Almost 3 decades later, was it worth the wait?
Clockwork Aquario was the last arcade game ever developed by the legendary Westone Bit Entertainment in 1992 but was never finished. The game was thought to be lost in time, but Strictly Limited Games set out on the mission to dig deep into video game archaeology and save Clockwork Aquario from being lost in time. The side-scrolling action game can either be played alone or with a friend in co-op. Players can choose from three different characters, each of them with her/his individual move set: Huck Londo, the daring ghost hunter, Elle Moon, the brave adventuress and Gush, the warm-hearted giant robot.
Clockwork Aquario just achieved the Guinness World Record for the longest time between a video game project being started to its release, which used to belong to the infamous Duke Nukem Forever…now we know how that game turned out, but could fate have something different in store for this game?
The good news is that Clockwork Aquario is a perfectly fine and fun arcade side-scroller. It’s a miracle that after nearly 30 years, the game is a reality. Westone Bit Entertainment sadly no longer exists, so it was down to the Strictly Limited Games and ININ Games to bring the game back to life. I wasn’t aware of the game’s existence before, but I’m glad it got revived. It’s a classic throwback to 90s games and one that I will be playing for quite a while.
As with most games from the 90s, Clockwork Aquario is a short game but highly enjoyable. The trophy list is also simple, but you’ll need to complete the game as each character to nab the Platinum. Still, the game is that enjoyable that you won’t mind replaying it two extra times. You can also play it 2 player in local co-op if you want that classic 90s feel like Streets of Rage or Golden Axe.
The visuals are classic of era, but still look great for today. It’s a pretty vibrant game that definitely has influences from other side-scrollers like Mega Man and Contra but makes it its own with some nicely designed stages and character models. The sound design is also classic of the 90s which adds to the nostalgia factor greatly.
Clockwork Aquario is a great, albeit short side-scroller. I really did enjoy my time with it though and I applaud Strictly Limited Games and ININ Games for bringing this hidden gem back from the dead. It’s 90s gaming at its finest and deserves your attention.