Where did the time go?
You and your friend find yourself trapped in an eerie world created by the skilful clockmaker Amalie Ravn. Your mission is to escape! But to do so you need to navigate a mysterious, sinister clockwork world filled with secrets and cryptic puzzles.
To find the truth and ultimately escape this place, you must combine the information on both players’ screens. Prepare yourselves for a narrative adventure where your communication skills are put to the test. Shout out instructions, discuss what you see, and listen. But remember: time is ticking.
Escape Rooms are an expensive hobby, and while nothing really quite compares to a real, live escape game Gord and I are always on the lookout for something that might just scratch the escape room itch between games. Tick Tock: A Tale for Two was released in March 2019, but we were introduced to it through a recommendation on the UK Escape Room Enthusiasts Facebook group at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tick Tock: A Tale for Two is at its heart, a cooperative communication-based game, and communication skills are certainly put to the test. The puzzles throughout were generally quite simple, and if you were to look at the different screens for Player One and Player Two simultaneously, there would almost be no challenge at all. The challenge really arises from communicating what is on your screen to your partner, so that the information can be used in a meaningful way.
That’s not to say there aren’t some puzzles – there are. And the challenges presented, aside from the communication aspect, of course, are generally quite fair and rely heavily on your powers of observation. There were a few moments throughout the game where the information required was presented in such a subtle way, that it was easy to write it off, but as soon as it was noticed, we felt incredibly clever.
Tick Tock: A Tale for Two has been nominated for a number of gaming awards (including a BAFTA in 2020) and won a number of them, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that the graphics are gorgeous. The gameplay was so smooth, with one task blending into the next, followed by moments of pure joy as something clicked and revealed the next stage. But it wasn’t just beautiful graphics and clever puzzles. The game is very much driven by the story, and although many escapers are keen to bulldoze ahead to solve a game as quickly as possible, I found I was just enjoying the progression of the narrative, and appreciating the story behind the game. I actually found myself feeling slightly bereft when we completed the game, although the clear, satisfying, and slightly tongue in cheek ending did make even our completion of the game bring a smile to my face.
Tick Tock can be played cross-platform and is available to play on PC, iOS, Android or Mac, and now Nintendo Switch. All you need will be two separate devices, and once the game is downloaded, you won’t even need an internet connection. The most frustrating aspect of this was that we appeared to need to purchase and download two copies of the game. At the time we purchased Tick Tock, it worked out at about £6.00 in total to purchase two copies. In hindsight, however, if you have two separate devices (for instance, an iPhone and an iPad) that are both linked to the same purchasing account (like Apple’s App store), it may be possible to only purchase one copy (my iPad is too old to test this out properly as it can’t support the game, so I can’t confirm, but the logic is sound). Even if you do end up needing to purchase two copies it will still work out at less than £10.00 in total (depending on your platform), which still isn’t unreasonable for the amount of time one might spend on the game.
Sadly, if you’re struggling to figure out a puzzle, there is no hint system, like many video games. The best option available to you if you’re struggling is to try sharing your screen with your partner in the hope that something will click. Failing that, some kind people have taken it upon themselves to provide a Tick Tock walkthrough on the internet.
We ended up needing a bit of assistance in one puzzle, which really came down to a mishearing on my part and a communication failure in general. Even swapping screens at this point didn’t help, as the information I needed to solve the puzzle on my screen was located in a different part of the game, and I didn’t think to travel throughout all of the locations available to Gord. Had I done that, our mix up may have been quickly spotted, and we might never have needed to find the walkthrough. As it is, I felt like an idiot as soon as we found the answer online.
Tick Tock: A Tale for Two is a beautifully designed game, with gorgeous graphics and clever puzzles, and will satisfy even the pickiest customer looking for a virtual escape room style experience, and is ideal whether you’re communicating using a video call, or sat on opposite ends of the couch. My only disappointment is that it can only be played once, and Other Tales have only the one game.
- Two separate devices (tablet, mobile phone, laptop, Nintendo Switch)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 90 minutes