Human Entertainment/Ascii Entertainment
Genre: Point-and-Click Survival Horror
In the mid-1990s, survival horror made a sizable dent in the gaming atmosphere. With the rise in 3D graphics and new engines to be utilized, there were all kinds of new ways to terrorize and frighten unwitting players. Major league players like Resident Evil and Silent Hill were digging their metaphorical trenches to dominate the scene for the foreseeable future while some other games joined them on their way into the new generation. Across all platforms, the horror genre was heading into its first palpable surge, at least in the US market.
Among the games that were released at that time, Human Entertainment decided to develop a sequel to their Giallo-inspired Clock Tower on the Super Famicom. With the game drawing relatively positive reactions, the environment seemed right to introduce the game to international audiences. Entering the horror arena, the US version of Clock Tower (dubbed appropriately as Clock Tower II in Japan) introduced a new brand of survival horror to the Sony Playstation.
For me, Clock Tower was an introduction to the genre as a whole. It opened up a whole new world of gaming for me- and clearly not just me. Spawning a number of sequels and successors, the Clock Tower series has been a silent presence in the field for years with influences still strongly affecting recent games like Remothered: Tormented Fathers and a new spiritual successor in NightCry from the original director, Hifumi Kono, in 2016. Whether it gains the recognition for it or not, Clock Tower has been imperative to the genre for over two decades now and has been a perennial favorite of my own. Given the season, it felt right to go back and give it another look in an attempt to relive some of my nostalgia and to give it a bit of analysis now that it’s been a while since my last run. Continue reading