Lock himself also has a few tricks up his sleeves. Special attacks allow you to cause extra damage, poison an enemy, leach life, and freeze, respectively. Each special attack has its own mini-game that typically involves spinning gears, flipping switches or pushing buttons. Super abilities allow Lock to slow all enemies, gain extra source, damage all enemies or even repair all structures. Special attacks activate every time you attack and super abilities are activated when a meter charges. Even repairing has its own special move, ratcheting, which involves flipping a ratchet back and forth to quickly repair. Lock’s Quest is not a passive game and requires your input and involvement at every turn. Also, while Lock has plenty of moves at his disposal, the Clockworks are much stronger than him. You can handle one or two, but if you get surrounded, you will die. Finding a balance between repairing your defenses and picking off weak units is a fine line, indeed.
Lock’s Quest’s simple presentation is a little underwhelming, but it’s clean and features a cute art style. Characters bob in place when stationary and feature a doll-like quality. The music reminded me of what you’d hear in an old war movie – heavy drum beats, resounding horns, quiet strings. I especially enjoyed the build themes and battle themes. The explosions and gunfire sound like you’d expect, but I especially enjoyed the little things – Lock’s grunts as he fights and his groans as he’s injured. The crumbling sound when a Clockwork is defeated. The ratcheting sound when you fix a wall. There’s a lot to like about the music and sound in the game, and it’s surprisingly diverse. It’s especially satisfying to hear a freeze trap trigger as a group walks into cannon fire.
Unfortunately, there are a few flaws with the adventure that even Lock himself can’t fix. While Lock’s Quest provides multiple cannons, traps, helpers and wall types – and you can devise multiple ways to utilize any combination of these to achieve your goals – repetition does set in. There are a few missions that task you with eliminating an enemy commander or protecting multiple source wells simultaneously, but the gameplay never really changes from start to finish. You’ll still be defending on Day 100, just like you were on Day 1, but with more options and enemies battering at your walls. And when you reach a new area, you’ll be tasked with defending it for multiple days, but the only difference between the days is largely the difficulty of the enemies.
There are also a few technical flaws. For whatever reason, Lock has difficulty repairing certain walls. This seems to occur most frequently when there is another obstacle, for example, a helper, that is partially in the way of another wall. So, if you’ve placed a helper behind a wall so that it doesn’t completely block that section off from Lock reaching it, he still won’t always fix it, even though he can reach it. This is frustrating because even though you can reach the wall, all the tapping in the world won’t let you fix it. Flickering and graphical tearing also occur when a large number of enemies are on screen. It never lasts long, but it’s still worth noting. Neither flaw is a deal breaker, but they are certainly blemishes on Lock’s technical competency.