Grappling with time paradoxes, the butterfly effect and rouge AI, we will be the most workaholic detectives of all time! We have played Bad Seed’s Crime O’ Clock and we are ready to tell you ours
As the subtitle anticipates, we are about to tell you about Crime O ‘Clock. It’s the brand new title from the developers of Bad Seed. It was released on July 21, 2023, for PC on the Steam platform. Crime O’ Clock is an investigation game that therefore incorporates puzzle and puzzle elements. The graphic style it offers is highly detailed and with a monochromatic 2D Cartoonish style.
If you feel a little Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple inside; if you like mystery and intrigue accompanied by unexpected twists, stay tuned and read on!
Before, however, going into the details of Crime O ‘Clock, we would like it to be right to tell you about who made all this.
The Creators of Crime O’ Clock: The Bad Seed
Bad Seed is an Italian game studio based in Milan. They have been creating innovative games since 2014. They aim to deliver high-quality, far-reaching, and fun experiences to gamers around the world.
The team of industry veterans have a dream: to bring their signature quality and innovation to all platforms, making the gaming world a little brighter and braver. Since their founding, they have released four games, spanning from their early output: multiple award winning and fan favorite Sheep Up! to their latest adventure, Insidia.
Sleep Attack was a critical and commercial success. For its brand new take on the tower defense genre. Meanwhile The Beggar’s Ride expanded beyond the confines of mobile platforms, landing on Steam and WiiU.
Over the years, they have developed different labels reaching a heterogeneous variety of players: the casual ones, the regular players, those more interested in stories and fiction.
What’s Bad Seed’s Next Step? Keep dreaming big and making their dreams come true. Pushing the boundaries to create the best and most inspiring games for everyone.
Now that we have some clues about the Devs, let’s dive into the world of Crime O’ Clock!
Tic Tac time runs out Detective
In the intricate world of Crime O’ Clock, we are Detectives. We’re committed not so much to preventing crimes or saving innocents, but to preserving the True Timeline. Crime O’ Clock is a point-and-click game and we’ll have to sharpen our eyesight and use all our analytical and observation skills to locate crime scenes. To solve cases we’ll have to focus not only on the trail of clues, sniff out the leads, but also have foresight and grasp the thin threads that unite different characters and cases in time and space (details are fundamental).
In all of this, we will not be alone, we will have E.V.E. an AI to support our investigations. Thanks to its computing power and subordinates we will be able to deal with investigations at maximum efficiency. It is immediately clear that we will move on different timelines to ensure that the True Timeline is preserved. Specifically, we will visit 5 Ages: Information Age, Sand Age, Steam Age, Golden Age and Neon Age. They are all very different from each other but interlaced by the events that characterize them.So, we are talking about the butterfly effect, for which small changes at a given moment lead by chain reaction to large changes over time. In our case, we’ll discover, by jumping from Age to Age and solving cases; that some originally made major changes to the other Ages we will visit later.
The Detective Assistant Subroutines
Every good Detective has tools on his side that can help him in his job. Certainly the natural gifts of acute observers and sharp minds are indispensable for this task, but in an era where technology and crime are increasingly in cahoots we need even more powerful and rapid tools. Well, we very lucky (who knows…) Detectives, have on our side E.V.E. Very powerful, intelligent and determined, this AI will guide us and will come to our aid with countless subordinates. But what exactly are they?
The subordinates are analysis functions that our trusted AI will make available to us. These will be learned as we solve cases and will be added by E.V.E. automatically. We will have for example: Macroscanner, Temporal Defragmentation, Data Extraction and many others that we don’t want to spoil you. We players will perceive 3 of these at the top right while we play: CFE Analyzer, Parallax Analysis and Reality Manipulator. The many other functions of E.V.E. we will experience them as minigames.
As we progressed, we have seen how indispensable the subordinate “CFE Analyzer” is. As children we used to play to guess where something was using the concept of “fire and water” to express more or less the proximity to the object?
