Claws of Furry - A Scratchy Brawler Game
Claws of Furry is a game that gives you the ability to play with multiple friends as you scratch your way through four worlds with varying baddies, trying to save your master, who's been kidnapped by what appears to be Lady and the Tramp's Trusty in a mech suit.
As cool as this sounds, this game is not too polished and I would only recommend it for those that adore the brawler genre so much that they have to play every one of them. It may also be good for fans of the old-school Flash game feel. However, in general there are better brawlers out there, with more punch for your buck.
Not the Ninja way
This game is a brawler and you play as a ninja feline. This in and of itself is a problem. Not that cats can’t be ninjas. They are probably more capable than dogs. It’s just the mechanics of a brawler, and Claws of Furry in particular, are to defeat all the enemies in each level.
This is basically against the very concept of being a ninja, where if you have an objective then your task is to complete it while avoiding unnecessary fights or entanglements. This is because the idea is to be lithe and not a brute. This dog catnapped your master, your objective should be to rescue him first and foremost. Why must you stop and uppercut every croc in the sewer to do this?
There were a few times that I had started to move past enemies in some of the more open levels to try and sneak by, only to remember the goal was to defeat them all. So I begrudgingly had to double back and pummel them for just existing and not because they were in my way. Which in essence reminded me that this was all a game.
This game is short, it took me longer to write this review, edit the words, and publish it than it did to play the game itself. My video streaming is about three and a half hours. Half of that time was trying to defeat the final boss of the whole game, who, in a fair fight, is brutal given it demands more responsiveness than the controls seem to give you.
However, I did beat the game, a feat apparently no YouTuber did before me according to a regular watcher. Is this because I’m a god of gaming? Nah, it’s just because I found a secret technique (aka exploit), which I will cover in the Kanga-fu Technique section for those who want to play this and do it ‘legitimately’.
In the climatic moment of the Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, the crew of the Enterprise is being hunted by Khan. During that moment Kirk was informed about an Achilles' heel that he could use to defeat his opponent. Spock stated that Khan’s thought patterns showed signs of two dimensional thinking. In response Captain Kirk lowers his ship on the z-axis and sets up an ambush.
So what does this have to do with this game? This brawler is two dimensional after all, it’s not like you can attack from the third dimension.
Well, I started to notice a problem with the way in which the enemies were programmed in the game, particularly the bosses. The best way I can describe it is that they show signs of “one dimensional thinking”. If you as the player are in front of them or behind them, their attack patterns behave as normal. But if you jump on their head and continually bounce off their body above them, they can freeze up, or have no way to address you.
I used this technique in two boss fights: the Mecha Trusty and the final boss. I call it kanga-fu because I found it and I’m a kangaroo, but more importantly you’re literally jumping on your opponent’s head and attacking them from above while they can’t counter.
Finding this exploit was why I personally had fun with this game, but it was not for the game itself. The fun was had at the game’s expense, not because it was providing it.
End on Something Nice
The one thing I did like about the game was the enemy design and art direction. Some look inspired by nostalgic cartoon characters. Such as the big lipped alligator boss in the sewer, which gives vibes of the infamous All Dogs Go to Heaven scene. There are enemies in the final level that looked like GizmoDuck from the original Duck Tales cartoon series. Ironically, I think the enemy art was much more aesthetically pleasing than the art of the protagonist. If this game didn’t sell well, it may have been because it’s main character looks quite ugly.
The other characters of this game however are better looking and decently animated. Each enemy also has a differing strength and weakness as well as methods of attack and defense. One memorable example is that there are German Shepherds with cop riot shields that can block, and there are little scientist toy dogs that throw projectiles at you. If you approach the little dogs to perform a melee attack they will run away from you and try to hide behind the shield of the dog cop.
In the end though, there can be moments when a clever idea I complimented above overstayed its welcome. Such as when you had these big bouncing crocs you have to lure back to wider platforms to dispatch. And moments like that were a bit more frequent than the clever, even in such a short game. So at the end of the day, I wouldn’t recommend spending your money here. There is a new BattleToads game out, and a new Ninja Turtles brawler in our future. I certainly would say these may be what you should save your money for instead.