Published on April 15th, 2014 | by JC Richardson2
The first thing you’ll notice about Golden Tricycle’s isometric puzzler, CLARC, is that it’s a lot better looking than the average logic based game. The futuristic game world is rendered in gorgeous cel-shading with a muted palette that’s really pleasing. The visuals catch your attention, but what holds it are the fiendish environmental puzzles which soon have you thinking several moves ahead. And you really will have to plan your moves – it’s all too easy to paint yourself into metaphorical corners here.
Your character, repair ‘bot CLARC, is given various tasks to complete, e.g. turn the power back on so your fellow robots can party, or open a blast door to release a trapped (and strangely flirty) rocket, for example. These jobs involve placing weighty cubes on pressure plates, avoiding electrical hazards, remotely unlocking doors, and other tribulations that only off-world repair robots experience. Claustrophobic corridors limit your moves and make you plan your routes meticulously, as you can’t rotate when carrying an item unless you have enough space. Hair will be torn, I promise you that.
The difficulty level increases quite quickly, but you won’t feel out of your depth. Also, each puzzle flows nicely into the next, giving you a real sense of progression through the levels. CLARC and his pals have personality too, making the interactions between them seem natural and genuinely comical at times. All this adds up to make a deeply engrossing game, and I say this as a reviewer who’s often left cold by logic puzzling.
Players can experience the early levels of CLARC for free, with a reasonable one-off IAP to unlock the whole game. This is how it should be done, and I’m certain plenty of players will want to see this game through to the end.
Summary: Absolutely brimming with character, CLARC rewards your patience with an engaging story to boot. Utterly charming, and well worth the full unlock price.