Sawbuck Gamer

Twelve O

Put Your Hands Up

Twelve O is only a matter of time.

By Anthony John Agnello • October 17, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

Playing Ozzie Mercado’s Twelve O feels a lot like being trapped in a Type A achiever’s brain. You are constantly considering and reconsidering how to manipulate the clock to make sure everything is done at the right time. It’s simple management: The clock’s hands need to point to the titular hour. Clicking the clock lets you move the yellow minute hand toward your goal, but alas, any clock connected to the one you’re manipulating moves its hand as well. Like a haphazard day planner, the clocks rarely match up, so you have to plan your time-shifting deliberately.

The first 12 levels, clean screens of red, black, and yellow—looking like an Alexander Calder tribute to Germany—are simple, with the clocks sharing a one-to-one relationship. Even if the spatial logic is frustrating at first, some flailing experimentation will get you through. The next tier of levels, the game’s blue period—where clocks on a white background move in reverse to those in blue—is trickier, but still lends itself to fudging. The final green stages, though, are hair pullers. Big clocks rotate in smaller increments than small clocks, and more planning and preparation are needed to succeed.

They’re well considered puzzles, and there’s just enough to serve as a brief diversion, but the controls are questionable. Mere twitches of the mouse are enough to knock your precious alignment out of order, breaking your concentration in the process. Then again, broken concentration is the go-to excuse for all poor planners.

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237 Responses to “Put Your Hands Up”

  1. His_Space_Holiness says:

    A time-wasting game about precise time management? Are we sure this wasn’t secretly financed by the world’s office managers?

  2. SaoirseRonanTheAccuser says:

    Much like that Excel Spreadsheet game from a few months back, I’m genuinely embarrassed at how addicting I find this.  Am I just dissatisfied with my life?  How did it come to this?