I was incredibly fond of The Last Clockwinder when it launched on the Meta Quest 2 last year, stating that:

“The Last Clockwinder is a wonderful virtual reality puzzler that demands clever-thinking and careful planning as you restore the ancient tree to its former glory. There’s something incredibly satisfying about its gameplay loop of performing actions and then having robots replicate them, whilst nailing the execution perfectly to maximise efficiency ALWAYS brought a smile to my face.”

Pretty high praise, right? Naturally then, I was more than happy to take another look at the game with its day-one release on the newly launched PlayStation VR 2.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Since we covered The Last Clockwinder before, this review will offer a more condensed take on the game. You can check out my original review through this link.

The Last Clockwinder is a narrative-driven puzzler that sees players taking on the role of a woman who has to return to a special clocktower that was built within an ancient tree. Her goal? To restore power to it, all by utilising the help of automated robots that’ll happily repeat every action she sets for them.

It’s a narrative-rich experience that can be emotional in places, especially since you used to live in the clocktower and shared many memories with your mother within it. These are explored in the game through a variety of means, and whilst the puzzling remains the star of the show, it always felt touching to delve further into the connection you have with the ancient building.

The core gameplay revolves around collecting fruit, which may sound a little boring on paper but actually makes for an utterly engrossing experience in-game. See, if you want to collect fruit efficiently, you have to make use of special robots that’ll repeat the actions you make, with their position and movements pivotal to your success. An early example saw me having to make one robot grab a fruit as it grew and throw it to another robot, who would then throw it into a processor that was opened by another robot pulling a lever – the catch is that I had to perform each of these actions myself first, all whilst carefully timing them to ensure they flow together perfectly.

“It can be as exciting as much as it is clever, and believe me, there’s nothing more rewarding than putting together the perfect setup to maximise efficiency.”

It’s a simple idea, but one that’s wonderful executed and kept interesting thanks to the implementation of fresh ideas throughout. Some levels become so complex that you’ll have to have robots perform multiple actions at once, all whilst dealing with things like exploding fruit, slingshots, or having to manually chop at fruit. It means you’ll always be doing something a little different as you progress, with the game offering enough variety that it doesn’t grow stale throughout its relatively short playtime. It can be as exciting as much as it is clever, and believe me, there’s nothing more rewarding than putting together the perfect setup to maximise efficiency.  

Everything about the experience just feels unique, with The Last Clockwinder one of those games that could only work as well as it does in virtual reality. That being said, it does have some flaws that I’ve noted before, such as the lack of variety within the game world itself. Everything takes place across the same environment, so you’ll see a lot of the same old sights as you progress between levels. It’s not a deal-breaker and doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to play, but it would’ve been nice to have seen a bit more variety as you hit some of the tougher levels.

But hey, at least smooth locomotion is included at launch this time around, making it easier to get into precise positions and really fine-tune your actions. Whilst teleportation movement is adequate (and still included), it feels good that I can work myself into the perfect spot with ease without having to clumsily teleport myself around over and over again.

Check out some screenshots down below:

So how does it feel to play The Last Clockwinder on PlayStation VR 2? Well, it certainly looks the part and it felt sharper, though I wouldn’t say there’s a vast improvement over the Meta Quest 2. It was already a really pretty game anyway so it’s not a big deal, but I didn’t notice any visual improvements that felt substantial. The new haptic features aren’t integrated either, so there’s not much on offer here that’d make the game worth double-dipping into if you already own it on another platform.

If you haven’t played The Last Clockwinder before though? I’d highly recommend it. It’s definitely one of the more unique releases that has come alongside the launch of PlayStation VR 2, with the clever conundrums and heartfelt storytelling bringing a change of pace when compared to the likes of other launch titles such as Horizon Call of the Mountain, Resident Evil Village, or Gran Turismo 7.

The Last Clockwinder Review

The Last Clockwinder is a great addition to the PlayStation VR 2 launch line-up, with the clever puzzling and unique mechanics making for a memorable experience. It’s one of those games that could ONLY work in virtual reality, whilst the lovely visuals and design make the world feel like one that’s enchanting to be a part of.

It is a shame that it doesn’t take advantage of the full capabilities of the headset and it has some small flaws of its own that remain from the original Meta Quest 2 release, but these issues don’t stop The Last Clockwinder from being a very special game.

Developer: Pontoco
Publisher: Cyan Ventures
Platform(s): PlayStation VR 2 (Reviewed), Meta Quest 2 , PC VR
Website: https://pontoco.com/