During this current pandemic crisis, it is now the perfect time to get through your backlog of games and also purchase a few more games to keep you busy over the next 3/4/5 weeks. If you are a Platinum Trophy hunter then you will surely have quite a few games on your bucket list and thanks to Ratalaika Games, Thunder Paw is likely to be added to that list. Yes, Thunder Paw is another very quick platinum game.
In Thunder Paw you play as a puppy called Thunder. You are playing outside having the time of your doggo life when there is a massive explosion that rings in the distance. You run back home to see what it was about and find a letter informing you that your parents have been kidnapped! For some unknown reason, there is a gun in the house and your adventure to return your kidnapped parents begins. Thunder Paw is very similar to another Ratalaika Games’ recent releases Foxyland 2 and Bucket Knight. Thunder Paw is a 2d side scrolling platformer, each level is set out like a simple linear maze, you generally have to move left to right to finish a level, but there will be a fair bit of moving up and down the area. Thunder Paw’s uniqueness is that you can reach the end of a level but not be able to finish it because the door (it’s not really a door) at the end only unlocks when you have killed every enemy on the level. This isn’t as hard as it sounds because Thunder Paw is a very easy game.
When you start Thunder Paw you only have one kind of weapon and 4 life points. As you progress you will unlock other weapons like a bouncing bullet gun, a kind of rock launcher weapon etc. The more times you use a weapon to kill enemies then the faster its bar will fill up improving that weapon, if you get hit or die then the bar will drop down or disappear completely in the event of death. Luckily, there are multiple checkpoints within levels, so if you do die then don’t worry, in some cases you may kill yourself on purpose so to return to a checkpoint located near the end of the level to save you the more difficult and time consuming experience of retreading your steps. Your initial weapons are pretty weak requiring multiple hits to kill an enemy, also there is a very annoying mechanical issue with your gun, when you shoot there is some pushback on it, so you are pushed back a little. This is particularly annoying if you are shooting at an enemy on a moving platform, you will find yourself shooting and jumping which will sometimes result in you falling off because the weapon recoil has pushed you back midair. It stops you from just bashing the shoot button.
There are a few different enemies in Thunder Paw. Some shoot a slowish pistol which can easily be dodged, there are a couple that run left to right, the most annoying is a rabbit that jumps. There are end of stage bosses, they follow distinct patterns, so are fairly easy to beat but they have quite a bit of life and if you die you have to restart the fight from scratch. There are two modes Easy & Hard, Easy contains checkpoints, Hard doesn’t. Easy mode is very easy because the checkpoints will include how many enemies you have killed, Hard mode if you die will reset the enemy counter to zero. Bearing in mind that some things will happen off-screen and there are various things dropping from above which can knock you to your doom, Hard mode can be particular frustrating. Thunder Paw contains 20 stages split into 5 areas, there are some environmental factors that come into play that add a little more strategy. For example, on the snowy section the wind changes direction, jump into the wind and you are going nowhere, jump with the wind and you’ll jump further.
Thunder Paw presentation wise is pretty unpolished. Graphically, Thunder Paw looks like something out of the early nineties, Thunder looks cute but the design in the enemies is pretty basic. Musically, Thunder Paw goes with the standard chip tune melodies, if you’ve played one of the Ratalaika Games before you would have heard something similar many a time. Once you’ve completed a stage there is no reason to go back and replay it. The most annoying thing about Thunder Paw is the weapon recoil mechanic, at this stage I’m not sure if it’s more infuriating than challenging especially in Hard mode.
Thunder Paw is a pretty standard indie platformer with a somewhat annoying mechanic. If you enjoy platformers that offer no challenge on easy and extreme challenge on hard then Thunder Paw may give you an hour or two of entertainment. There are better indie platformers out there so it’s really a choice on whether you want to add a pretty average game to your collection.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thunder Paw Review
Gameplay - 5/10
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 5/10
Replay Value - 5/10
Your mum and dad have been taken, lets go save them in Thunder Paw!