Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 194,519,146 Issue: 771 | 3rd day of Running, Y19
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Clockwork Codebreaker: A Guide for Trophy Collectors

by biometeorologist


Clockwork Codebreaker is a fun puzzle game that is not very well-known. It is similar to Time Tunnel, but there is no timer. Since you can take your time, it is much less stressful. Anyone can learn to play and win a trophy with the right strategy.


The objective of Clockwork Codebreaker is to solve the code in three different levels. In each level, there are gears surrounding a red button. The gears have different runes inscribed on them. Each level is slightly more difficult than the last, so there are more gears and runes. In levels one, two, and three, there are four, six, and eight runes, respectively. There are also four, five, and six gears, respectively.

The code is defined by the runes that are above the red button. For example, if there are four blank sections and two red runes above the red button, the code that is entered is four blanks and two red runes. The order matters for the code. The rune on top can be adjusted by clicking to the left and right of the rune on top for the corresponding gear. Once you are satisfied with the code, press the red button to enter the code. This will cause the light bulbs above the gears to light up. A green light bulb mean that the correct rune is in the right position, a red light bulb means that the rune is completely incorrect, and a yellow light bulb means that the correct rune is in the wrong position. Using the last example of four blanks and two red runes—if four green light bulbs light up with one red light bulb and one yellow light bulb, this means that four of the runes are correct and in the right position, one rune is completely wrong, and one rune is correct but in the wrong position. The order of the light bulbs is insignificant and does not correspond with the order of the runes.

You can attempt to solve the code 12 times in each level. You do not have to keep track of how many times you attempted to solve the code because it is indicated by a gauge to the left of the light bulbs. You get the same number of points in each level, regardless of how quickly it took to solve the code and how many times you attempted to solve it. At the end of levels one, two, and three, you earn 220, 520, and 1000 points in total, respectively.


The tricky part of Clockwork Codebreaker is figuring out the code with just 12 guesses in each level. The first thing you should do in every level is enter all blanks at first because this will provide some useful starting information. For example, on the first level, if you enter four blanks and the result is two green lights and two red lights, that means two out of the four gears should be set to blank. The issue is that we do not know which two of the four gears are correct. To keep things simple, keep the two blank gears on top as blanks and move the bottom two gears counterclockwise one time each to set them to white runes.

If the result is two green lamps and two red lamps again, this means that the two blank gears are correct and the two white runes are incorrect—this gives you two valuable pieces of information in one guess! This is very important for solving the puzzle within 12 guesses or less. From then on, you can keep the blank gears where they are for the rest of the level since you know those are correct. Move the bottom two gears counterclockwise one more time each to set them to purple runes. If the result is three green light bulbs and one red light bulb, that means one of the bottom two gears must be correct. Using the same strategy as before, just move one of them counterclockwise one more time and check if three green light bulbs stay on.

Things get confusing when there are a lot of yellow light bulbs. Going back to the example with two green lights and two red lights with four gears set to blanks, the result could also be two yellow lamps and two red lamps when the bottom two gears were set to white runes. In this case, since the total amount of yellow and green lamps stayed the same as before, this means that the gears that were marked correct earlier are just in the wrong position. This means that the bottom two gears should be set to blanks.

In general, try to move gears in the same direction so you do not forget what you tried already. It is also helpful to write down what works and what does not work, so you can figure things out by process of elimination. Also, do not be afraid to restart if you get stuck. Sometimes, the runes are arranged in a way that is difficult to solve quickly.

With some practice, Clockwork Codebreaker is a reliable and quick way to earn Neopoints every day. In addition, it is easy to grab a trophy on the first day of the month. Since completing all three levels gives you a score of 1000 points—a perfect score—this automatically places you in the top of the high score boards. Since the game is not very popular, you can secure a gold trophy quickly if you play soon after the reset at around 12:10AM NST. Make sure you do not start the game before the high score boards reset. Wait for them to reset first! Submitting too early will cause you to have issues submitting your score.

If you enjoy this game, you should also check out Time Tunnel. It is similar in strategy, but it has a time limit and you have to solve as many puzzles as you can in a short amount of time. There is also a trophy for that game, but it is harder to obtain. Good luck cracking these codes!

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