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2 Dec 2021

REVIEW: Clockwork Aquario on Nintendo Switch

Review by Staff
There are not many games that you can really call "lost" but Clockwork Aquario truly is one.
30 years ago, Clockwork Aquario was being developed for the Arcade and specifically for the Sega System 18 Arcade System Board.
This was the pre-cursor to the Sega Megadrive. If you have played the original Super Mario Bros. or Wonder Boy 3 then you will instantly feel at home playing Clockwork Aquario.

Here is what Ryuichi Nishizawa (chief publisher, and co-founder of Westone) has to say about the release.
"In the 90s, when game centers were dominated by fighting games, there was one title which had never been released, even though it was completed after more than two years of development and repeated changes. This title is Clockwork Aquario. Who would have thought that it would be restored and playable again? I would like to express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to those who have worked so hard to restore it. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that this work is a great piece of 2D art, where the pixel artists of that time put their hearts and souls into. I'd be happy if people would appreciate and enjoy it." –

Clockwork Aquario is a classic 2D side scrolling action platform game. Large on-screen characters, fantastic pixel graphics, great animation, this game really does take me back to the early 90s and going into an arcade and putting my 10p coins in a machine.

When you first start up the game, you can choose from a difficulty level, which translates to how many lives your character will have.

You can play as one of three characters, Huck Londo, Elle Moon, or a giant robot called Gush.

Played over 5 levels, your ultimate aim is to stop the evil Dr. Hangyo. Gameplay consists of the usual platform elements as well as punching enemies, or picking up and throwing them. You will face off against the usual mini bosses, who are controlling large machines. Watch what they do, how they move, and you will soon figure out how to beat them.

You can pick up health potions that bring you back to full health, gems that will eventually give you an extra life, and stars that make you invulnerable for a short period, that also allows you to shoot out Triple Stars as a weapon.

As this is an arcade game, it is relatively short, but the extra difficulty settings as well as unlocking new modes after completion, including a mini game. This does give a replay-ability factor to the game.

The Good
A proper old school arcade game, that perhaps the younger gamer won't appreciate. Easy to play, tough to finish.

The Bad
A short game, which when played on a Nintendo Switch Lite looks a bit "busy" on screen, and would definitely look better on a larger screen.

A nostalgic feeling game, that will give plenty of enjoyment.

I score Clockwork Aquario on Nintendo Switch a decent 7.5/10

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