Clockwork: A Time-Faffing Puzzle Platformer

Look at all the faffing. I mean really.

Do we have a tag for “puzzle platformers that faff about with time”? We probably should. Let’s take care of that while writing a post about time-faffing puzzle platformer, Clockwork [official site].

Australian developers Gamesoft have released the first trailer for their game which is described as “a time-bending, puzzle-platforming adventure story, in which unlikely friends come together to try to fix an imperfect world.”

“Unlikely friends” and “fixing things” doesn’t really offer much in the way of specificity or originality so I have discussed it with Alice. She suggested the unlikely friends would be Jonathan Blow and Jenny-From-The Block: “J-Blo and J-Lo. And they’re solving crimes.” I like this idea. Someone should make that game.

A-ha! The site has a bit more detail. The story is set in a mechanical city called Watchtower after a great plague. Presumably a big plague not a fabulous one. The boy is called Atto and he’s accompanied by companion Milli who somehow gives him the power to duplicate himself. As per the trailer you can then use the duplicates to help solve puzzles and progress through areas.

So far it sounds like a similar idea to P.B. Winterbottom and, from the trailer I’ve not seen anything that particularly stamps this game with its own identity. But these types of games depend so heavily on the strength of their puzzles and the use of their own mechanical systems that it can be hard to judge them from a trailer. That’s why I’m going to keep an eye on it.

Also someone needs to make J-Blo and J-Lo. Thanks.


  1. meepmeep says:

    Timefaff is a good enough tag, I think.

    The problem with timefaff games is that they are never as good as Braid, and always quite fiddly and annoying to actually execute even when you’ve brainsolved it. See the Talos Principle.

    • LTK says:

      If I remember correctly Gateways involved some timefaffing as well, but in that game it wasn’t so fiddly that it required extremely high effort to solve. Given that toward the end you’d not only be coordinating time-traveling clones but also shrunken, giant, upside-down and sideways time-traveling clones, it wasn’t exactly easy to deduce the solution in one go.

      I am in total favour of adding the ‘timefaffing’ tag to articles about Braid, Gateways, The Talos Principle and whatever else. Too many helpful tags have been appended to the end of an article on a whim, and then forgotten about for 80% of the relevant articles that follow. Like ‘browser game’, ‘WTF’, and ‘dinosaurs!’. Save orphan tags!

  2. Robert The Rebuilder says:

    Presumably a big plague not a fabulous one.

    Hilarious comment! It brings to mind what Noah’s family might have said about the “Great Flood”:

    Fantastic way to wipe the slate clean on creation. Boffo ending. 10/10.

  3. Chirez says:

    Unfortunately I auto-spoonerise that into Fine Taffing, which is an entirely different kind of game.

  4. Coriform says: