accepted the challenge.

Without any further delay, I present to you my review of Clockwork Empires.

From the moment you start the game, you'll know that something is being done right. From the well-designed menu, to its enjoyable graphics, Clockwork Empires is a gem in the making. Your job is to start a colony, and to do so, you're given a certain amount of colonists and some materials.
The wonderfully written tutorials will also provide you the necessary knowledge to build according to your colony’s needs. While building, you'll also have to keep your colonists happy and well fed, as well as safe from all hostile units, such as the dreadful fishpeople.
The graphics are really enjoyable, and the scaling used on certain objects/units will certainly create a laugh or two.
To accompany all of the above, some nice music is put to good use, leaving the player relaxed and ready to build a new empire. Or get his whole colony destroyed by the fishpeople.

  • Excellent tutorial, with some humor to it;
  • Wide variety of materials;
  • Groovy graphics;
  • Enjoyable soundtrack;
  • Well designed crew micromanagement;
  • Large maps with plenty of resources;
  • Detailed tabs with resources available, current jobs/actions being performed, and even an event log.

I've decided to add a "Neutral" category, as they aren't gamebreakers, but could improve the gameplay if polished.

  • Sudden change of background music can sometimes be annoying;
  • Could use a couple more tooltips, mostly to tell the player where to get whatever is missing in the city;
  • Once in-game, the only way to go back to the main menu is by closing the game and restarting it;
  • Could use a delete option on the saved games, considering the files are somewhat big and you can't overwrite them;
  • The characters don't stop moving when you pause the game;
  • The AI could be improved, since characters don't stop moving while hauling/exploring, even if they're being attacked, and they also seem to choose a random table/place to go drop something.

Keep in mind the game is still in Early Access (EA), and the "Cons" mentioned below will, certainly, be tweaked and/or polished as the game gets more and more updates.

  • Excessive amount of hostile units from the very start, although sometimes it's bearable;
  • Lack of "Game Speed" function makes the game boring at times;
  • Inability to remove/cancel pretty much everything.

I'd give it a 7/10 Considering its EA status and it has an active development team, the game is bursting with life, and you can expect it to be a lot more polished by the time it gets its full release.
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70 of 88 people (80%) found this review helpful
37.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15, 2014
The world's finest cabbage farming simulator.

I'll say up front that at this time (8/15/14) it is still rather bare as a game and there are still engine bugs to be worked out. If you are wanting a polished full featured game hold off on buying this. However I've been involved since closed testing and have seen wonderful improvements and the foundation laid for many exciting game features over the last several months. The developers are passionate, experienced, and active in the community. Getting in now will let you help shape this fabulous game, and of course let you enjoy it now.

Many games hype what they hope they will be and have to scale back often leaving fans disappointed and skeptical about any games previews. Gaslamp Games have been hyping what already exists in Clockwork Empires. Many of the features are rough around the edges and a number are not included in the current public build (8/15/14) because they are not yet ready for prime time but they do exist. The talk of colonists having personalities and memories isn't smoke and mirrors. Once all the pieces are polished and come together Clockwork Empires will delight and horrify you.

It is a gem, rough and unpolished now but full of promise. And the developers release rapidly and responsively so you will not be waiting months for news. One week in closed tested we had 7 days that saw three full new versions (with significant changes) as features came together and they responded to tester feedback. While that was a very busy week they have a track record of consistent and fast updates.
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