I have made some questionable decisions in life. The most recent of which was reviewing Clock Simulator for the Nintendo Switch. Seriously, a simulator for clocks. Am I padding my word count? Yes.
Simulation games have become quite the amorphous blob of ‘close-to-reality’ and ‘parody’. Clock Simulator claims to, and I’m serious, offer challenge, relaxation, or plain and simple fun. Only one of these is true, and only because humans cannot perfectly reproduce the meticulous mechanics of a clock.
As the title suggests, Clock Simulator is about simulating a clock. this means turning the second hand via the push of a singular button every second. ‘What a simple premise’ I hear you say and ‘well how hard can that be?’ Well, it turns out I am not very good at counting in perfect second intervals.
The game takes a rather lax approach to the human inability to hit a button in single second intervals. This means that once you lose the rhythm then you need to break your already broken groove so as to not be a royal fuck up. As chilled as the game is to slight mistimings, never stop trying to recover as missing a click is going to clap you up on the ears and give you a reality check, and in some game modes, straight up fail you.
That’s right ladies and gentleman! More than one game mode. In a game about clocks! Are any of them different? Not really. On the surface, it looks like you have many options of what to do with a whole smorgasbord of game types. But in reality, they are literally no different with the same concept copy and pasted. The whole thing is just preSSING A BUTTON EVERY SECOND!
I’m going to spread the point like hot butter here. Quickly. I noticed that the main distinction between most of the game modes was one of three things; a) suffering with friends b) sometimes there were pigs c) there was one mode where the clock went digital. I think the word variety is used extremely loosely here, and has stretched the actual meaning of what can be classed as a video game.
If you don’t feel insulted by this games release then get a second opinion. Split the JoyCon of your Nintendo Switch and watch as you lose a friend in record time as you expose them to Clock Simulator. Or maybe you can get some enjoyment from this clear mockery of what can pass for a game now, and I know this isn’t the only offender for this. Looking at you Goat Simulator.
If you haven’t quite come over to my side yet then let me draw up another point which only feeds my seething rage; Metronome. The constant listening of a clock, by choice. Who on Earth wants that? The constant ticking seemed to be somehow linked to my own brain as my internal timer finally hit 0.00 and I just sat furiously confused.
I will give praise for someone being able to make a game out of literal clock watching and managing to get it on the market, praise where it’s due I suppose. Though they could have tried to at least make their game appealing to look at. Everything is bland and as monotonous as the gameplay. Using a multitude of shades from a singular color pallette which only varies by swapping out which bland stain is currently trying to pass as different game mode.
Clock Simulator can honestly take its existence and shove it in a dark hole filled with feral, rapidly reproducing bees. It astonishes me that something with a concept as dull as literally watching a clock. The premise is ridiculous, the gameplay is abysmal, and the sound design is the last thing I am going to hear as the last of my life is pulled from my failing body.