Unburied secrets burn like wild steam – nothing is what it appears!
User reviews: Very Positive (67 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 8, 2013

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

 

About This Game

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink is an adventure game in the steampunk genre. It is a detective drama featuring action elements such espionage, monster battles and even hang-gliding!
A continuing string of strange earthquakes are causing the world’s cities to crumble to ruin. Dr. Ambrose Ink—one of the foremost minds of the technological revolution—hopes to expose the underlying cause of this supernatural phenomenon.
His research leads him to Hochwald, a town nestled high in the mountains near the mysterious Barber family castle. Yet, shortly after arriving at the estate, Dr. Ink disappears.
It’s up to Dr. Ink’s longtime friend and confidante, Agent Evangeline Glass to save Dr. Ink and reveal what is causing the earthquakes. With only a mechanical raven to guide her, she must storm the well-secured castle and face the General Engineer of Gottland.
Agent Glass soon realizes that humans are not the only threat during these strange, revolutionary times…

Features

  • Sneak into Hochwald Castle as Dr. Ink, alongside his faithful companion Matthew
  • Rich, unique steampunk setting
  • Mechanical crow Matthew is player’s sidekick
  • 31 (38 in CE ) beautiful, hand-drawn locations
  • Thrilling detective story with action elements
  • Diverse adventure gameplay: flying on glider, impersonating a soldier, defeating mechanical creatures
  • 30+ hidden steambugs to find
  • 9 achievements to unlock
  • Additional materials: concept art, wallpapers and a stunning soundtrack
  • Bonus adventure (“Ink’s Story”) is a prequel to the main one

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
36 of 41 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
I've played a handful of Artifex Mundi's hidden object games, and I think this may be my favorite one yet. Based on a popular series of Polish children's books, Clockwork Tales is an imaginative, fun, curious and enjoyable title who's emphasis is more on casual adventure than hidden objects. Set in a steampunk version of the 1700's, you play Evangeline Glass, an intelligent young protégé to the brilliant Dr. Ink. With the help of Ink's clockwork companion, Matthew the bird, you must save Hochwald and the doctor from the machinations of the evil Grand Engineer Barber.

One of the things I enjoy most about hidden object games is the beautiful and imaginative artwork many have, and this game is no exception. Everything, including the characters, have a hand-painted look which gives it a storybook-like quality. Even the characters share the art style, which looks so much better than the oddly rendered/animated 3D models in other games.

The game play is your standard IHOG/HOPA, adventure game lite with hidden object scenes mixed in. I always play on Expert to give me a bit of challenge and lengthen my game play, but I found Clockwork Tales to be quite easy, even more so than most games in the genre. This isn't a horrible thing, but considering how much I enjoyed the world that was created, I wanted to spend a lot more time there than a mere 3 hours on the hardest difficulty. Even so, the adventure aspect was very fun with nothing jumping out as being crazy illogical, and the many puzzles were moderately challenging despite most being reused from previous games. One nice touch was being able to utilize Matthew to collect out of reach items and perform certain tasks. Most of these aren't too hard to figure out, but it's a nice bit of flavor added to a genre that is very "cut and paste" in most gameplay aspects.

The hidden object scenes are very well done, nicely drawn items without too much clutter, and have a nice range of difficulty, but none of the items were what I would consider unfairly hidden. Mixed in amongst your standard HOS's are a few FROGs (fragmented object scenes), adding a bit of variety to the gameplay. I noticed, however, that the regular HOS's tend to get more plentiful the further you progress through the game. This wasn't an issue for me as I really like them, but not everyone shares that sentiment. For those who do not, the number of these scenes are quite low overall compared to other games.

While the setting is one of the best parts of the game, the story in the beginning feels a little rushed and can be a bit confusing. But once things get going and you move out of the village into the castle, the storytelling smooths out quite a bit. There are no dark, disturbing themes here (unlike so many others in the genre), and the story isn't deep by any means, but that doesn't detract from it's enjoyability. This is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone but makes a particularly good family game, especially for parents who are looking for less macabre fair to share with their kids.

One of my biggest issues in previous games from this developer has been the voice acting, but Clockwork Tales is a vast improvement overall, especially with the main characters. Now I'm not saying these are award winning performances, but they're not jarring nor do they sound out of place given the material, and they don't pull me out of the experience as they would in other games. Funny enough, the one game in which I find the voice work to be pleasant enough is the one in which we get a toggle for the voiceovers. The option is still appreciated and I hope we continue seeing it in the future.

This is the Collector's Edition of the game and comes with the bonus chapter (a short prequel to the main story), replayable puzzles and hidden object scenes, wallpapers, soundtrack and collectible "steambugs" that are sprinkled throughout the game. I'm usually not big on having to find additional hidden items in these types of games, but the steambugs were a treat. Aside from their imaginative and adorable designs, they're generally not too hard to spot, although it may take you a couple of play throughs to find a few you missed.

