Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time Game Review

Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time Game Review

Platforms: PC, Mac, PSN, OnLive, Steam

Game Name: Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time

Publisher: Stickmen Studios

Developer: Stickmen Studios

Genre: Platform, puzzle, physics

Release Date: Oct. 15, 2010

ESRB Rating: E

Developer Summary:

Fallen off a cliff? Burning in lava? Just had your latest invention crushed by a frozen polar bear? Avoid all this with Doc Clock’s amazing Time Slider. Enjoy the first Doc Clock time travelling adventure! Invent almost anything out of everything you find, from catapults to incredible flying machines. Travel through time as Doc Clock battles mad, misguided robots to save his beloved cat and invent the perfect toasted sandwich machine.

Key features:

  • Build amazing contraptions from scattered objects
  • Rewind time with the Doc’s incredible Timeslider
  • Harbour Sack’s sarcastic wit as he helps the Doc on his journey
  • Complete all the achievements of varying difficulties in order to master the game

What We Think:

You are one nut job of a scientist. Don’t argue with me. You ARE! And this is the worst day of your career, for you have turned one of your only friends, your beloved cat, into a cactus. That’s what happens when you try and combine your household appliances together, my friends. Now, with the help of your talking backpack, you must travel through time and over robot infested terrain to find a way to change him back. (Now all you need is a companion named Boots. Swiper! No Swiping! )

Doc Clock Screenshot 1

Doc Click is only a side scrolling-platformer in the sense that it … well … scrolls sideways … and has platforms. Yeah, you heard me. Where it differs from the vast majority of the genre is in what you do in that environment. Don’t expect your mad scientist to be doing any jumping, running, spinning, bouncing, shooting, or any of the other activities you’re used to seeing. He’s a tired old fart, not up to such arduous tasks, so give him a break. What he does have is his genius, or rather your genius.

You must strap together whatever you find lying around to create crazy contraptions that will allow you to navigate the world you find yourself in. Wanna ride a spring loaded, rocket-propelled, bathtub car? Done. Kitchen sink helicopter? Sure, why not?

Doc Clock Screenshot 2

It would be easy to call this a physics game, but it isn’t really. Other than the same simple gravity used in many modern platform games, there’s not much else to be had in the way of physics. Instead, I’d refer to it has a contraption puzzle game; And not a very complicated one at that. But there in lies the beauty of Doc Clock. The fun isn’t in finishing a level, nor is it really in figuring out what you need to build to accomplish that goal. It’s in building the craziest thing you can think of, then bumbling across the screen and seeing what happens.

That brings me to the second game mechanic utilized in Doc Clock. Time manipulation. You can, at any time, reverse the course of events and try again. This means that when the stupid thing you’ve built completely and utterly fails, you don’t have to go back to the beginning of the level and start from scratch. Just hop back a few seconds, adjust your device, and try again.

Doc Clock Screenshot 3

Presentation-wise the game is very whimsical and child-like. Thick lines, strong color palette, and cutesy drawings abound. The music is also light and catchy. While the mechanics might be a little too complicated for a kid to play on their own, this is the perfect opportunity to sit down with them and have some creative fun.

Doc Clock Screenshot 4

There are a few quibbles about Doc Clock though:

  • The method of construction can be cumbersome. Wheels roll away from you and parts tumble awkwardly on a constant basis when trying to make a device that will work. It would have been incredibly handy if you could build inside your sack, then bring the finished product into the world.
  • The time-shifting element could be made a lot easier. You have to bring up a slider menu and drag it back to the moment you’re looking for. A couple of buttons or the scroll wheel would have accomplished this a lot cleaner.
  • The interface and some objects seem out of place within the scheme of the game too. It appears like everything was drawn to the same scale and then certain objects were enlarged making them seem far less detailed than their unenlarged counterparts. The sack/backpack/inventory is probably the worst offender.

None of this makes Doc Clock any less entertaining though. Buy yourself a copy and let your inner mad scientist out.

Get Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time on Steam

[xrr rating=”4/5″]