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Human Ent.




1 Player

Game Type

Point and Click Adventure

Mem. Card

Review Date

October 1997


Setting the Scene

There was a boom in the movie industry during the seventies as audiences flocked to their local cinemas to endorse their approval at the resurrection of the Horror flick. Hair raising titles such as Friday the 13th, Carrie, Texas Chain-saw Massacre and The Exorcist were all playing to packed houses.

This trend was carried through to the eighties where more graphical effects were required to satisfy the bloodthirsty punter. Legs were now being severed, hands chopped off and no movie was complete without an occasional exploding head. It was all in a days work for production crews who were going through more blood than a transfusion centre.

Of course this opened the floodgates for a tidal wave of sub-standard B-Movies which contained all of the effects - but very little plot. Eventually the public tired of this gore - nothing seemed to shock anymore. Besides, all of the heroes from yesteryear - Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Batman and Superman - had been replaced by murderous misfits such as Freddie Kruger, Jason and Eraserhead. Mission accomplished, I would say.

One of the most popular games available on the Playstation is undoubtedly Capcom's horror adventure, Resident Evil. Gripping story, splendid effects and enough fear and shocks to fill the average underpants - twice over. The emergence of the Horror video game sent the tills ringing worldwide and doubtless many games companies sat up and took notice. Resident Evil is now a classic whose example many should, and will, follow.

ASCII's Clock Tower proves that the age of the 'B-Movie' horror video game is still a long way off. Opting for a point and click style rather than the third person perspective shoot-up was probably a good move and should allow Clock Tower to be judged on it's own rights

In the last century, a Norwegian mansion was home to the Scissormen, the murderous twins who literally cut their victims to ribbons. Now it appears that the cycle of killings is beginning once again. This is according to the testimony of one young girl, who in traditional horror story fashion, strayed into the house and barely escaped with her life. Can the Scissormen have possibly come back to haunt their lair?

You play the part of an investigator who is checking out the young girls tale, the tension mounting as you delve further into the gloomy mansion.


Clock Tower is an intense point and click adventure from ASCll Entertainment telling the chilling story of a remote mansion in Norway and it's terrible secret past. Although Clock Tower is not for the faint hearted or squeamish, with some truly gruesome sequences of disembowelment and decapitation, you'll find yourself spooked even more by an increasing sense of dread - what you don't see rather than what you do see.


'Fear is fascinating' concludes the opening FMV. Perhaps it should have claimed that 'Graphics are fantastic' as the intros to recent PSX titles have reached such a high standard of which they are now truly worthy of introducing a next generation video game. Evocative graphics and super smooth, highly detailed animation creates the tension that will continue throughout this thrilling mystery.

The attention to detail in Clock Tower is second to none. The backgrounds are set in a style that has only been seen once before - that Capcom classic. Each room appears to have been decorated to an individual taste leaving you no doubts which rooms you have, or have not visited before. None of those bare pastel partitions or boring block walls, but wallcoverings, scenic pictures, bookcases and clocks, while house plants brighten up the clustered office space.

Each of the characters are exhibited in smooth polygons. Just click away and off they go, bending down to examine the contents of drawers, climbing ladders to reach high objects and climbing inside boxes to hide from the Scissormen. All with barely a pause for a thought.

The blood soaked 3D polygon graphics are most impressive. Decapitation seems to be a favorite as tapping a sleeping guards shoulder for his attention sees his head waver unsteadily before falling to the floor. Why do killers always have to balance heads back on the body after severing it? On another occasion this guy pops his head through a hole in a tower clock face just as the big pointer is passing the three. Whoops, there goes another one.

Generally the graphics are excellent but the PAL version does contain those nasty black boarders. Combine this with the fact that the bottom third of the screen is used for text and you are left with one hell of a letterbox effect. Also, the text just doesn't quite fit into the space at the bottom of the screen (as if the space is not big enough) leaving loading gaps in the middle of sentences. This can be frustrating at the beginning of the game with some of the conversations lasting a few minutes. This time could have been halved had the text been smaller and avoided occasions such as 'Helen, will you go out with...(wait for it... loading... wait for it)

Sounds and Effects

The music is well balanced and on occasions quite haunting. Unobtrusive when concentrating on the task in hand, tension building as the plot gets scary and getting the old ticker thumping when being chased by the Scissormen.