All in all, I enjoyed Clockwork Tales immensely and am only disappointed in it's short length. But the little time that I spent in the game world was time I completely enjoyed. I will definitely come back to this one again and again.
Posted: April 28
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Right first things first,yes this is a hidden object game and yes there are loads of them,but this ones actually really good.
The graphics in game are good and mostly of the static variety (like most of these games are) but sometimes this shifts to moving scenes which are handle'd with a real flair and the art work is top notch.The sound is really good in game and really helps set the "STEAM PUNK" astmosphere that this game goes for and the characters are all well writen and the script also gets top marks for real effort and is both entertaining and also interesting to watch and listen to as the story progresses and never gets boring or out stays its welcome right up until the game nears its inevitable conclusion.
The hidden object scenes are never to trick'y and the puzzles sometimes cause you to sit there and scratch your head (but not very often and only a little bit),but this doesnt matter as whats there is really enjoyable to play through and pushes you on to yet another puzzle or hidden object scene that you will enjoy (if you like these sort of games that is).
You play as Agent Evangeline Glass who is set on her mission to save Dr. Ink and stop a crafty mechanical genius who always seems to be one step ahead of you (but you know that eventually you will and must stop him-wouldent be much of a game if we didnt have to).You have to stop the earthquakes and rescue the Dr before all hell breaks lose and more cities fall (seems rather dramatic but that's the gist of what you have to do in the story-solving puzzles as you go).
As you play you will meet various other NPC's but the most interesting of these and the most fun is the mechanical crow Matthew,he comes into his own at times and without him you would both be stuck and at times lost in the world around you (he really does remind me of BUBO though from the old "CLASH OF THE TITANS" movie).
You see at certain points there are objects you just cant reach or places you just cant get to that Matthew can fly upto and either grab that item or help you solve that puzzle thats been getting on your nerves for the last 30 minutes AARRGGHHHHHH,and most of the time you will say "OF COURSE I NEEDED MATTHEW TO SOLVE THAT LAST BIT DUH" but thats all part of his charm as your companion.
All in all one of the better hidden object games its been my privalige to play and i hope that we get to see MATTEW again as that little crow really has taken a place in my subconscious and he refuses to leave "SHOO crow of with you"...........................see hes not listening".
Posted: May 14
Was this review helpful? Yes No
17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
An interesting game of finding objects/ adventure (point and click). The puzzles are easy and serve merely as a way to access the story (which is pretty good). The puzzles are mostly fun, though as stated above they are easy, but some of the find missions (especially at one point towards the end) were a little frustrating, as the picture list at the bottom of the screen for what needs to be found is really too small (unless I missed a way to enlarge them). The game is really short, although I have not completed the extra level that comes with the Collector's Edition, the main part lasted a few hours (I have to go back to find one steam-bug, there seems to be one in each illustrated background). One thing I didn't like was the fact that you can not combine items, but rather must use them in the correct order at the right spot. If you are looking for a fun little story in an interesting package you might enjoy this. Also, it has three levels of difficulty (some penalize you for incorrect matches in the find part of the game), and a hint function that I can't comment on since I didn't use it.
Posted: April 25
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
You defeat an evil German steampunk engineer in this casual hand-drawn hidden-object adventure lasting approximately 4 hours, with the "collector's edition" bonus chapter adding another hour.

The writing and voice-acting is competent if not exciting, the gameplay is linear to the point of having items in the scene disabled whose time has not yet come, there's an extensive help system: on easy, the map is marked where you need to be to progress in the story, and n the scenes there are golden sparkles on the puzzle you need to solve next. There are a few manipulation puzzles and some hidden object puzzles, and they're all fairly small and well integrated into the storyline: for example, with the hidden objects, you are always looking for something (or parts to something) that you'll need to progress in the storyline. I especially liked the dollhouse puzzle: 4 puppets in a dollhouse are looking for pairs of objects, and once you find the objects, you see a small animation where the dolls actually use them - very satisfying.

The storyline has voiceovers, the hints do not: I'd recommend the game for anyone age 6 and up if they can read or have someone who can help them if they get stuck (but with the hint system, that should hardly happen). Also, if you ever wanted your very own steambug collection or find the recipe for the Steam Horse drink ("I'd give up my helmet for a Steam Horse!"), this game might be for you.

The included bonus prequel is about an hour, with the professor in the village using the bits that you could look at, but not use, in the main game.

Some small gripes like light beams colliding instead of passing through each other or minor inaccuracies in the "evil German" grammar (the German subtitles are very well written!) do not detract from an overall experience that is well crafted, even if it doesn't reach the scope or the immersiveness of a "big" adventure like Machinarium.
Posted: April 26
Was this review helpful? Yes No
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink is a point-and-click puzzle game which pays homage to deceased Polish author Jan Brzechwa's series of stories surrounding Pan Kleks/Mr. Inkblot. Developed by Artifex Mundi, it was originally released in August of 2013, and put onto Steam in April of 2014, with achievements and trading cards. The game itself follows Evangeline Glass as she tries to help her mentor and friend, Dr. Ambrose Ink, investigate a series of increasingly violent tremors rocking the planet and seemingly originating in the nestled burg of Hochwald. After his abduction early on, it falls entirely to Evangeline to not only solve the mystery surrounding the quakes and save Hochwald, but rescue Ink from his captors.

