We always enjoy shining the spotlight on games that are making the jump to new platforms, especially when they’re surprising ones that weren’t on our radar. The Watchmaker is a great example of that, and we’re also checking out Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape From Dukha and Agent Intercept out.
The Watchmaker (PS4)
Wow, this one took us back, and we weren’t expecting this launch. We first saw The Watchmaker in action back in 2016 (!) when we met with the Chilean developers at Micropsia Games at a trade show. It received a release on Steam back in 2018, but now that the publishing rights have gone to BadLand Publishing it’s finally branching out to other platforms as well – it’s available for PlayStation 4 right now.
The core premise of The Watchmaker is as interesting today as it was back in 2016, as you play an inventor who somehow disturbed the time/space continuum (no, it’s not Doc Brown), warping the flow of time – which is literally ticking against you as you try to fix things. To illustrate how ‘time is of the essence’, you’re fitted with a backpack that shows you a countdown – so even though this is a puzzle platformer things can get fairly hectic at times. In all honesty, it’s a double-edged sword, because although it adds suspense from a narrative standpoint this isn’t one of those games that you can play as a precision platformer – the controls are too clunky to accommodate a rushed playstyle.
Your countdown meter will run down faster when you use special skills, which forces you to be as efficient as possible. Can you do it without using special powers that will rapidly age you towards death? What are the must-use moments for those powers? It’s an interesting dynamic, though it makes for the kind of stressful puzzle gameplay that some may not like – as you’re punished for experimenting and trying out different solutions.
Thematically it’s an extremely interesting game though, even with an underdeveloped narrative. The inventor character (Alexander) enjoys tinkering – which ties into his abilities. The world around you looks built up out of cogs and gears, which is a great look. It may be a bit flawed, but it’s a fascinating game from a team that wasn’t afraid to do something different. Glad to see it get a new lease on life.
Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha (PS4)
Developer Three Legged Egg originally released Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape From Dukha on Steam and Nintendo Switch last year, but thanks to Red Art Games it’s now also available for PlayStation and Xbox players. We tested out the PS4 version of the game.
Despite the lengthy full name of the game, Glam’s Incredible Run isn’t some kind of narrative-driven adventure where you go through deep character development and finally manage to escape “Dukha” at the last moment. No, this is a fairly generic precision/hardcore platformer, and it’s one that has decent gameplay at its core for a budget price.
Visually, this is an interesting title that mixes a retro flavor with the colorful approach that publishers like WayForward have towards their games. The level of detail and the quality of the animation certainly isn’t up to the same level, but you’ll recognize the similarities nonetheless. The main character even looks like a punk/glam version of Shantae, we thought.
The level designs are more generic in terms of the assets used in them, with the usual spikes, traps and projectiles standing in your way. You also have a fairly standard set of moves at your disposal, letting you run, jump and wall-jump. You can also swing, and in a somewhat original touch you can also hang on and climb some of the ceilings in the game. Certainly not a groundbreaking change, but the challenge level here is well suited to the genre gets progressively more demanding over the course of a rather lengthy campaign (for a game at this price point). If you enjoy challenging platformers, then getting 4 to 6 hours (we clocked in at about 6, but we’re not great at these) is great value for money.
Agent Intercept (PS4)
We previously covered Agent Intercept from developer PikPok when it came out on PC about a year ago, but its arcade brand of racing has finally arrived on consoles as well – which feels like a natural home for it. In most ways, at least. We checked it out on a PlayStation 4.
With its multi-purpose machines that morph into different vehicles according to your needs and a scary criminal organization to hunt down, Agent Intercept channels the over the top action sequences of the modern James Bond movies. Heck, it even calls your vehicle the “Sceptre”. Close enough, we say – though others who are less film-minded will probably see a close resemblance to Spy Hunter as well.
An homage to chase sequences, the Sceptre allows you to pursue bad guys on the road, on water, or even in the air. And as with any good spy mobile, it features the option to pick up and use weapons as well. Levels/missions are short but spectacular, and the same can be said about the story campaign – as long as you keep meeting the objectives for each mission you’ll blaze through the story in no time. This isn’t a game with a massive amount of content, and that bare bones approach can be seen and felt elsewhere as well.
The controls are quite simple, for example. You’ll accelerate automatically, so you’re mostly focusing on boost, drifting and ramming bad guys while evading their attacks. In a way, it’s not too unlike some of the classic on-rails shooters we know and love from the arcade days, just with a very different theme. And while the visuals are flashy and fun, they’re not nearly as detailed as some of the arcade racing antics in Need for Speed games – think Hotshot Racing for a better frame of reference. Of course, this isn’t a huge surprise, as Agent Intercept’s origins lie on the mobile front.
High score chasers and completionists will find additional lasting appeal in the game’s Side Missions and Score Attack modes though, letting you get even more competitive while raking in some trophies as well. For others it’s a bit of fairly short-lived and arcade-inspired fun that’s a blast while it lasts, but you shouldn’t expect a content-rich package to rival some of the big racing titles out there. This may look like a racer, but it’s arcade action all the way.