Clack


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Rating: 4.8/5 (57 votes)
| Comments (52) | Views (47)

JayClackClack is a unique and original puzzle game created by Sean Hawkes from California, USA.

At first glance the game appears to be a layout from a schematic diagram, which might easily scare you away if you're the non-technical type. And it will likely have you scratching your head wondering just what to do with it even if you are an electrical engineer. However, those adventurous souls that persevere, by poking around the surface to learn what is hiding underneath, will be nicely rewarded by what they find.

Stop! If you have not yet played Clack, do yourself a favor and stop right here. Go discover it for yourself first, and then come back and read the rest of the review. You'll be glad you did. =)

Competition first place award winnerContrary to its first impression appearance, Clack is a simple game of chain reactions, similar to a domino effect or a rudimentary Rube Goldberg machine made up of only similar parts. I'm not quite sure how to describe it best since it is a marvelously unusual design.

Mousing over the surface of the play field reveals small circular 'orbits' within which each of the mallets will rotate (when the game is put into motion.) Clicking on a mallet will change its length as well as its resulting orbit. Mallets that share a common axis with other mallets move as a unit, and yet their length may be changed independently.

The ultimate objective is to set each of the mallets in the correct starting position such that, when the 'start' button is pressed, all 20 targets will be visited.

To start the game in motion, press the orange triangle found in the lower left corner of the play field; the stop button is the orange square. You may only change the settings of the puzzle when the game is stopped.

Analysis: As I mentioned above, the first time I launched Clack I was deeply puzzled. There was certainly nothing obvious about it. And yet after a bit of poking and prodding I managed to make a few clacking noises, ...and a beep(!) I was instantly hooked. From there the game pulled me in and wouldn't let go until I had lit up all 20 targets.

This engaging and compelling puzzle game fits perfectly with what I had in mind for this competition. It was the kind of puzzle where you are given no instructions and have no idea what to do at first. And even after you do figure out what is required of you, there still remains the mystery of how.

Besides being truly delightful to discover its behavior and intricacies, the game is beautiful and it looks like a work of art to me. So unassuming, plain and simple on the surface, and then so intricately detailed once you examine it up close. Absolutely wonderful, from start to finish, and brilliant.

Congratulations, Sean on an excellent, creative and original puzzle game. I do hope that you plan to expand this design into a larger, multi-level game (with a level editor, too!) =D

JohnBJohn: Clack combines several key elements of captivating casual game design: a simple, attractive layout, easy to understand gameplay, and an absolutely riveting concept. From your first glance at the game your mind is hungry to understand what's going on. Once you figure it out, it's a joy to uncover the solution, yet that's only the beginning of the fun. My personal favorite aspect of the game is the great 'clack' noise the paddles make when they collide. It's the little things that count! A big congratulations to Sean for creating a fantastic game.

dancemonkeydancemonkey: My favorite thing about Clack is how little information you're given about the puzzle itself. You're just dropped into a strange interface and must discover for yourself not just the puzzle's rules, but even the object of the puzzle itself. The design is elegant and simple, and I agree with John about the sound: the game's titular sound is essential to drawing you in and keeping you hooked.

NoahNoah: Maybe Clack should have been called Click; the split second when the initially confusing interface clicks in your mind is very satisfying. The deceptively simple concept reveals an increasingly complex and mesmerizing series of interactions through lovely animation and striking color. Congratulations Sean!

Play Clack

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Long-time reader, first-time poster...

Anyways, here's an answer:

Are you sure? It gives away the whole thing at once, you know.

52 Comments

Hassle Free Author Profile Page August 31, 2006 11:54 PM

nice review, I admit, the first time I tryed it, I gave up before I had figured out how it worked. Now that I have figured it out, it is really enjoyable. Incidentally, I cannot find that elusive 17. Oh well, now to find that number...

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I can't seem to get past 16/20 for this one, i feel like iv'e tried everything...

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damn, i thought i'd had the first comment for this one :) guess i was 2 minutes too late.... looks like we're having the same problem though.

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Hassle Free Author Profile Page August 31, 2006 11:58 PM

yes!!! I beat it!!! And never a spoiler in sight. Great game Sean!

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help? i can't find 17 :(

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I forgot to mention in the review, that the numbers have a small arrow pointing in the direction of the next number.

17 stumped me for a while, too. Keep poking around in that area and you'll get it. =)

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i know where (i think) it should be, but i feel like when i have the dots at the right length they end up hitting something else before they get to where i want them. this is hard :(

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Hassle Free Author Profile Page September 1, 2006 12:03 AM

Allegra

it is not over by the 20 so you need to extend one, and contract another.

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aagh i can't get it. i give up, i'm going to bed :)

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Whoo! I finished it.

