Art of Horology – Review
Follow Genre: Educational Simulation
Developer: Steven Richardson, Michael McMurdy, Joshua Towns, Andrea Fiorito
Publisher: Art of Horology
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Art of Horology – Review

Site Score
2.0
Good: Educational
Bad: Next to no gameplay, horrible sound design
User Score
3.0
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 3.0/10 (5 votes cast)

Some games are less about gameplay and more about the experience. Take walking simulators for example, or edutainment. You can go on endlessly debating whether these particular genres count as real games or not, as some gamers have a rather opinionated stance on it. Art of Horology is an educational simulation game about watchmaking, exactly the kind of title you might get into a heated argument about if it even counts as a game at all.

Story

We can start right of the bat by saying this game doesn’t have a story whatsoever. It is all about watchmaking. There are no characters, plot, or anything of a similar nature in this game. Just watches. We’re treated to one cutscene at the very start, without storytelling, showing us a watch getting taken apart piece by piece. And that’s the end of that.

Graphics

The graphics in Art of Horology are decent. Again, it’s hard to judge since there is little actual gameplay. There are no backgrounds either. The animation you do get is in 3D, and there are some pictures overlaid from time to time. Besides that you will mostly encounter lengths of text, often rife with spelling errors.

Sound

Do we even still need to say it? Nope, no music in the game either. There’s a bunch of various sound effects though, which tend to pop up rather frequently and loudly. You’d almost think you were playing a horror game, what with the random booming echoes and sudden noises. There are about a total of five of them too, so they tend to get old rather quickly. Besides that you can expect an unsettling total silence that will grow old even quicker than the sound effects do.

Gameplay

Art of Horology is an educational simulation game. As the title would have you assume the game is about Horology, or the history of watchmaking to put it into layman’s terms. The core gameplay of the game consists of digitally putting together an old-school pocket watch, an ETA 6497-1 if you want to get technical about it.

The title screen treats you to all of two options. You can jump right into the watchmaking if you want to, but it might be wise to study up on the subject first. You will be shown a video that basically gives away the whole game, as it simply tells you how to put together the watch. If you watch the video carefully, the game should be a walk in the park for you really. You will also find various tabs here with information on Benjamin Banneker, who is the inventor of the ETA 6497-1.

Then to get into the main spectacle: the watchmaking. Putting together the watch is divided into three segments. At the start of each segment you will be asked a trivia question about Banneker, so this is where your studying will come in handy. Getting the answer correct will add some points to your score, while answering incorrectly will cost you points. The watchmaking itself consists of hovering your mouse over the various pieces displayed on the side to learn their names and then dragging them over to the right location on the incomplete watch. If you do this right, you are treated to more points.

There is a help button which will automatically show you which piece is next and where it should go. Beware though, as using this button will lower your score. There is also a timer, as your speed in making the watch also counts towards your final score.

And with that, you’re done. This is all there is to Art of Horology. There are three difficulty settings but they are all exactly the same, besides the number of points you get or lose for certain things. There is also only the one watch in the game, the ETA 6497-1. It might have been interesting if they added various watches (and information about other inventors) to try your hand at, but as is, if you know how to put together this one, the game loses all of its charm or challenge. The only thing left to do is try to beat your own high scores.

Conclusion

Art of Horology is hardly a game. And even as far as educational software goes, which would be closer to describing what this is, it fails in every aspect. With only one watch to work on, which you can easily master in less than five minutes, the game loses all merits after one or two playthroughs. If you are extremely interested in watchmaking and the life of one Benjamin Banekker, this game might amuse you, but for anybody else it wouldn’t be worth their time, let alone their money.

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Rating: 3.0/10 (5 votes cast)
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Art of Horology - Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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