Clock Tower / Human Entertainment (1997)

The Atari 2600's Verdict:
Hey, they ripped off my very own Hide and Seek! Bastich!
Barney Clark's Verdict:
Science has yet to design the heart that can withstand this game.
My Verdict:
A hell of a lot of fun -- once you get past the freaking beginning.

Game Information

Game Type:
Author Info:
Uh... well, they are from Japan. is still available, cyber squatters, so do be kind. Looks like they also did Clock Tower II, AirBoardin' USA, F1 Pole Position, Fire ProWrestling S: 6 Men Scramble (the hell if I know....) Human Grand Prix
Download Link:

I bought a Playstation this weekend so that I could play this game. Well, this, Silent Hill and Parappa the Rapper, really. I was worried that Clock Tower would be out of print soon so I put an order in with EB World a couple months back. The Playstation has really taken it to that higher level as of late -- one thing I loved about the Saturn was all the "niche" games it had. Nights, Virtua Cop, Sonic-R... great games that you couldn't really play elsewhere. Or even their close approximations. Of course, the assholes at UPS did quite a number on my Saturn when I tried to have it shipped out to Colorado. While searching for porn, they ripped open the box, attached a rope to the poor thing and had a couple of Cambodian fire dragons play tetherball with it. Considering the sheer number of crazy no-life whackjobs on the net who are no doubt just about to snap, they'll eventually get theirs. Back to the point, though, The Playstation, now having a tremendous installed base, offers a chance for a developer like Japan's Human Entertainment to put out the type of game that doesn't have mass market appeal... but does have solid appeal nonetheless.

Clock Tower is a game about a sadistic murderer called the "Scissorman." He lops people's heads off and spears them with this giant pair of hedge clippers. Human Entertainment know their targeted audience -- you play through most of the game as one of two girls trying to escape that sick bastard.

The problem with the game stems from the "learning curve" which actually fails to prepare you, in the prologue, for anything you'll see later. I don't mean to come off as a greasy fanboy (well, not right now, anyway) but when I realized that the very first scene in the game had me playing the part of some old man, well, I was less than pumped, you see. I didn't see this balded geezer in any of the ads!

The prologue is probably one of the bigger pieces of crap I've had to deal with in all my years of playing video games. The voice acting is awful, the dialogue something that would cause rolled eyes and disbelieving coughs at the retard wing of the Three Mile Island preschool, and the general gameplay quite broken. I feel as though I am spoiling nothing for you by mentioning the following below-average scene:

The old guy enters the computer room. He clicks on a bunch of hot-spots. But!! He can not leave the computer room until he has clicked on these hot spots in the right order! Hahahahah!

The hell?

I wasn't going to cry into my beer or anything, but I was really pissed off that the game's "prologue" was so goddamn unplayable. And believe me. It is.

Things do get better, however.

Once getting to the first "episode" or "scenario" (whatever the hell they call it) things pick up. You're rightfully playing one of the proper, advertised characters and all hell breaks loose as the Scissorman chases you. The thing is, there were plenty of times where I jumped out of my seat while playing the game. Moments of pure shock and surprise. This isn't me hyping the ware up -- it's all painfully, embarrassingly true. The gameplay in the scenarios is, at times, pretty slow-paced... mixed with moments of button-mashing terror as you try to escape the Scissorman. Clock Tower is one of the too-few games out there capable of starting in its player a wild adrenaline rush.

Essentially, in Clock Tower you spend a lot of time skulking about the different buildings the Scissorman has you trapped in. He moves about like a caged animal, always hunting, always menacing. His character is extremely convincing. The game also appears to have a consistent internal logic -- if he surprises you and you manage to get your heart beating again you can, upon recollection, say "yes -- I quite buy that he was at this room at this time."

I can forgive a game that starts off so poorly if it's immersive and fulfilling thereafter. Clock Tower is a solid game because of its ability to suck in its player and thrash him or her about. Tremendous fun that is over far too quickly. But -- where are the nude codes?

Simple Rating
8.3 / 10

5 / 10

2 / 10

Someone really needs to tell the Japanese -- as a nation -- to get someone to look over their English text. really. Seriously. It's not funny any longer.

9 / 10

Er... again, once you get past the first bit

Puzzle Quality
6 / 10

7 / 10


Reader Comments:

May 6th, 2003

I realy love this game, it is the best

Demonic On Your Back
April 27th, 2003

ooohh...Clock Tower is my favorite...okay, there is NOTHING in this goddamn world which will express my love for the game and the series...yes, there was one original Clock Tower made in Japan that didn't come out here (bashes head against the wall!) i wanna play it so badly...i literally play Clock Tower one and two to death...all night, every night...even though i've beaten it so many times...heh, no one probably comes to this site anymore, so i'm probably just talking out my ass to a wall, but...*sighs* i long to meet someone who loves this game as much as i (although i hate companionship and love solitude)...anyway...i have a bad feeling about the new Clock Tower III, but of course, i'm still buying it ASAP. well, that's all for now...except answer this: how the fuck do i get Tim to stay alive in Jennifer's last scenario?! i can't get that...but so long *disappears*

April 18th, 2003

Mom hasn't play the first two!But she played the 3rd one and it is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!1

April 10th, 2003


Passakorn T.
March 12th, 2003

It's very good

March 11th, 2003

I serouusly need help here. Anybody know how to get through the fuggin hospital?

March 8th, 2003

Clock Tower Is A great game. It Scared The S**T out ouf me it has got some wicked graphics on it. It Scares me when it play that eire tone i give the game a good 8 / 10

January 26th, 2003

Clock Tower is too cool for words! I love to wait until nightime, turn off all the lights, and pop the disk into my PlayStation (actually, I gave my PS1 to my sisters after I got the PS2 for Christmas)! Anyway, ScissorMan is one of my favorite video game villains of all time! I had played scary video games before but Clock Tower is what really dragged me into the world of survival horror! On a scale of one to ten, Clock Tower is a 12! ^_^

November 14th, 2002

I think Clock Tower was one of the best games I've ever played! (although my mom won't let me talk about it very much. It depends on who I'm talking TO)Anyway, I love it! now if only I could beat it... The ScissorMan is one of the best video game villains I've ever seen! It is nice to have a truly frightening enemy! One that can always keep me watching out and looking around! I agree that the prologue sucks, but the awesome stuff that happens afterwards is worth the wait! The only problem is, when you save a game, it won't let you see the cinema so if I want the good stuff, I have to remove my memory card for a little while! By the way, have you ever noticed the connection with the sequel, Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within? If not, think Maxwell...

November 11th, 2002

I love clock tower game's! my favorite charater is Jennifer! and in clock tower 2 is of course Alyssa oh and Stephanie lol!

Roody Yogurt
August 13th, 2000

Not that it really is important or anything, but I think I'll also mention that I believe the US version is actually a sequel to a strictly Japanese version; that somewhat esplains the convoluted plot. What I liked and dislike most about this game was the aforementioned learning curve.  Since I didn't really read the instructions, when I finally got to see the Scissorman, I had my ass handed to me repeatedly and I admit, it was quite scary (er, suspenseful).  Once I learned what one is supposed to do when confronted, the difficulty of the game dropped dramatically and the suspense waned.  By the time I got to the last act or whatever, it was like, 'okay, let's get this over with.'  Unfortunately, I never beat it, though, since the last act is pretty bitch-ass, IMO. In any case, yeah, overall, it's a good game.  As far as Playstation games go, I'd also recommned the first Oddworld.

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