Guardian of the Gears is one of the best student games of IGF 2018. It is a 3D puzzle adventure game where you control a cute little clockwork guardian who is on its way to save the world of gears from an evil entity that is destroying it. In the game, you will make your way through the clockwork world and solve puzzles to progress through the game.
Gameplay is very simple. Players control the clockwork guardian through the world and solve puzzles to progress through the levels. There are only 3 types of objects that players can interact with, gear, artifact and port. Interacting with these objects will change the map layout and open up new areas so that players can progress to the next level. Players have to figure out how to interact with these objects to uncover their way to the end and defeat the enemy.
In the game, players can die if they fall off the world map or get hit by the enemy’s attack. There are save points along the way to aid the players so that they wont have to restart again from the beginning.
The game is set in a floating clockwork island which has been invaded by a disruptor which is threatening to destroy the world and it is up to the clockwork guardian to stop it.
The story is told using text bubbles which appears along the way as players solve puzzles and clear each level. There are also collectibles along the world that give players more snippets of information about the world.
The clockwork island is a beautifully crafted open world that triggers players’ adventurer instinct to explore every hook and cranny of the each level map to find hidden mechanics or objects.
The game is created using unreal engine and is available on PC
Lens of problem solving
Being a puzzle game, it makes players think of what moves they should take in order to progress through the map. The puzzles overlap at times too such that an interactable object from a previous level may an essential piece to clearing the puzzle in future ones.
Lens of Curiosity
The game is develop as an open world with beautiful graphics, and there are many pockets of extra areas and spaces littered around. It made me curious and excited to explore around and look around to see if there are any hidden mechanics or collectibles available.
Lens of Secret
The game gave very little information to players at the beginning. The ‘how to play’ section only tell players of the 3 types of interactable objects in the game. Players learn about the ‘wasd’ movement control of the player and jump use ‘space’ when they start the game. The story is also only told in snippets as players slowly clear the puzzles and advance through the levels.
This ‘learn as you progress’ model that the game adopt syncs very well with the game’s open world map as it makes players think that there may more hidden mechanics hiding in some corners of the map and make them interested in exploring around the world.
Lens of Challenge
The puzzle levels in the game is quite balanced as it starts from easy puzzle at the start to get players familiar with the mechanics in the game and slowly progress in difficulty along the way. At the last level when fighting the boss, time challenges are included to give players a bit of challenge. It was quite satisfying to solve those puzzles and complete the game