While I was playing it during the puzzle competition I figured out the controls pretty much straight away but I didn't bother to get 20/20.

Anyway, it's actually not that hard once you get it going. I just had to keep running the thing and extending/contracting one or two as I figured out where to go next.

Overall it was a great game with a great design.

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I had trouble getting 17 as well, and swore I tried everything.

I gave up, came back to it the next day and solved it with no problem.

I still wonder if somehow something was wrong the first time and even putting everything in the right position wasn't working.

As a very mild hint I'll say that it is nothing fancy like #6 or anything. Pretty straight forward in fact.

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I guess I had a beginners luck with this one. It took only a while to solve it and then I just thought: "Umm, solved, next one!"

But after reading all other peoples' comments I have to agree that this is a piece of art and perfectly designed clockwork. However, those advantages were also features that lessen my personal interest. I am a friend of modern art but I like more coarse, flagrant and harsh styles. Therefore my artistical choice would have been (and is!) 'Submachine zero'. I just love Mateusz's art of drawing and all Submachine soundtracks are just excellent.

But back to Clack. I am a bit foppish but what if you could have Clack with different skins?... And how to increase the replay value that seem to be so important for me? I don't know. Maybe it's the plot missing or some goal not achieved that I yearn. In Houses I got a beautiful house, here I don't get anything but success of solving the right combination.

And please Sean, don't take this too harsh. It's just a matter of personal taste.

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Played again so it was not only a beginners luck in the first time. Actually the most difficult part was after turning point ten. There's one mallet

that is not needed at all. You just have to make sure

it does not hit any other mallets.

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After initial confusion, I really loved Clack. I couldn't put it down until I've found all 20 points.

However, one big gripe and one small one.

Big gripe - I want more! There is a great little unique puzzler somewhere inside this game and it's a pity to leave it at just this one level.

Small gripe - the game could've used a FF button. In the beginning it's not that important but once you start fidgeting with 17th and 18th point it gets kinda drudgy to wait the first 16 every time.

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At first I got 12/20, but the next time I played I frogot what I did and now I can't get pat 4/20 :(

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every time i hit twenty it doesn't count it. I got all the other numbers!

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Umm, strange? Is it really the last mallet on the right that hits twenty?

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Isn't the last mallet on the right

the mallet you don't hit?

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Aidan, you got to put even the last mallet on the right on move.

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>> Small gripe - the game could've used a FF button. In the beginning it's not that important but once you start fidgeting with 17th and 18th point it gets kinda drudgy to wait the first 16 every time.

HEAR HEAR! God it was so annoying to go through all the previous Clacks to check and see if you got the next one right.

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I thought the interplay between the two triple mallets and the one double mallet in the middle of the board was very well done. I wish more of the puzzle was like that, although I admit that would've ramped the difficulty considerably.

(And I third the need for a fast-forward button. Something to think about for next time, perhaps.)

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This is one of those games I loved because I "got" it immediately. It took me very little time to work through it. Very logic-puzzly, but in a way you can work through and experiment with. I like that. :)

MY only complaint is that when I got up near 20, I'd get a little frustrated waiting for the clackers to clack all the way around to see if I'd set it right to hit 17, or 18, or whatever the next number was. But then, I stand and stare and the microwave going "NUKE FASTER!" so my patience-level probably is not a good guide here.

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Great little game .. I was instantly hooked .. wouldn't mind to see more levels.Nice Going Sean!

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That was a good game! did all 20 without help! it was a great puzzle!

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i'm the same exact way. there SHOULD be a FF button.

.....still never found 17... too lazy to go and find it now.

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GentleSavage Author Profile Page September 1, 2006 2:49 PM

man i can't seem to get 13. can anyone give me some help?

i don't exactly know what i did to get to 12, as it was a mistake in getting there. getting 6 stumped me, and i made a mistake, atleast i thought it was a mistake, and i wound up at 12 oddly enough.

so any help would be nice.

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i got it!, finally, i got right through until number 17 that part took me about an hour LOL, like others said, just walk off for a minute and then come back you will figure it out.

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Such a great puzzle..

Finding out what to do was the easiest part for me; only took about a minute of playing with the mouse.
I found #6 completely by accident though; pretty neat how you have to do it. About the "not finding 17" I think it might be a glitch, because i hit the same spot twice in a row, swapped some pieces, and then went back to my previous setup and it was there.. not an hour spent on it though so that was good.

(first time attempting spoiler tags)

There is one post you dont need (as you should know from reading the comments)

It is the middle one on the right most 3-some of posts

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Great game and not too hard, not too easy. My only complaint is that sometimes the wrong mallet was changed when I clicked, and that was very annoying, because when it was all cluttered up, it was a bit difficult to see which one I mistakenly changed where...

