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: Mostly Positive (199 reviews)
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. Current estimate for their completion is about 9 months, but 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, multiplayer, 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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Buy Clockwork Empires


Recommended By Curators

"Clockwork Empires is a game where you to start a civilization from the ground up, with a nice tutorial, a wide variety of materials and groovy graphics."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (27)

June 24

June Update Now Live for Clockwork Empires: "THE REACTIVATION OF ASSEMBLAGE 14538"

Our June Update, "THE REACTIVATION OF ASSEMBLAGE 14538", is now on Steam! Notable changes:

  • Obeliskians! (What are they? Find out for yourself! It might take some digging.)
  • Foreign military units!
  • Massive save/load stability improvements
  • Deathwurm shoving
  • and more!

The full changelog is once again far too mighty to fit within the paltry character limits of a steam announcement! You can find the full thing over on our development blog!

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.

Feel free to discuss the update right here, over on the Steam discussion page, on our official forums, or in the comments of the latest blog post!

10 comments Read more

June 15

Revision 39E Now Posted to Clockwork Empires Experimental Branch

Revision 39E of Clockwork Empires, a game about Clockwork and Empires, has been posted to the experimental branch on Steam.


FIXED: random autosave crash and/or memory corruption caused by machine expression timing error
FIXED: various issues when deleting a stockpile, including crashing
FIXED: progress bars and nametags appearing through windows during gameplay
FIXED: emotions and speech bunch up when zoomed out, and all display at once when visible
FIXED: workshop owners will set bad/good workshop names again depending on their madness
FIXED: small typesetting errors in "wrapped text renderer" (putting a period by itself at the end of a newline, etc.)
FIXED: foreign military & bandit weapons will no longer show up in commodities window
FIXED: friendly fishpeople will no longer attack your gabions for no good reason
FIXED: all lower-class colonists are correctly auto-placed in workcrews after immigration
FIXED: conscripted Vicars will no longer do vicar stuff
(FIXED 39D: fishpeople now spawn correctly with gifts/weapons depending on group's mission)
(FIXED 39C: cults with no name should no longer be formed)
FIXED: Script error during "Research Science Crate" event
FIXED: "Butcher Human Corpse" job should no longer be confused between Fishpeople & Human version (this would lead to problems)
Windows: Screenshots are now saved into My Documents\Gaslamp Games\Clockwork Empires.
balance: removed Deathwurms from tropical biome spawn (a handful are spawned via script now, well away from the start location)
balance: tripled beer production
balance: higher skill no longer changes amount produced in any workshop - just time to perform work
balance: immigration event has been revamped to reflect the value of colonists to the player
yield added to butcher corpse jobs (so they don't get cancelled forever in certain cases)
foreign military units now reload like properly trained soldiers
adjusted Foreign Military mission pathing to be less boring
(most) starting items will now arrive pre-stacked
redrew Bucket of Raw Opium icon
fishpeople will now eat dead bandits
butchered bandits will turn into skeletons
added new jobs for mad characters including "Freak out in joy" and "Hug stranger"

As always, feel free to comment on our community website, or here on the Steam Forums.

-- Gaslamp Games


8 comments Read more
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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
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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!
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
Early Access Review
TL;DR Version: A hugely entertaining game for an early access definately worthy of at least having a look at, you wont regret it despite its bugs


Ok so to sum this games performance up in 3 words "buggy as hell" comes to mind, but seeing as this is still early access and every bug that gets reported gets fixed fairly quickly, i'll let it slide. The only real problem i have on this front when it comes to this game is that it does tend to crash alot and i'm not really sure why, this has prevented me from experiencing alot of content that the game has to offer which is a shame as there is alot more to this game than your average colony/town building game. so in short if you dont like crashes or bugs...stay clear of this one for now.


Ok this is probably one of my favorite games of the genre at the moment purely because of the games wacky (and sometimes dark) sense of humour. so far i have needed to choose policies related to faction attitudes (how my colony will react when it spots some people fromanother nation etc.) and some related to a small cult that formed in my colony. Different colonists will react differently to certain policies (xenophobes wont like it when you make friends with fishpeople for example) which is something i absolutely adore as it makes your colony seem more alive and more entertaining especially when you get people with the "strange" trait then things start to get really fun. there are also ways to gain influence from the empire that can be spent on extra materials, food, more colonists or more soldiers.


Overall what clockwork empires does it does REALLY well and i applaud it for its wacky whilst sarcastic sense of humour and if the bugs and crashes dont bother you or you want to help the Devs find them, i cannot stress enough how much you should get this game as it is a true joy to play and i just wish i could play more of it without it crashing.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
53.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
Early Access Review
The game is consistently moving forward in Early Access and they're adding new ways of interacting with the game world every patch. This is the sort of early access product that I have no problems supporting. It's not done, but I feel it is apparent what kind of product they're aiming for, and I think they're moving towards that at some speed.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Early Access Review
Like Banished, Tropico, Anno... ?
Then this could be for you :-)

Right now the low performance is a bigger problem then appearing crashes.
I hope the developer will soon spend an entire month improving performance and stability.
When that is done, then please also implement 2x &4x game speed. Thanks.

For the asking price I would say the game is right now 20% content complete.

Positive outlook for this title
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Early Access Review
I will recommend Clockwork Empires only to the people that know what beta testing is like. I like this game but it can clearly be seen that this is an incomplete and unfinished game. I noticed immediately that there are only 2 video resolutions to choose from and no ability to configure the preset keyboard and mouse controls. Game play and saving are slow. Graphically it's got a nice art style and I look forward to seeing the interface and visuals improve. Like others have said this has tons of potential but buy in its current state only if you're prepared to be a paying game tester.
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50 of 58 people (86%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
Early Access Review
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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