Praise be! Ok guys, you can relax. I come bearing news of what you’ve all been waiting for: a new match three game! And it’s on iOS devices too! Ok, so seriously the world needs another match three game like it needs global warming. But another one is what we’ve got, so let’s see how it fares.
The theme of Old Clockmaker's Riddle (which to me sounds like something you’d tell your children to be aware of and stay away from) focuses on a small village that has fallen mysteriously into disrepair after the massive clock tower suddenly stopped working. To bring the village back to life you must help repair the clock by capturing numerous clock hands concealed inside coloured gems. The story is nice enough and at least tries to offer a reason for matching numerous amounts of gems.
When it comes to the matching of three, it’s all a bit... bland. Sure the gems are colourful enough, but they don’t particularly pop or sparkle. There are some nice effects when you start a chain, which raises the excitement levels somewhat and gems drop at a reasonable pace. As you would perhaps guess, as you progress through the stages obstacle gems start to make an appearance. These include immovable blocks and ice covered gems that require being a part of two matches to disappear.
You main aim is to remove the target number of aforementioned clock piece gems, but removing the regular gems earns you the currency to purchase various power ups from the old clockmaker himself. You can spend your gem-oney on stuff like a big hammer to destroy gems, for instance. You’ll also get to use power ups such bombs and line clear, once you can trigger them in a successful match.
Upon completing the target number of clock piece gems, you’ll be given a solitaire style puzzle to work out. You have a limited amount of moves in which to remove all the clock hand gems that are set out in cunning patterns. These are a nice addition and helps break up the regular match three stages, even though you’re still trying to match gems into chains of three or more! As these puzzles can be quite tricky, the option to skip them is available, along with a handy undo button.
The story addition to the solid match three gameplay combines to make a decent enough game. However, considering there are approximately 17 billion match three games known to exist, there needs to be something special to make a new title really stand out. And as solid as Old Clockmaker's Riddle is, it really didn’t grab me and make me beg for more. There’s really nothing at all wrong or broken with it though, so if you’re in the mood for some clock based gem matching, you’ll be perfectly satisfied.
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I still really like Zookeeper, but then you've probably already played that to death on a DS or something? Treasures of Montezuma seems to be highly rated and I've had a lot of fun with Super Juicy which is a bit different to a standard match three game.