There are two types of games which I look for. Games which provide fun experiences, and games which bring new ideas to activate emotions within the player. Claws of Furry lands in neither category, mainly because of its boring gameplay and short length.
It must be said that I’m not expecting too much when I play an indie game. But at the very least I’m expecting a fun time which I can hopefully share with my friends. It’s a wonder then that even with the slither of potential this game has, it is neither fun nor an experience I want to share with my friends. Claws of Furry is repetitive, boring and extremely short. And at the price of £8.39, it should be avoided at all costs. You will regret purchasing it.
Claws of Furry is a (kind-of) rogue-like 2D platformer developed by Terahard Ltd. The game has three modes which you can play, though two of them only have the smallest of feature differences to separate them from being identical to one another. There’s the main rogue-like mode which has you fighting against enemies and bosses with one life. Once you die you have to start all over again, just like any other rogue-like. There’s the arena mode bringing a horde-based mode where you fight off waves of enemies, and finally there’s pussycat mode. And it is this which is identical to the main rogue-like, but if you die it will allow you to try again at the beginning of the level you died on instead of at the start of the campaign.
You play as a cat ninja whose mouse master (at least it looks like a mouse) is abducted by a dog controlling a transformer-like robot. No I’m not making this up. You venture on a quest to save your master by battling through four different environments, defeating multiple enemies unique to that environment on each level until you arrive at the boss level. When you’ve defeated the boss, you’ll move onto the next environment until you finally beat the final guardian of the game.
Here is the main problem with Claws of Furry though: although the gameplay is responsive enough, it is extremely boring. The combat is basic and far too simple even for somebody who doesn’t play video games regularly. There are two attack buttons – one for a scratch and one for an uppercut – a dodge button which usually makes the combat situation more stressful, putting you off using it for that reason, and a unique ability which when charged allows you to dash through your opponents with ninja effectiveness.
Trust me I’m making the combat sound far better than it is. It is dull and tedious, even after just a few levels. And while the enemy designs are fairly intriguing, the AI seems to aggravate you more than being able to fairly challenge you, leaving a foul taste in your mouth every time you play the game. You’ll be jumping and dodging ferociously in order to defeat one or two enemies who aren’t even difficult to defeat, but it’s the combat that is so basic you dare not want to have to start the level all over again for fear of boredom.
All things considered, the different environments found in Claws of Furry look pretty good, and although I hope the combat is never transferred to another game, the art style and concept design is good. It looks like a world I want to explore further, and assisted by the borderlands-inspired boss introduction animations, it’s something to enjoy within this state of dull repetitiveness.
Sadly, the game’s faults quickly become apparent again because of overlong cinematics which don’t allow you to skip individual pieces of dialogue, but instead make you watch the infuriatingly slow dialogue exchanges, or provides you with the only other option of making you skip the whole ‘cutscene’ as it were. That is poor game design if ever there was some.
Furthermore, the Achievements, while either far too easy (kill one-hundred enemies) or far too hard (survive 40 waves in the arena – no thank you) seem to be broken. After tracking my progress for my first play session, the game seems to stop tracking any progress towards the completion of achievements. Some of them are fine: an achievement for defeating each environment boss, for instance, but most of this achievement design/progress system is broken. If you like Gamerscore, you may be disappointed.
Additionally, there are little-to-no rogue-like elements which make your character stronger. You unlock – though the progression seems to be broken completely – new costumes, some of which are funny and refreshing, with them containing new bonuses for your character; bonuses such as additional health or more powerful uppercut attacks. If this is supposed to be the driving force to make your character stronger for the next playthrough, then it’s an unrewarding venture no-one should embark on if they can help it.
I want to finish by emphasising that there are some good elements contained within this project. There are even tiny glimpses of potential with the combat since the game is fairly responsive, but there is not enough choice given to the player. With slow dialogue, repetitive and stressful combat encounters in which enemies glitch out of the map and push you into lava far more than you deserve, and a game length which is rather insulting for the price, I can only be honest and tell you to stay away from Claws of Furry.
That may be unfortunate, but it is also very honest.