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A Clockwork Noir

by Jeremy Lee Harden


Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Welcome to New Jag City, the City of Gears and Cogs. You are Detective Adaran Valance, who is looking for a new case. What waits for you in the city that never sleeps?

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Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Noir-themed gearpunk that could do with more polish, July 25, 2020
by ChrisM (Cambridge, UK)

A fair stab at a noir-style thriller, featuring many tropes of the genre (a lone detective in search of a new case, a chanteuse murdered in a dingy nightclub, a restless city backdrop, etc). There is also a somewhat incidental gearpunk theme that pops up in the background occasionally (clockwork transport, a clockwork computer). I didn't finish it: I ended up not knowing what to do next, and there are no hints to help you along the way. The plot and characterisation are somewhat sketchy and many things are under-described or not described at all: mostly, what I've taken away from playing it is what I've filled in from my own expectations. In itself, it is slightly thin stuff, but I think there is potential for a good game here with some development of the story and characters.

There are some design irritations in the game: entering and leaving locations is a mixture of compass directions and 'in' and 'out', which is a bit confusing, and some of the exits are not reciprocal - in at least one place, you go east to enter a room and then go 'out' to leave it. There are also a load of doors that need to be opened explicitly for no very good reason, causing an unnecessary inconvenience (why put a shut door in the way if there is no need for it? Just let it be implicitly open so the player can get on their way). The main problem, though, is the writing which is, frankly, a bit shaky. There are a number of typos, some awkward sentence construction and a disorientating tendency to switch tenses (sometimes more than once) during passages. Perhaps the author isn't naturally a writer (not everyone is) but in any case the text could do with a good edit for sense and grammar.

As it stands, this is not quite polished enough to hit the mark for me - but a few drafts down the line, it could emerge as a decent game.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable and atmospheric, August 27, 2020

I actually recorded myself playing the game so if you would like to watch then please view here: https://youtu.be/0y2vzIelb1c

The only 'Cons' to this game in my opinion are a couple of typo's and occasionally, at least in the version I played, a couple of times I felt that a command that was intuitive for the moment wasn't recognised.

However, these weren't big issues for me. I thought the game was fun, scenic (in as much as the text descriptions were enough to conjure up images in my mind) and just nice to play. I'm not sure how far I got but the map didn't seem overpowering, I was able to keep it in my head without mapping (that's a plus for me) and if I went East and then West it took me back to where I was - again another plus in my book.

It's a fun game, give it a go!

Note: this review is based on older version of the game.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A promising noir mystery, December 4, 2023

Looked promising till I got hopelessly stuck (Spoiler - click to show)after shooting a figure that keeps reappearing.. A walkthrough or a hint system would have been great. Spotted a few typographical errors. Some of the exits don't quite make sense - I could go "out" but not use cardinal directions to exit a location.

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Zape on 27 August 2020 at 3:43pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page