If there was an object that was part of your past that was broken, would you want to try to repair it or just forget about it? What if that object would be a part of your future more than you realized, would you make the attempt or just let the opportunity slip by? It’s hard for us to know how important something may be or what part it will play in our lives until it’s too late. But does developer, Pontoco, show us how fun it is to clone and try to fix what is broken? Let’s find out with The Last Clockwinder for PlayStation VR2.
The Last Clockwinder is a VR game about building contraptions out of your own clones. You are on a mission to repair an ancient clock tower built into the trunk of a colossal tree. Inside the tower, you find a pair of gloves that allow you to turn anything you do into a looping clockwork automaton. Use your automatons to grow plants, harvest resources, build wild contraptions, and find a way to save the Clocktower. So before going in and trying to start to repair a part of history, there are a few things you should be aware of. First, don’t try to rush through or you may miss some things. Second, don’t overthink things. Third, make sure those Sense controllers are charged as you don’t want to be in the middle of creating that motion and the end results may not go as planned all because you forgot to charge them. Fourth, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone. So I am not going to be showing footage of all the puzzles as I want you to be surprised by what you find. And finally, just enjoy your time in this world. With all that said…let’s continue…
In starting The Last Clockwinder, I noticed something from the start. No, not the simplicity of the options before you start the game, but the music. There is something very calming that helps set the tone and maybe that’s the way the artist, Joel Corelitz, had in mind when writing the music for this. This is the type of music that if you were having a bad day or just needed to feel relaxed, you could just play and suddenly you would realize everything would be ok. Almost, in the way, the music sets the tone for the game.
After you have everything the way you want in the settings from the height to the movement, it’s time to begin. Part of The Last Clockwinder is the puzzles, but the other part is the story that is being told. We learn that the clocktower needs to have the water pumped every day and if not, the tree and everything it protects will be lost forever. That’s when you, Jules, receive a message about the Clocktower sinking and because it’s your home, you have to find out what’s going on and what happened to who was supposed to be the last Clockwinder, Edea.
Appearing on the balcony of the tree at night is how your adventure starts. Receiving a radio call from the one known as Levi, who you will be in touch with throughout the story. Of course, one cannot simply enter the tree without having to turn on the power and this is where you are met with your first puzzle. With each part of the tower that you encounter, you will come across machines that act as helpful tips for what you need to do next. Lucky for you, you have a pair of gloves that help.
Your gloves have the power of creating clones that can help solve the puzzles. But these clones are based on your motions. So if you do a motion of throwing, then that clone will repeat the same motion and when you have multiple clones, it all becomes this looping action. This is where you have to figure out what needs to be done so that you can make sure you do the right action. You will need to gather enough fruits and vegetables to gain access to different parts of the Clocktower. Different fruits and vegetables are handled differently, for example, blueberries will explode if they are handled too long. So in this case, it’s getting the production line of clones to where they are throwing the blueberries with just enough handling so that they don’t explode. The great thing is, when you have a successful line of clones working together, they still continue to work even if you are not in the same room, so this will help with the numbers you need to be able to unlock the next room.
If you create a clone that you either created by accident or just doesn’t fit the flow of things, you can delete them by simply touching their heads. At one point, I had to clear the entire room because I created too many. You will also notice boards that give you the formula of what is needed as well as tell you how productive things can be with the number of clones. So make sure you pay attention to those and it should help you. And that is part of the fun of trying to figure everything out. Also, there will be tape recorders throughout that help move the story along between the main characters which you may have to move around the room to find.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The colors are sharp and seeing the sun come through the windows and hit different parts of the room really helps show the power of the PlayStation VR2, the text is very clear, and everything looks like it could be part of a movie. With the sound, using the Pulse 3D headset, I can hear the smallest of things like gears to even hear when things were being thrown from a distance. Plus, the musical soundtrack really does help balance everything out.
There are a few things that I would have loved to have seen. First, more things to interact with. Yes, you have the fruits, vegetables, levers, and interactions with the story, but it would have been fun to have used other things in the room as part of the solution to the puzzles. And finally, more time. My time with the game was over before I knew it and I just wanted more as the tracking worked so well, that I was having fun making the clones act like they were having an argument.
The Last Clockwinder allows us to have fun with cloning but also shows us something special with the world it has created from the physics that are used to the voice talents that present themselves to us. In life, we try to do things our way because we may believe it’s the right way, but when the help we receive can actually show us the most efficient way. We may not want to ask for help, but couldn’t we all use a helping hand every now and then?
The Last Clockwinder is out now for the PlayStation VR2, Quest 2, Steam VR, and Viveport. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Pontoco, please visit the site, follow them on Twitter, follow them on TicTok, and subscribe to the YouTube channel.
Also, check out the video review:
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go back and listen to the music and try to become more efficient.