Time travel. It’s been in everything. Books, movies, comics, and many more forms of entertainment have discussed and enjoyed the marvel of changing the past and visiting the future. Gamers are no strangers to time travel, as well. Many titles have introduced traveling though time as a game mechanic. Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time is another one of those games.
You play as Doc Clock, a young inventor that creates a time machine to stop himself from turning his cat into a plant when an invention goes awry.Yeah, that’s the story. Since he’s an inventor that’s not that good at his profession, his time machine malfunctions and sends him into the distant future where killer robots have taken over the world and no humans are left. No, Arnold Schwarzenegger does not make an appearance. Now, it’s up to Doc and his insult throwing backpack to find the missing pieces of the time machine, go back to the past, and fix what he has done.
The game is a puzzle platformer, as far as I can tell. There is no jumping and you can only move left or right. Doc’s backpack can grab things from a distance, and store them for later use. Basically, you will grab items such as planks and boards to create bridges to cross or ramps to climb to get to higher places. The controls feel a little off. You’ll be trying to climb something, which happens automatically when you hold down the direction you want to go, and he’ll just keep climbing the air for a few seconds before falling. The movement wouldn’t be so bad if later on in the game you didn’t come to some tricky parts that require split-second timing to succeed. It can become a little frustrating.
One of the unique aspects of the game is the combining of items to make vehicles and other contraptions. You can take some wheels that you find and combine them with a motor and hull, and you’ve got yourself a car. Add a propeller, and you’ve made a makeshift airplane. It’s a cool little feature that works relatively well. The only problem I found is that you will run into spots where you will need to take apart your vehicle and reassemble it farther on in level. Moving these parts can be bothersome due to not being able to store them in your backpack. It’s just time consuming.
The camera is another troubling feature. So many times, I fell to my death due to the camera not being centered on Doc. You have to move in the direction you want the camera to move. The only problem with that is you can only see where you’re going for a good 3 or 4 steps. You fall into a pit, and die.
Death is pretty much a non-issue in Doc Clock. Anytime you die, you can use a time slider to rewind time to a point where you were still among the living. It’s a decent mechanic, but you will only really use it when you die. So, it’s there for just restarting from where you left off.
Doc Clock is a decent game with some frustrating parts due to the camera and wonky movement. The dialog between Doc and his talking backpack provides the game with decent humor. Even with the problems that I had with the game, I was always willing to give it one more go, and it kept me fairly entertained for a good 4 to 5 hours. When things work, it can be enjoyable, but when they don’t (and this happens a good amount) you’ll find yourself becoming frustrated many times over. It is a good concept suffering from poor execution. Still, for $10, you can get some enjoyment and, maybe, a few Steam achievements out of it.