Developer: G5 Entertainment
Price: Free ($6.99 to unlock full game)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

A Match Three puzzle game that offers some much needed purpose to proceedings? Yes, really? Old Clockmaker’s Riddle might suffer from the risk of repetition after extended sessions, but it’s excellent fun in short bursts.

The idea behind it is that players are attempting to restore a village to its former glory and break the curse that has afflicted it. Obviously, this is done by matching colored gems in order to collect up the requisite number of clock hands. At first, it all feels a little too easy. Even while playing the Timed mode, I found things weren’t as taxing as I expected. Indeed, even in later stages, the timer doesn’t play as crucial a role as one expected, not once initiating a Game Over screen. Instead, the focus is on collecting clock hands quickly as, otherwise, a certain number of lost, and players find themselves falling behind in their quest to finish the level. Because of this, levels become increasingly long but also more difficult.

Help is on hand, courtesy of tools that are purchasable with gems and provide types of power-ups such as the addition of clock hands, or the ability to destroy individual gems, but there are also hindrances. Frozen gems and locked gems quickly play a part and make completing stages quite strategical.

It’s still possible to accrue huge combos and watch as half the screen vanishes in a tidal wave of gems, and that’s where much of the satisfaction comes from. Old Clockmaker’s Riddle is a Match Three game with more heart than most. It lacks replayability with no Endless mode or anything other than the story mode, but what is there should keep many fans happy. Shame about the rather expensive asking price, though!

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