Switch version tested
Review code provided
Our great friends at Ratalaika games present Thunder Paw. This 2D platformer was developed by Sergio Poverony and released on all major platforms plus the Vita. I’ve reviewed a chunk of Ratalaika games in the past and Thunder Paws is right up their alley. It’s a story about a dog whose house is blown up and his parents are kidnapped. Parentnapped? Either way slight twist to the normal story scenario commonly found in games. Let’s hop in and get to it.
Upon booting up this gem I’m immediately pleased with and impressed with the music. This likeness extends from the main menu to the game itself and keeps the tunes rocking. It’s fitting to the cutesy platformer but better than what you would expect. From level to level the music remains the same but it changes during the boss fight which is great. It increases in tempo and intensity, I dig it a lot. Aside from all that it changes per world as well which I love. It would be a massive letdown if the first song was the only one. I’m not sure the developer composed the music as well but bravo to whoever created it.
Thunder Paw is a simple platformer that looks and feels just as one would expect. Controls are quick and easy to use, directional buttons move and the Y button shoots. It’s funny because Thunder is this german shepherd looking dog toting a gun and each time the gun is fired it has a kick-back. I chuckled seeing that for the first time. I’ve grown to dislike the kickback from shooting, it’s very annoying. I’ve shot myself off many cliffs, caught up with enemy fire, and lost to the jetpack boss about thirty times now. I’m not a fan. Green puddles are helpful checkpoints to ease this pain. They bubble without any rhyme or reason. Baddies are made up of assorted animals such as pitchfork-wielding pigs, bears, and ninjas.
Once a bad guy is destroyed, some leave behind a tombstone where you finished them off. In addition to that, they drop diamonds and hearts. Diamonds fill a meter I haven’t found the use for yet, and hearts will replenish the four hitboxes available. The not-so-hidden green vile I also have not found a use for. If you hit the pause button the only options are ‘resume’ and ‘to menu’ so don’t wait for a level select screen either. This is the type of game you just run through and don’t worry about anything.
After who knows how many levels you’ll be confined with a boss in an area about two screens big. I like that every time the boss takes a hit their health meter depletes from both sides. The first boss was a grenade-throwing bear wearing an orange suit so he’s a convict I decided. Gun kick-back is rearing its ugly head in this fight. Every time you chase after the bear and take a shot it will push your character back and each bullet has a short-range. It calls for some timing and precision. This bear’s defeat calls for an enormous explosion of diamonds everywhere that can’t be picked up in time before the level ends. I still have yet to discover their purpose.
You have infinite lives so you really can just run through this game, although to complete each level all enemies must be dispatched. I was hoping for some sort of shop or upgrade system and world two revealed the ability to swap between shot types which is a plus. Regardless of the shot, the kickback is still present in case you were wondering.
Amidst the sea of 2D platformers, Thunder Paw may get lost in the mix. My favourite aspects were the music then the looks. Controls were fine but every time the gun is shot, your character moves back a step and that was frustrating. Thunder is an awesome character so I hope to see a sequel that removes kick-back and has a bit more depth.
TBG Score: 6/10
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 20/03/2020
File Size: 34 MB
No. of Players: 1
Category: Action, Arcade, Platformer
Developer: Sergio Poverony
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Download link: eShop