A concept we find a lot of enjoyment in are games that allow us to work together to solve puzzles and progress the story. Experiences like A Way Out, We Were Here, and We Were Here Too have brought loads of enjoyment for Frank and myself as we tried to keep our friendship in tact and make our way through these journeys. The latest entry into the mix, Tick Tock: A Tale for Two, sees you and a friend trapped in a mystical world. And sometimes, we do mean trapped!
Title: Tick Tock: A Tale for Two
Publisher: Other Tales Interactive
Developer: Other Tales Interactive
Available On: PC, Nintendo Switch, Mobile Devices
Reviewed On: PC
Release Date: March 7, 2019
Game Provided By Other Tales Interactive for the Purpose of This Review
The first thing that immediately jumped out to me when firing it up is that an online connection is not required to play and enjoy Tick Tock. Usually, you need to connect remotely to the other player or jump into an online session, but this game is entirely different. It puts it all into your hands! At the very beginning, it gives the option of choosing Player 1 or Player 2. The idea is, you and a friend will each pick a person and start the game at the exact same time. In doing so, your travels are more or less linked up without the need for an internet connection or to even be using the same platform. One person could be on a mobile device, the other a PC or Nintendo Switch.
Controlling the game with only the mouse (at least on PC, where we played it), Tick Tock: A Tale for Two behaves identical to the classic point-and-click adventure games we grew up with. Spinning the mouse wheel will move the camera up and down, and clicking on and dragging certain objects on the screen will be the way you interact with the world. Some rooms have a lot of decorations and extra items that serve no purpose to the overall game, but that’s the fun in it. Trying to figure out exactly what you need to do in each room to help your friend progress, and vice versa.
I really don’t want to dive into the actual story being presented to players, as I feel a good amount of the fun is finding out what the narrative is on your own since a majority of it isn’t directly told to you through conventional means. Just know that you are playing as two sisters who were born into a clock making family inspired by Scandinavian fairy tales and they have a love for intricate puzzles. The rest of the plot points will be revealed through the puzzles themselves and objects that you can find in the different rooms.
Graphically, Tick Tock is quite beautiful. It’s a hand drawn world featuring many different locations to explore and uncover, such as the clock shop itself, an old well, a post office, the Ravn family home, and the area directly outside these locations. Sound effects are used intelligently to make it feel as if you are actually exploring these locales when interacting with the objects, and the thunderstorm that rolls in during Chapter 2 was a nice touch. One thing that immediately caught my attention was just how well the game ran. Zero technical issues were had on my end and Frank’s end as we sat down and played through the game in one sitting.
Which brings us to an unfortunate thing. Tick Tock: A Tale for Two is incredibly short. The average play through will be between 2 and 3 hours long. It could be slightly less than 2 hours if you and your friend are great at puzzle games and can breeze through. It could also be slightly more than 3 hours if you get stuck often on the various puzzles. Only being three chapters long, I would have liked to see the game extend beyond what it did to maybe a fourth or even fifth chapter, offering a few more puzzles to solve and getting to spend a bit more time in the world. The game is very inexpensive though, and is worth the price of admission.
The meat and potatoes of the game is by far the different puzzles you’ll be solving in each of the three chapters. Some of them are no-brainers and can quickly be solved. Others left us dumbfounded and scouring about the game looking for any type of hint or clue. The third chapter is definitely the hardest and seemingly every puzzle in that one took us some time to figure out. There was also one particular puzzle in Chapter 2 that probably took us longer than it should have, but at least we figured it out! As mentioned, some you can literally blink and they’re finished, and others could have players stuck for over an hour. The difficulty between the puzzles themselves was a little out of balance, but for the most part, it flowed together really well.
All of that being said, the amount of fun that you and a friend will have while playing through Tick Tock: A Tale for Two far outweighs any small negatives that are present. We need to see more of these types of games releasing on a regular basis, as they offer a different type of gameplay we don’t normally see from traditional multiplayer games. I’ll be keeping an eye on Other Tales Interactive. If they plan to stick to experiences like we had with Tick Tock and keep going even further into the co-op puzzle genre, I for one will be excited. Either way, I look forward to seeing what the team does next!
8.5 / 10