On each of Clockwiser's levels (100 on Amiga/Amiga CD32 and 110 on DOS), you are presented with a level layout, and a target layout, with the aim being to transform the former to match the target. The levels consist of a collection of cogs, which can be rotated either clockwise or anti-clockwise to achieve this goal. There are lots of special blocks to help out, including bombs, diamond-producers and anti-gravity blocks. Each level has its own time limit, ranging from seconds to minutes - this doesn't start until you make your first move, and you can look around the level at your leisure before making a stab at it. Each level has its own password, which makes progression a little easier.
Clockwiser is a simple yet difficult puzzle game by Team Hoi. In each level, you have a set of blocks on the left side of screen and another set on the right side. Your goal is to move the blocks on the left side so they match the ones on the right side, and all you can do is move the blocks on the left side by selecting a bunch of them and rotating them either clockwise or counter-clockwise, as the title implies.
You have a time limit to complete each level, which starts counting as soon as you make your first move. To move the blocks, you hold-and-drag the mouse to draw a box around them, and then use the buttons on the bottom-left to rotate them. The buttons on the bottom-right allow you to restart or quit the level. After each level you get a password in case you want to return to it later.
The game has 100 levels, ranging from Easy-Peasy, which are mainly to guide you through the basics of the game, to Impossible, where you only have a few seconds to complete brain-wrecking levels. And if they're not enough, there's also a built-in level editor to add to the fun. In case you're colour blind, the game has a Colour setting so you can tell apart the differently coloured blocks.
There's various block types in the game, each with their own unique behaviour: Coloured blocks - The standard behaviour: destroyable, movable and affected by gravity. Metal - Indestructible, unmovable and unaffected by gravity. Bricks - Unaffected by gravity. Golden - Unmovable. Bombs - Blow up when dropped. Diamonds - Self-replicate when dropped. Teleport Pods (multi-coloured) - Blocks dropped on top of them are teleported from one pod to the other. Anti Gravity (arrow on top) - Blocks over them aren't affected by gravity.
The graphics and sound are nothing breath-taking, but still good enough for a puzzle game. Overall, this is a very original puzzle game which will keep any puzzle fan hooked for hours, trying to figure out the right moves to complete each level, so I give it a 5.
On the copy-protection screen, just press any letter. Soundcard is automatically detected. The game will not play sound under Windows XP.
ONLINE VERSION: On July 10th, 2008, Team Hoi has released an online remake of Clockwiser. The remake can be played for free at www.Playclockwiser.com.
Clockwiser is a good PC conversion of an interesting match-the-picture game by Team Hoi, one of Amiga's most underrated publishers. Your objective is to move various elements (these include bricks, bombs, transporter unit, self-generating diamonds and so on) around the left hand side of the screen to match them to what you see on the right hand side. You do this by turning thing clockwise or counter-clockwise, as the title implies. This has to be done within a limited time period, and naturally higher levels are much more difficult than the first few.
The challenge in Clockwiser lies in figuring out the correct order of moves, since each element has its own unique characteristics. Gravity blocks, for example, react to gravity: they drop down if there is no support underneath. They can be moved or blasted away by bombs. Metallic blocks, on the other hands, can neither be moved nor destroyed. Diamonds can be moved and destroyed, but will self-generate if they are dropped. Last but not least, you can use the Transporter Pods to transfer blocks, i.e. things dropped into one Pod will appear out of the other. The game includes a puzzle editor you can use to make your own levels, although the existing levels will already have given you enough headache after a while ;) All in all, Clockwiser is a nice puzzler that isn't as elegant in concept as many, but well worth a look for expert gamers. Expert gamers who are willing to squint at tiny blocks for hours on end, to be precise. Recommended, but definitely not for everyone.
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