Claws Of Furry is a new indie 2D arcade platform brawler from independent studio Terahard. Players play as a cat dressed in a variety of costumes from ninja suits to ones based on popular superheroes such as Batman and Deadpool. Gameplay involves playing through very short stages of just a few screens and a handful of enemies then a boss battle at the end of each stage. Enemies are rats with a variety of different types and the game has a simple combat system with some basic combos and a special meter that can be filled by landing blows to deliver a special dash attack move when full.
There are several references made to popular culture in the game and some humour such as the first boss who begins the fight with a t-shirt on that says “Do You Even Cheese Bro” referencing popular memes and has a hamster on his back. Before ripping the shirt off in his second phase to reveal a suit underneath that looks a lot like Skeletor from He-man. All of this is what attracted me to the game to begin with but I am sad to say sums up most of the game’s plus points.
Gameplay as I have mentioned involves playing through short stages with a handful of enemies of different types of rat in a 2D side scrolling beat em up style with some light platforming. Then there is a boss fight at the end of the stage. There are two main game modes. Rogue Mode, which if you die you have to start at the beginning of level 1. Pussycat Mode says you can save your progress and start at the beginning of the current level when you die. The trouble is it doesn’t. Both modes reset when you die and you get one life. Coupled with the fact that the game’s difficulty is very high with you only being able to take 4 or 5 hits before you die. You can collect red orbs dropped by enemies you’ve defeated but they only give you a few hit points back. You start with 100 HP but one hit can knock you down to the 70s.
When you finish a level it says it is saving but it doesn’t. You die you are back at the beginning. I’ll be perfectly honest I never made it past the second stage. I barely managed to defeat the first boss. So I would consider this review incomplete. But if you can get any further I would doff my cap to you. The game’s difficulty only taking a few hits to die coupled with controls and movement that is pretty inconsistent with how reliable the game is with reading your controller inputs. Makes it utterly frustrating. With a lot more polish to tighten up controls and a more balanced difficulty level, Claws Of Furry could have been a fun little arcade game. You can unlock new costumes which will buff your attacks and health but they take a while to unlock. Although I unlocked one that made the first stage easier I couldn’t get very far into the second so kept having to repeat stage 1 over and over again. My guess is the developers have tried to extend the length of the game by making you grind for more costumes to get through it. Which is completely counter-active and takes any fun out of the game. You can also play with up to 4 people locally which I haven’t had the chance to try out at the time of this review so cannot comment if this helps with the difficulty or not.
There is an Arena Mode which sees you fighting waves of the different enemies in various different stages from the main mode against the clock to try and kill as many enemies within the time limit.
Graphics & Sound
Graphically the game looks good with a cartoony almost comic book type art style and characters are well designed and imaginative. Such as there’s large rat enemy types that remind me of Bebop from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The stages are nice visually as well from what I have seen. Music and sound effects are also pleasant enough and fit well with the gameplay. It is a shame because there is a lot to like in Claws Of Furry with the visual design and general feel of the game. With a lot of humour and fun little nods to popular culture and characters. But the poor gameplay decisions made ruins any sense of fun in the game.
Claws Of Furry could have been a very fun little arcade brawler with fun characters, costumes, enemies and modes. But with poor design choices making the game more difficult, having players grind stages to unlock stat boosting costumes in what I think is an attempt to extend the game’s running time. Personally I would rather have a easier going difficulty level, that still challenges me and allow me to save at the start of each stage I’m on. Maybe have a stage select once you have beaten a stage you can go straight to that stage in subsequent play sessions. At least in Pussycat Mode they could keep Rogue Mode as the one life mode but it still needs to tone the difficulty down considerably. High difficulty games only work if the controls are on point but with Claws Of Furry it’s hit and miss with clunky movement and unreliable button inputs. So it merely leads to frustration when it often goes wrong.
Published & Developed By: Terahard
Release Date: Out Now
Platforms: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, Switch & PC