[Beyond PlayStation] Lair Of The Clockwork God Review
Lair of the Clockwork God from Dan Marshall and Size Five Games is a great mashup of platforming and old-school infused point and click adventuring. Learn more in our Lair of the Clockwork God review!
Dan Marshall, who you might remember gave us the worldwide exclusive interview on Just a Logo a couple of years ago. He’s also released such fine games as Ben There, Dan That!, Time Gentlemen, Please!, Gun Monkeys, The Swindle, Behold the Kickmen – which we’ll soon be reviewing, and visual novel Devil’s Kiss, which tells the story of how Dan and Ben first met – included at no extra cost with your purchase of Lair of the Clockwork God on the Nintendo Switch – has now released… well, Lair of the Clockwork God on Nintendo’s console!
In Lair of the Clockwork God, you’ll be tasked with finding a way to deal with all of the Apocalypses that are happening at the same time. Yes, all of them. Our pair of unlikely heroes – who are now starring in their third game – will have to do this by completing a very simple objective: teaching an old computer about human feelings. This computer is the one watching over the whole thing and the only one that can stop all of the Apocalypses, so you must do whatever it takes to teach it the lesson it needs.
Since the game mixes up two genres – 2D platforming and old-school classic point and click –, the things you can do – and need to do – will change depending on which character you’re controlling at any given time. You can switch between characters with the L button. Dan will be the one handling the platforming, running with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping around with the B button, pushing and pulling crates with the Y button. Ben will absolutely refuse to jump because his thing is looking at stuff, using stuff, and taking stuff into his inventory, from which he can use said stuff at a later time. Press up near something when playing as Ben, and then use the right analog stick to select his action. You can also combine things in your inventory to create useful extra things, as one does in point and click adventure games.
Because of the genre mashup, you’ll need to switch between Dan and Ben to be able to complete the puzzles that the game will throw at you. As to not spoil things, allow me to talk about a handful of the very early puzzles in Lair of the Clockwork God. You will need to use Dan to jump over to a higher platform to then step on a switch that will raise a platform below, bringing Ben to his level. After this, Dan will spot a lever, which he can’t use with his huge, platforming hands, so Ben must look at the switch, ponder its existence in the middle of the jungle, and then activate it by pulling it.
Doing this will open up a nearby door, which will take them to the first checkpoint in the game, a very useful contraption that allows those who die to quickly respawn there so that death becomes consequence-free! But before them lies a large gap with some always classic but always deadly pointy spikes that will kill Dan if he’s not careful – although Ben knows better, and since he’s an adventurer, he sure is not going to just walk off from a ledge! But what if Ben pushes something – or someone – over the pit so that it can be used as a platform?
After this, you’ll take on a short platforming section with Dan until you find a platform that is too high for even him to reach, that is unless he finds a way to get access to a very useful double jump! But before that, you need to use a rather large crate to help Ben get closer to the power source for the nearby electrical structure. Using a pair of handy boots – he just picked up from a corpse – Ben smashes the power source box open, smacking the leaky battery inside to dislodge it. It’s said leaky battery that will prove to be key for getting rid of the sturdy Peruvian vines that are keeping the pair from carrying on with their new adventure. Oh, and that pending double jump ability? Perhaps if Ben combines the boots in his inventory with the stringy corpse of a couple of the creatures that Dan can defeat by jumping on them…
Lair of the Clockwork God does a great job of being as accessible as possible, so that more gamers can enjoy this very fun adventure. There’s the option of turning on a dyslexic-friendly font, changing the font size, displaying a solid black background behind dialogue to make it easier to read, making all dialogue whiter to make it easier to read, selecting if dialogue should be “typed out” as spoken or if it should appear as a block of text, show the name of whoever is speaking, a color blind mode, which is helpful for a couple of the game’s puzzles, which are color-based, removing the camera wobble, removing screen shake, and even a platforming assist option to tailor Dan’s platforming sections to your needs.
Lair of the Clockwork God is a very funny and entertaining mashup of a 2D platformer – double jumps and all – with an old-school infused point and click adventure game, like the ones you’d see way back in the 1990s. The gameplay for both genres has been streamlined with some solid quality of life improvements, and the great art style and solid writing make this one you don’t want to miss on the Nintendo Switch. Lair of the Clockwork God is out now on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price.
This Lair of the Clockwork God review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Dan Marshall.