Imagine if you had the power to turn back time, think of all the things you’d be able to change in your favor. Now imagine that you only had the power to turn back time 5 minutes every hour, things seem a lot less grandeur than you had originally envisioned. Chrono Clock’s main character finds out he has the power to turn back time every hour, but can only go back to 5 minute prior. What does he use this small, but extraordinary power to for? Why to try and get a girlfriend of course.
After a short introduction to our protagonist Rei, he informs you this isn’t some grandeur story of adventure and mysticism, but more of a quiet telling of his school-life with his newfound ability. Rei is your average high school boy, who also happens to be the air to the largest corporation in Japan. Although he’s set to inherit his family’s business after high-school, he wants nothing but a quiet, relaxing school life and doesn’t want to be tied down by his family name.
Chrono Clock is the first visual novel eroge that I’ve played in a long time and I wasn’t sure what to expect since I hadn’t heard much of the game initially. As you’d come to expect, the story is told through an anime-style sequence with characters changing facial expressions and positions to mimic movement. After getting accustomed to the menus and setting up all of the highly convenient features the game offers, I was pleasantly surprised with how polished and enjoyable Chrono Clock is.
Many of the characters you interact with tend to fall into the usual tropes you’re accustomed to in anime and other Japanese media. You have the overly childish girl who puts on airs, the cute younger sister who wants nothing more than to be together with you, the tsundere who’s actually part of a yakuza family and the down-to-earth best friend who’s always got your back. Chrono Clock also features a bodacious Goddess known as Chrono who is the source of your time travelling powers. Chrono follows you wherever you go, unless she deems what you’re doing as boring since you’re the only person who can see or hear her.
The main story centers around a young girl named Miu, who you find dead right after school finishes one morning. Turns out she’d accidentally fallen from the school rooftop after confessing her feelings to your best friends. Rei immediately breaks his pocket watch, which thrusts him back in time five minutes before finding the body. He immediately runs to the rooftop only to find both Miu and Shuuji conversing in the midst of her confession. Due to Rei’s intervention, Miu doesn’t fall off the roof to her demise, but in turn he’s ruined her confession. One thing leads to another and you end up coaching Miu on how to successfully confess her feelings and get over her social ineptitude.
Chrono Clock is graced with beautifully drawn characters and vistas, everything feels fresh and the art style is consistent throughout the game. It’s possibly one of the prettiest eroge’s I’ve had the opportunity to play through. I believe huge props are in order to Purple Software for the excellent artwork. All of the background locations are so well-done, with some of them even being slightly animated, if memory serves right. Chrono Clock excels in terms of visual quality as well as musical score.
Music is a big portion of visual novels as you would probably know, since there’s a lot of reading going on, you’re going to want to have something nice to listen to. Chrono Clock features some great sounding instrumental tracks that match the mood of what’s transpiring in the game. A large portion of character dialog is also voiced, the protagonist is silent, but nearly every other character has tons of dialog to compliment the reading. As a side note, the dialog is in Japanese, with the option to turn it off of course if you prefer just text.
Tons of configuration options are available to you to change to your preference. You can manage what kind of font you want to use, on top of being able to change the dialog box color and transparency. Since you’re dealing with tons of text to read, scrolling the mouse wheel up allows you to see all the prior dialog you’ve read and clicking on the character’s portrait allows you to relisten to the dialog at any time. This is one of the most comprehensive visual novels I’ve ever played, with plenty of options and convenient features to make your play experience more enjoyable.
As you’d expect from a visual novel eroge, pretty much all of the girls you interact with are romanceable and it’s pretty easy to tell when you’re on a certain route. Chrono Clock doesn’t feature many choices, nowhere near the same level as something like Persona, but if you do decide that you want to jump to the next choice or the previous choice, the game gives you the option to do so at any time. This is great for when you decide to begin another girls route and lets you skip past all the fluff to get to the knitty gritty stuff.
Possibly my only gripe with Chrono Clock would be that the Steam version doesn’t include the 18+ stuff. As I’ve come to expect this from Steam releases, I wasn’t so shocked when I found out, but after seeing that the game had already been translated with the explicit content I felt disappointed that it wasn’t available. After checking the Steam forums I found out that the team is “exploring a patch”, but this usually ends up fruitless. I’m still quite the optimist and hope that Purple Software does the right thing and include an optional patch for the 18+ content.
I would easily recommend Chrono Clock to any visual novel fans or newcomers interested in an relaxing yet unique take on the genre. The story is lighthearted enough that it doesn’t get complicated, but does offer depth the further along you get. Purple Software have really outdone themselves with this release and they’ve found a loyal customer in me, but please guys include an 18+ patch in the near future!