I think the waiting time was actually a good thing, it added to the excitement and frustration when you had made a mistake. I mean... the best thing about the game was the anticipation when you THOUGHT you had done everything right... it would have been lame if you could see immediately if it was right. It also forces you to think twice before you try something. With an FF button, you could just use trial and error.

Great game!

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Please Digg this to help us spread the word on Sean's fantastic puzzle. Cheers!

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great game!

I knew something great could come from louisiana. glad to see this was the number one game.

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YES! i finished it in 15 minutes, i like it, it's funn and i couldnt stop until i completed it

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Joey VanAlstyne September 1, 2006 9:32 PM

SOMEBODY needs to post a screenshot. Because I'm lame and don't want to do it by myself.

:P

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I actually had the most trouble with the 6th for some reason. 17 I swear I tried with the right positions and tried some others then went back to the first one and somehow I beat the game. Sad cuz' I was doing something else when I was waiting for the first 16 and then I looked at it and I hit 20.

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17 will be the death of me!!! I cannot find it!! Feels like I have tried every possible combination (obviously I'm wrong, but... ARGH!)

Just wanted to vent. Otherwise, this is a GREAT game!

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Urban Garlic September 2, 2006 2:50 PM

Long-time reader, first-time poster...

Anyways, here's an answer:

Are you sure? It gives away the whole thing at once, you know.

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FunkCracker September 7, 2006 4:14 PM

Another suggestion: highlight the mallet you are hovering over. A couple of times I moved the wrong mallet trying to move another. Not a big deal, but it would just make the UI a little cleaner.

Great game!

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Number Number September 15, 2006 7:50 AM

It took me 20 minutes, but the puzzle is a relative breeze. Nice work, I would love to see more levels.

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BornRaisedInCSA October 21, 2006 5:38 PM

It is all about the placement of the mallets. If that right one isn't in the right place, it won't work.

This was my biggest problem with getting #17.

It's the lower mallet that triggers #16 as well as the next mallet. Even though the mallet from #15 will trigger #16, it won't trigger the mallet for #17 despite being on the same path as the other one.

BTW, the center mallet on the right most triple axis one, is used...

it's used to trigger #5 as well as send the chain back to the left for #6.

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i need help with ten to eleven please

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Hehe - it's always the simple ones that give you the most trouble. Thought I was having trouble working out 12 - 13 but...

It turns out that actually my issue was further back. I'd managed to screw the links so that the topmost individual arm ended up swinging the wrong way - doh!

... Turns out I was just getting ahead of myself.

Top game!

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Yay I just finished this... only 2 years late. Not bad.

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NeEdLeSs NoOdLeS Author Profile Page August 1, 2008 4:27 PM

It was surprisingly easy once I figured out what to do. Only down side is that I found the colour scheme headache inducing.

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forgot nick :) August 27, 2008 6:55 AM

Yeah, very pretty game since you know the clue. And I also did not immediately guessed what to do.

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Yes, puzzle completed!

That was fun. Not too hard, not too long, intuitive, different, interesting. I especially love the paths of the mallets becoming visible with mouseover, nice effect (and very helpful!). Well-made and fun!

The moment the game "clicks" in your head and you figure out what's going on is definitely great (and doesn't take too long to arrive at despite being instructionless - simplicity very much appreciated).

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The game is cute! Fun graphics, not too much. Keeping it simple is the best way to go!
That screen shot posted helped me out but I only used it for the first mallet, and found the rest on my own!
Love this game!

Oh, and I agree; a Fast Forward button would be nice!

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This was great! hope it's ok to comment so much after the fact, but i wanted to leave some praise and u wonder if they've expanded it yet? Also, the first thing i thought when i saw the name and then when i saw the game was of a "toy" we had when I was a kid (in the '70's) - basically it was 2 very heavy, hard glass balsl on a string with a knot in the middle. you held the knot and banged the balls together, makin a clacking sound, hence we called them "Clackers". I wonder if this was the inspiration for this game? Also, I've often wished I still had a pair of them, although i wouldn't want my kids getting ahold of them!

Love the site guys, thanks!

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Anonymous March 8, 2009 7:27 PM

that was fun, after I figured out how to get started =)

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Woo! I won without using the walkthrough! :)

Took a while, though...

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CLACK is just a flash clone of the game "incredible machine" with a much- lessen simple theme and innovative approach of how to get from point a to point b .

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I totally support all the positive comments, and found the puzzle intriguing, engaging and very beautiful to watch. Those complaints about having to run the whole 'machine' to get to the higher numbers have missed the point - part of the puzzle is to work out as much as you can BEFORE a re-run! You've found a great genre here Sean, please develop it - maybe 3D clacks... with a slightly different sound depending on the arm length... musical clacks........................................

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Cute, quaint, weird little game. No, it looks and acts more like a web toy to me. 5/5 none the less.

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