Thunder Paw is a cute retro platformer, but loses its charm and fun factor due to its repetitive nature and difficult mechanics.
The story begins with a dog named Thunder playing with a ball near his house when suddenly a loud explosion happens – so powerful that it destroys the windows of the family home and drops the trees nearby. He runs to his house to find his parents missing, with only a letter lying on the ground. Thunder reads, it finding out that his parents had been kidnapped, thus starting Thunder’s journey to save his parents.
The game itself is very simple and only takes about 2 hours to finish – with some easy achievements you can earn along the way. I must say though, if it wasn’t for the achievements I wouldn’t have kept playing the game. Besides the short introduction of Thunder’s parents being kidnapped there isn’t a story to be followed. From there you’re just running, gunning, and jumping through 5 levels. What makes this worse is how repetitive this gets. The goal of each stage is to eliminate a certain amount of enemies before moving onto the next stage. The enemies are pretty much all the same and don’t really put up much of a challenge. They just stand there and wait to get shot at. It gets very stale and repetitive fast.
Speaking of shooting, the gun mechanics in this game are very confusing. With each enemy you kill you gather blue crystals that get added to a meter below your health. Collect enough and the meter would change colors. Other than that I still have no idea what it does. The only theory I had was it makes your weapon more powerful but if that’s the case I couldn’t tell the difference. Each weapon you acquire in the game feels like they’re doing the same amount of damage – and it’s not much. You need to get real close if you wanna stand a chance against these enemies. Your weapons don’t have much range on them and for some reason every time you shoot you get knocked back backwards, which is very inconvenient. If you’d like to, you can look for a hidden secret box on the stages for a quick achievement. They’re not hard to find and won’t take long to acquire them.
The biggest redeeming factor this game has is the boss fights as they actually switch up the gameplay. Instead of the usual run and gun, you need to be much more tactical if you wanna make it out alive from these battles. There have been countless – and I mean countless – times where I almost finished a fight, got careless and had to retry the whole thing from the beginning. Even though they can be quite frustrating at times it’s a nice switch up.
Graphically the game sticks to its 8-bit retro art style that the developers we’re going for along with the music and the levels are well designed. The characters themselves are very well designed. All of it just worked well together. For a platformer game I was surprised with the freedom you are given. There really isn’t a set path the game wants you to take, you’re given the opportunity to finish the levels anyway you want. As long as all the enemies are cleared of course.
Thunder Paw is a simple platformer, and that’s about it. You shouldn’t go into it expecting something more. It’s your basic run and gun that doesn’t bring much to the table. The one boss fight after each of the stages changes things up but it doesn’t fully redeem itself with its weird gun mechanics and stale gameplay. Visually the game was enjoyable and it speaks to me but when it came down to the gameplay the game decided to roll over and play dead permanently.
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox One console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.