Well, the CFE Analyzer works the same way. When we want to locate a suspect without having to look at the entire map, we can narrow the search thanks to this subordinate. Activate it by pressing on the tuning fork and see certain elements of the map colored. These objects are Pivots, objects that vibrate at a specific frequency depending on the moment in which they are observed. Representing a period in the form of a melody. Furthermore, they provide clues to the proximity of a space-time distortion.
So, you can use the Analyzer “triangulate” the position of a suspect, thus speeding up the process of solving the case.
References to Pop Culture and more…
Not only to surprise us were the graphic style, the complexity of the cases and the originality of the story; another element that made us smile from the first screen to the last are the references to Pop Culture!
We felt at “home” surrounded by characters whose appearance or name (somewhat disguised) pay homage to famous Rock Stars or characters from “nerdy” TV series or films. We give you just a few examples, in order not to spoil the gaming experience. But we assure you that there are so many references. They are in all Ages and in the maps which gradually become more and more dense with details.
For example, you might come across an Axl Blood concert or a brilliant scientist named Rick Harmon and his young nephew or Straw Hat. These are just some of the references in the immense world of Crime O’ Clock. These are details that certainly do not go unnoticed and that certainly make the game original. We certainly appreciated them and not a little! We felt a sense of comfort and nostalgia and for a second we didn’t think about saving the Vera Timeline.
The Graphic Style of the game
The praise goes to the Art design that’s very well cared for and very well detailed. The huge, ever-evolving maps are Cartoon-style and monochrome. High level of details and black and white drawings, also referring to Noir Police films, make the search for suspects and clues more difficult. Precisely this aspect, however, makes it more fun and hooks the players. The Art Director, Luca Baggio, in his explanation of the artistic choices, specifies that initially he had thought of a concept of Line Art in black and white. However subsequently it was decided to add shadows in grayscale to bring out the scene and make it less flat.
The creation of the buildings was done using isometric axonometry rather than the classic inclinations. Enhanced by the combination of Photoshop and Lezy Nezumi, an app capable of correctly tracing lines along an isometric perspective.
Items in the maps, such as: barrels, crates and the like cover most of the items in the maps. As the Art Director states: “Making a map is like playing with Lego bricks. Just with a limited number of pieces”. – Reusing the same elements without making the game environment boring or repetitive is no small challenge. Nevertheless, Bad Seed has amply shown us that it can be done! It actually makes everything much more complicated and misleading for the player’s eye.
Crime O’ Clock characters
We now come to our beloved characters! Graceful creatures and inhabitants with human or human – animal features, which the Devs simply call Humanity. In the different Ages that we will visit, the style of the characters and that of the architecture change.
For example, Age of Steam is a mix between Venice and London. Full of inventors, robots, lords and workers. Victorian architecture intertwines with Steampunk elements that give movement to the city.
What about Atlantis? It is inspired by Atlas with high towers and dominated by a rational architecture, a spirit that shapes the creatures that inhabit it. In this case, for example, the characters are reptiles – humans or fish/molluscs with human features.
A peculiar feature that we find in this era is that all the characters wear a tunic. Fact inspired by the atlas society for which all citizens are equal. As far as investigations are concerned, this aspect makes it more difficult to identify the right suspect during the case.
What is ORACLE and will it be the solution of the “Case” True Timeline?
To answer the question, we have to go back to the beginning for a moment. Who are we saving the True Timeline from? Well, E.V.E. clearly explains that the cases to be solve are the work of rebel Entities (other AIs). Which they act in the various Eras and in the passage of time. Each with its own peculiarities and modus operandi, we will learn how clever they are at manipulating events. In the continuation of the story, we learn that if these AIs were to come together as a single Entity they would give life to Oracle, a protocol that would change the True Timeline forever.
As Detectives, we are ready to do anything to save our civilization, even the last act of self-sacrifice. The twists and turns and the race against the clock kept us glued to the screen.
When all seems lost, hope is the only thing that keeps us going. If you want to find out the truth in the story of Crime O’ Clock you just have to play it. Come on Detective, there’s no time to waste!
Crime O’ Clock
- Very detailed graphic style
- Twists and turns in the plot