If there’s one horror game I’ve wanted to get my hands on for a while, it’s Clock Tower. While later entries in the series received Western releases, the original 1995 Japanese title never made it over. But that will soon change.
WayForward, known for their Ducktales remaster, will publish a “Port+” of Human Entertainment’s classic survival horror game. The port will receive new cutscenes, theme music, and an English translation. Currently, it’s scheduled for an early 2024 release date.
The original Clocktower has players step into the shoes of orphan Jennifer Simpson. Adopted by the Barrows family and brought to their manor with other adoptees, the new home life becomes less than welcoming. Namely, downright murderous, as an entity named Scissorman stalks her through the manor. I won’t tell you his weapon of choice, but his name should give you a context clue.
While the game sold fairly well according to director Hifumi Kono, it never made it outside Japan. The Super Famicon (or SNES, in the West) title received updated re-releases for the PlayStation and even the Wii. But still, only in Japan.
Confusingly, Clock Tower 2 did come out in the West but under the name Clock Tower. So you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d played the original in English. Two more games arrived later, of course renamed Clock Tower II and 3 for audiences outside Japan. The title has continued to inspire survival horror games.
Thankfully, soon you can actually play the original Clock Tower. The latest port of the point-and-click classic will arrive in 2024, announced by WayForward and Limited Run Games. And the platform list is plentiful. It will release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. WayForward will publish the digital release, followed by select physical copies from Limited Run. They’ve got to make up for lost time somehow, right?
In the meantime, you may want to check out the film Phenomena by Dario Argento. Why? Kono took inspiration from the film, especially in terms of story and design. Argento also directed Suspiria, so the man knows horror design. In fact, Clock Tower protagonist Jennifer shares more than a name with Phenomena lead Jennifer Connelly. Both Jennifers have strikingly similar appearances. What better way to prepare for a classic horror game than with the classic horror film that inspired it?