[Review] Tick Tock: A Tale For Two – Nintendo Switch

Written by Derek Wright
  • Developer: Other Tales Interactive
  • Publisher: Other Tales Interactive
  • Release Date: 05/12/2019
  • Price: $5.99 / £4.99
  • Review code provided by Other Tales Interactive

Time is on My Side

Game studios are constantly pushing to find the next big thing in gaming. A large emphasis on this push involves multiplayer gaming on a large scale. MMORPGs and battle royals have become the norm with multiplayer gaming. The rise of games as a service has added to this as it’s now possible to play the same game for many years, if you have an internet connection and a subscription.

Now we can remember this wasn’t always the case with gaming. There was a time when multiplayer experiences meant you, and one friend, sitting in front of the same screen together. In modern times, we also understand it can be hard for friends to be in the same room together, let alone same town. Tick Tock by Other Tales Interactive wants to bring back those memories of working together with a friend, but with a twist.

In Tick Tock: A Tale for Two, you and a friend try to escape a bizarre world while also solving the mystery of the clock. The twist is that you must each have a copy of the game on your Switch, but you don’t need to “play together”. There is no online mode and there is no way to play on the same console. This game is an asynchronous multiplayer game that doesn’t require an internet connection or any kind of tethering except for your voice. One player will choose the role of player 1 while the other will be player 2. From there, your adventure begins and you must now rely on each other completely to solve the mystery of Tick Tock.

Time Keeps on Slipping

Tick Tock is a point and click adventure/puzzle game, a genre that I am normally not the biggest fan of. The addition of multiplayer made the experience more enjoyable, but this is still an adventure game through and through. Players in the game must navigate a small village that is trapped inside a clock, moving between buildings, picking up clues and solving puzzles. With this being made with multiplayer in mind, each player receives half the puzzles and half the clues. Watching the trailer for this game gave me a small idea of this, but it wasn’t until my wife and I sat down to play it that we realized just how important our dialog would be.

When starting the game, it urges you not to show your screen to the other player and instead talk out the situation. This was quite a challenge as I soon found out the way that I describe and see things was very different from my wife. We were able to find our way out of the clock and solve the mystery. Having our communication skills with each other grow was my biggest take from Tick Tock.

Time Heals All Wounds

One of my only complaints with the game is that some of the puzzles seemed obtuse or not very clear. One of the final puzzles in general felt like we were just using trial and error until we found the solution. I will give Tick Tock the benefit of the doubt and say we may have missed a vital piece of the puzzle that would have made the situation clear, but in reality, we were just guessing what the next piece of the sequence would be and writing down the order as we muddled it out.

The overarching story in Tick Tock has a feeling of sadness permeating from it. By the time you reach the end credits, that sadness is still there and maybe a bit of confusion as well. My wife and I had to talk over the events of what just happened to come to an understanding of the ending, which isn’t bad as this game wants the players to have a constant dialog. We both just wanted more answers than what the game was giving us.

Time Waits for No One

I generally enjoyed the art style for Tick Tock which felt like an animated children’s picture book. This could be chalked up to how some of the puzzles essentially have the player escaping memories within the clock. Whether this was how the developers intended for it to be or not, I found it to be interesting. A curious choice that I noticed is that there are no other humans in the game. Sometimes humanoid characters in adventure games can be odd looking or a bit more abstract. This could also have been a deliberate design choice to show the loneliness inside the clock.

The sound design was very minimal. I noticed music on the title screen and maybe the end credits, but nowhere else. It was an intriguing choice as it cements the feeling of being alone in the clock. You will hear ambient noises such as the wind rustling, the other clocks chirping, etc. It wasn’t quiet, like in a horror game, which can instill fear. It felt more like sadness, like being alone.

No Time Like the Present

My wife and I played Tick Tock completely in handheld mode, as it felt more natural for this game, with the touch controls. They were much easier to use than using the buttons to mimic a mouse. On both systems, we did not run into any issues or hiccups in the game.

Final Thoughts

Tick Tock: A Tale for Two felt closer to an art exhibit or an indie film, something you must experience once. It will make you think, it may tug at your heart strings, and you may even suggest it to your friends because it is “something they need to experience”. With that being said, video games are an art form, some more replayable than others and sadly, I feel there isn’t much of a replay value. You could play as the opposite player, but if you still remember how to solve the puzzles, most of the challenge is gone, especially since it is a rather short game (a bit over two hours). Regardless, there is an interesting tale to tell, and I can recommend it. It was enjoyable, even for someone who doesn’t really dabble in this type of game.

Pros

  • Intriguing Story
  • Some Clever Puzzles
  • Beautiful Artwork

Cons

  • Some Very Obtuse Puzzles
  • Very Short Experience
  • Low Replayability

Verdict

If you are looking for a unique multiplayer experience, Tick Tock: A Tale for Two can offer something truly different. The briefness of the game and some odd puzzle designs keep it from truly timeless.

3/5

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