The premise is interesting, and to its credit, more involved than a lot of hidden object games, but not quite up to snuff for me. The characters are flat and lacking nuance, the plot as a whole is predictable, and while the environment and all the build up hints at a great backstory and lore that could have been explored and exposited, it all remains veiled in mystery. There's no elaboration about the world the characters live in, how its technology works, or even how our main ensemble got to where they are in their lives; everything is left entirely up to our own interpretation. While that can work well when you're at least given breadcrumbs to go off of, we aren't, and I feel the game suffers as a result. I can't really claim that the game is meant to be played with previous knowledge of the Pan Kleks stories, either, seeing as they aren't mentioned anywhere within the game as a source of inspiration — something that I can't dismiss as being a bit of an odd exclusion.

The goal is outlined fairly early on, and doesn't change at any point thereafter. The ending felt incredibly rushed, and didn't leave me satisfied that things had been finished at all. The dénouement as a whole was fairly lackluster — the final cinematic runs is an expository narrative about how things were all wrapped up off camera after doing the final few clicks, clocking in at less than two minutes long to do so. It came off more as a segue to more story than a resolution, or even a cliffhanger for a sequel.

Gameplay is, of course, looking around and clicking things. While primarily presented as a hidden object game, and indeed offering such as its main minigame challenge, the selection of puzzles is surprisingly diverse. Nonograms, jigsaws, sliding blocks, labyrinths, object interactions, trick locks and associated puzzle boxes… More than a few varieties make an appearance, and can pose a decent challenge depending on your familiarity with each. There are, however, skip options for every puzzle, allowing you to bypass them completely by simply idling for a bit.

Finishing the main story will likely only take you a few hours, with the bonus chapter taking much less. Due to the linear progression and lack of variance in how to move forward, the game has fairly little replayability, but the initial experience can be quite fun. Once you finish a mode, you must play through it again entirely if you want to return to a specific point, as each individual zone of the game is walled of from returning to the previous; the downside to this is that having to go through the game again, as in the event that you miss a Steambug, can be more of a chore than anything else. A post-finish stage selection option would have been quite appreciated for this.

Visually, the game has a virtual painterly aesthetic, with fade-between transitions for a majority of background animations. During cut scenes, speaking characters have their facial expressions smudged about to convey emotion and communication, while the rest of the scene remains static or animated using the fade-between method. Although the smudging effect is one of the more high quality examples I have seen, the lack of use on anything other than the characters' primary features can be a bit jarring, primarily at times when their heads should be moving as well. I would have liked to see the effect used on more areas of the game than it was, as it could have added to give the game a bit of individuality.

Musically, the soundtrack is quite enjoyable; I had no complaints. I particularly liked the track that plays during the nonogram puzzles, although it only makes a single appearance toward the end. Unfortunately, the tracks listed in the Extras menu are not the full selection, and checking the installation directory doesn't offer the raw files, forcing one to pursue other venues to listen to everything on the fly.

The voice work varies between decent and hilariously bad, usually landing somewhere in the middle. A few characters sound absolutely ridiculous, while others are very pleasing to the ears. You can disable voice acting entirely in the options menu, should you so desire.

I encountered no sequence breaking opportunities or unwinnable situations while playing, but I didn't attempt to induce them, either. I did experience a rather annoying issue where the Spy Master achievement didn't go through during my initial Expert run, despite having kept the game set to Expert throughout the entire session.

While the difficulty settings speak of some sort of penalty for misclicks in hidden object puzzles, I was still able to click about at random on both Advanced and Expert and not have it affect anything. I'm not entirely sure if I'm unique in that regard, or if it's simply an aspect that was never implemented. If you're hunting for achievements, and with this in mind, I'd set it to Expert right away so you can get the Spy Master achievement on your first playthrough. The game isn't hard enough nor punishing enough to truly make doing so pose much of an issue, especially if you're accustomed to games of this genre or are willing to utilize the skip function.

The store page is a bit deceptive. You have no control over the glider section, it happens entirely as a cut scene; there's no combat action to the game, as “monster battles” and “defeating mechanical creatures” implies (this action is done entirely via puzzle-solving, and only occurs once); and there are 16 achievements both in-game and on Steam, not 9. The game is very much of the go-at-your-leisure variety, with no timed puzzles or direct fighting involved. These are fairly minor discrepancies, but still a bit misleading as to what one can expect.

As a whole, I would recommend the game to fans of the genre, and those looking for an introduction to point-and-clicks without too extreme a difficulty. The standard asking prices in several currencies are $7.99 USD and AUD, 6.49€, 5.99£, R$ 13,99, and 189 RUB. By comparison as of August 2014, the game is cheapest in RUB. As is par for the course with Steam games, I would recommend getting it while on sale or in a bundle, unless you're a diehard fan of games like it.
Posted: August 3
Was this review helpful? Yes No