The sound effects also add to the atmosphere of the game. False cries for help leading you to an early grave, the sound of clashing steel as the giant scissors home on their target, periods of deathly silence only broken by a chiming clock. Actually, clocks seem to appear quite frequently throughout this game, must be something to do with the title.

Overall, the creepy sound effects and a disturbing soundtrack guarantee to keep you looking over your shoulder at every turn.


Prepare for a few sleepless nights as you attempt to solve the mystery of the Clock Tower murders.

For those who have never played a point and click adventure, the process is simple. Your character stands motionless on the set awaiting the Directors command (that's you). Moving the cursor across the screen and clicking the action button will bring your actor to life. A single click will set them strolling to the position where your cursor is resting. A double click will add haste to their movements. Do not forget this as your character will be required to retreat quite often during Clock Tower and I would recommend this is always done in haste. While scanning the screen your cursor may be drawn to certain objects or people. The small arrow will switch to four dots to notify you that a clue may be inspected or a character holds information that may or may not be relevant to the plot. Beware the Red Herring. That's all there is to it. What point and click adventures lack in complicated button tapping combos are more than made up for by forcing you to use that large spongy organ in your head - your brain. One final point. Buy a mouse, you won't regret it.

On with the game. Jennifer Simpson was a recent target of the Scissormen and is constantly suffering from horrific nightmares. The story unfolds as she awakes from a hypnotic trance performed by the strange Professor Barton.

There are five playable characters. You initially control Barton in his search for vital clues around the office, chatting with staff members and generally picking up and examining everything in sight. Your selection of character is determined by the number of times that you speak to Harris during the prologue. This is where point and click adventures differ from other genres. If information is not squeezed from certain sources, or specific items not collected, then the story will shoot off into a new direction to provide a completely different ending. Be thorough in your search.

Dependent on your choice of character, you will then be offered a map screen with a choice of approximately six locations to visit. You must sniff around each venue looking for clues to unravel the mystery. All roads eventually lead to your first scenario.

Clock Tower is divided into a number of scenarios. Each is preempted by a short scene which will eventually lead your character to a building. Each room must be scrutinised for any lead to help your investigation. Entering certain rooms at specific times will set off a chain reaction where the Scissormen will begin to hunt you down. You will know when they are coming for you as the music will change into what eventually becomes their theme tune. Once on your tail they are difficult to shake off and will attempt to corner you. This is where any knowledge gained from your snooping will become beneficial. A previously useless object may be used to defend yourself, a display item could be useful as a weapon or an item of furniture could become a hiding place until things cool down. Failure to escape the clutches of your assailant will result in a slaying with their deadly weapon - you guessed it a short back and sides with the giant scissors.

To avoid backtracking too many times the facility is included to save your game at any time and I would recommend this is done at regular intervals as you never know when the deadly duo will pop out of the cupboard.

Throughout the game you will uncover several hints which will be recorded at the main menu screen. At any time you can browse through these hints to avoid you becoming hopelessly stuck.

Clock Tower has a non linear storyline which can be resolved in 10 different ways and is certainly not a 'one play' adventure. Playing the same scenarios with different characters provides a new series of events with a different outcome for each.

Value for Money

Clock Tower is a splendid mystery thriller that has all the ingredients to become a horror classic. The only downside is the general stop/start process of playing a point and click adventure which can become slightly irritating when replaying an area but that is irrelevant if you are a fan of this type of game.

A definite purchase for those who enjoyed Broken Sword, but be warned, this may be a little too scary for the younger gameplayer.





The graphics are the definite high point of Clock Tower. The gameplay is a little slow at the start but once the game gets moving it settles into a steady pace. You will need your brain in top gear and a very large magnifying glass to work your way out of a few tricky situations however the clues are all there, it's just a case of spotting them. Save your game intelligently by using all three in-game slots that are at your disposal. I would recommend that you save at the earliest point of each scenario and do not overwrite this opening save until the scenario is complete. If you become hopelessly stuck you can then restart and take an alternative route.




Very Good






Very Good

I was pleasantly surprised by this title. It adds a very real element of suspense and shock value to an otherwise tried and tested point and click adventure. The scenes in which you are being chased by the Scissorman are truly frightening. You never know where that sick bastard is gonna pop up from next!

The game does contain a few slow spots, but overall it delivers what it promises...a suspense filled horror tale that many gamers should find absorbing and rewarding.


Very Good


Very Good


Very Good


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