Review – The Clock Winder by Sultans of Solve
Website Link – https://www.sultansofsolve.com
Price – normally $39 (or bundle with the sequel, Violent Night, for $175)
Disclaimer: we purchased the game with our own money, this review is not sponsored. All thoughts are our own.
The Clock Winder by Sultans of Solve is a puzzle box which will have players taking on the challenging clues left behind by a serial killer. The elusive Clock Winder, a murder who has been at large for nearly a decade, is at it again and this time he hopes to find an adversary worth his time. Players will need to track down seven bodies to prove themselves to The Clock Winder and to hopefully draw closer to bringing him to justice.
The game is set up as a series of challenges and puzzles. By finding bodies, players will earn the rights to open more “locked” (sealed) envelopes to gain further clues to continue progressing and working their way through The Clock Winder’s latest game.
Players will need internet access and a device capable of reading QR codes to make The Clock Winder work. The locked envelopes each have a QR code that leads to a website where players can submit their answers.
For those who might need a little more help, Sultans of Solve’s website does provide a progressive hint system. The easy to navigate website should allow players to choose where they need assistance and how much help they actually want.
It’s a race against time and a chase after an evil genius. Players will need to put their wits to the test as they face off against an opponent who has never been beaten before.
The Clock Winder’s premise of following the riddles and puzzles left behind by a criminal/murder is ground that has been tread before (can’t help but think of Batman’s The Riddler), but it’s a classic set up for a reason. The taunting and egotistical killer serves the purpose of giving players a good reason to solve puzzles and allows a strong framework for the delivery of those puzzles. The idea that seven bodies must be found sets up a structure that allows players to see how well they’re progressing within the story and to provide forward momentum for the case.
With seven bodies to find and a few other challenges along the way, players should be prepared to tackle quite a few puzzles. We took about two hours to get through all the game had to offer. Sultans of Solve did a great job of making each step’s puzzles feel unique. All The Clock Winder’s physical components are paper products, but the game finds a number of ways to keep not just the puzzle types but the look and feel of the components varied. This game is a good reminder that good puzzle design is found in the actual puzzles and not just what artifacts can be put into a box.
The challenge of the puzzles varied, but for the most part we thought these were more of a medium difficulty level. Some solution paths jumped right out at us and others took some more trial and error, but the logic and crafting behind each puzzle did make sense.
We should warn that while the game states “once a puzzle piece has been used, you will not need to use it again,” the Map Directory definitely is used more than once. Also, while we like the use of QR codes as an answer entry system, figuring out exactly how answers were meant to be typed for proper submission did take us a few tries, even with the password note provided. Maybe that was just us though.
Overall, we liked The Clock Winder. Whether you already love puzzle games or are new to the hobby, The Clock Winder should provide a fun experience. The number of and variety of puzzles definitely make this experience worth the price of admission. While this game probably wouldn’t become most people’s favorite puzzle box of all time, it is definitely worth checking out as a strong entry in the puzzle box genre.
We have already purchased the sequel Violent Night and are curious to see where the story goes from here.
Official C&C Rating:
Overall Fun: 4
Final Average Rating: 3.7/5