Call up a friend and sit down for a cooperative puzzle experience in Tick Tock: A Tale for Two, where players have to work together to describe what they’re seeing and combine clues to advance. Tick Tock: A Tale for Two works without a connection between players, so communication outside the game is the only way for players to help each other and find solutions.
Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 1.5 hours
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Tick Tock: A Tale for Two is a cooperative puzzle game. Each player takes on the role of a different character and they must communicate what they see and hear in order to mutually solve puzzles and advance together. Players do not connect to each other remotely, both games can be played entirely offline and on different device types. In most cases, half of the answer to a puzzle is in one player’s game and the other half is in the other player’s.
Tick Tock: A Tale for Two is a short experience taking about one and a half to two hours for players to complete. In each area, there are four buildings to interact with and explore. Typically elements from each building will relate to clues in the other player’s building of the same type. Players progress through the different buildings, using their clues to unlock steadily more information to be able to progress to the next area. There’s a short but intriguing story featuring two sisters in which one has disappeared and the interweaving of their lives with clocks. Clocks are a substantial theme throughout the game and feature in a number of the puzzles.
There was one puzzle, my partner and I had difficulty with due to the way it was set up. The puzzle involved each player inputting a code within a specified amount of time. The code went back and forth telling players what the next element in the sequence was. We found that we often timed out in the time it took for us to figure out what the item was and then say it such that the other player would have enough time to input it. It would have been nice if the timing had been increased to account for how long it takes the player to both figure out what the clue is telling, which element it indicates, and for them to communicate that to the other player.
I really liked the concept of a cooperative puzzle game, where players were not interacting with the same elements. Instead of seeing the same screen and each other’s players and working to build a solution together. It was nice to have something that was very balanced in terms of players working alongside each other to logically solve problems and not having the game guide communication. There’s a lot more cooperative dialogue around having to explain what each player sees, whether it is or is not different, and each player interpreting the clues in front of them to try to match up with what the other player had described seeing.
Overall, I really liked Tick Talk: A Tale for Two. I hope to see other cooperative puzzle games like this in the future. I was a little sad with how short it was, but I felt it fit the length of the story being told and I thought the story was pretty intriguing. We struggled a little bit with the timing puzzle, just in the time delay of trying to communicate back and forth. But overall I liked having separate screens and separate communication methods. I recommend Tick Tock: A Tale for Two for pairs of players looking to solve puzzles together, as long as they have reasonable communication skills with each other.
What other cooperative games have you enjoyed?
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