Dungeon Dudes Tryo


As I ponder about the many things I wish to write about one spectacular game comes to mind. Claw a 2-D side scrolling platformer released for the PC and made by Monolith Productions their second game ever released. 20 years before Middle Earth: Shadow of War. Back when the go to OS for PC’s was Windows 95 we got this gem of a platformer.

The premise of the game is you play as Captain Nathaniel Joseph Claw an anthropomorphic cat tasked with collecting pieces of a treasure map and 9 jewels to fit in the amulet of nine lives. It is a colorful game bosting a wide color palate and varied level design. While varied in level design the levels themselves are quite random and chaotic. Most boasting a plethora of power ups, collectibles, item pickups and warp points.

Claw being a 2d sidescroller really isn’t comparable to any of the mainstay sidesscrollers of its time like Mario or Metroid. I would describe it as a mix between commander keen and prince of Persia. The only game I find that plays similarly would be Earthworm Jim for the SNES even then they are only comparable to a point.

The other thing that stands it apart from the games I mentioned earlier are it’s incredible difficulty. The pitfalls with spike laden floors, crumbling blocks requiring expert timing, were only conquered through repeat attempts and crackerjack timing. The other difficult problem was the enemies and bosses. Early levels were straightforward. A swipe of the sword or a pistol shot would fell an enemy but later on they could block a surprising number of blows you had to start relying on dynamite and magic claws to kill tougher enemies or pick up a rare magic sword that counted down on a timer before it was used up. While satisfying to use, magic claw orbs and dynamite sticks were rare pick ups.

Boss battles were always unique each one had a different feel and strategy to defeat. I only found out years later there was a patched version that lowered the difficulty of the game.

All in all it was a fun, but frustrating game with spectacular visuals. Fully animated cuteness were sparse but of a decent quality. The sound effects and other small details truly added to the experience. It must also be noted it was one of the first games I remember to have online multilayer with up to 65 participants at one time…

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