• July 19, 2021

Clawfish is a cold crane game where you fish in a game room

The Clawfish Game Room It is accessible by train, a small boardwalk surrounded by dreamy fog and lots of clear blue water. It’s open only to me, the lonely hobo who is free to throw rocks off the pier, talk to the local seagull, or shove coins into the three sets of cranes in the arcade.

Claw fish, from developer David Czarnowski, launched in June alongside Wholesome Game Direct, a showcase for indie video games. I downloaded the game a few days ago, when I was listed as a featured game on Itch.io, and was immediately interested. Although I am not very fond of fishing now, I grew up near a lake in the middle of a city, and spent sweltering days with my feet dangling from the dock, fishing line in hand. There is something so nostalgic for me in fishing games, and I find it difficult not to at least try each one I come across. Claw fish I took the expectations I had on both fishing games Y Crane sets and combined them for a truly enchanting experience – an hour-long excursion, from machine to machine, on the empty docks.

Image: David Czarnowski

There is more to do in Claw fish You play crane games, each of which slightly changes the mechanics of fishing. (The core remains the same though: wrap your claw around a fish to catch it and throw it back into the ocean.) The world has different small areas to explore, accessible by boat, with things to interact with. I mentioned a few of these before: jumping rocks, chatting with a seagull, and drinking tea from a vending machine. These are little touches that make the world feel special and unique, a version of the alternate universe from the dock where I spent my childhood.

Claw fishThe main activity is, of course, crane games. In total, the machines are stocked with different fish, less than 30 of them. They are not necessarily difficult to catch, like real life crane games that often feel manipulated against the player, but there is definitely a skill to learn to perfect the catch. It is designed to play in one session, so there is no save button; If you don’t catch all the fish at once, you will have to start over when you get to the game room again. And yet, when I have played, I have not felt the pressure to rush to catch all the fish in the time that I had. I found it to be a lovely place to visit during lunch break, where I can leisurely fish while having lunch. It’s like a little dream vacation at lunchtime.

Claw fish is available on Mac and Windows PC via itch.io Y Steam for $ 3.

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