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Clockwork Knight

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Released: 1995

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Sega Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sega

It’s the mid-Nineties and you’re launching a new console. What type of games do you go big on? If you said “platform games” then you’re onto a winner – the world was still flooded with mascot platformers, and anything that wasn’t a furry animal was bound to stand out from the crowd. Enter Clockwork Knight, which draws its protagonist and enemies from your toybox, rather than the animal kingdom.

Clockwork Knight wasn’t particularly well received at the time, with most magazines considering it to be somewhat underwhelming. This is in some ways a fair assessment – the major innovation is 3D visuals, with objects moving from the background to the foreground. It wasn’t the most exciting use of 3D in 1995 and the market was saturated with platform games at the time, so you can see how it would have been given a bit of a kicking. Yet there’s a certain charm to the adventure and it’s certainly a solidly constructed game – and thanks to Sega sticking to a very well-explored genre, the game has aged considerably better than many early PlayStation and Saturn games. Ironically, by making something relatively unambitious and ending up underappreciated, the company ended up with a game that would last the test of time far more successfully than its peers.

It’s not a revelation or anything like that, but Clockwork Knight is a pretty solid platform game that any Saturn owner might wish to consider – even if it is a touch on the easy side.