1000 Tiny Claws mini review and giveaway (US PSN only)
Is it just me or is 1000 Tiny Claws a creepy name? It evokes horrible thoughts of dark places and thousands of little insect munching away at my tender flesh. Maybe I should have left that for the therapist…
The reality is that 1000 Tiny Claws is anything but creepy. It’s bright, colourful, charming and very easy on the eye.
But that’s not to say it doesn’t have a hidden mean streak. As is the case with Mediatonic’s previous minis, it starts very easy, so much so that you get cocky and start thinking crazy thoughts, like “This game is too easy for a hardcore gamer like me”. It soon gets hard though, very hard, and that arrogance quickly disappears only to be replaced by an inferiority complex. “Why dad? Why didn’t you prepare me for life?”, you may say…
We generally struggle to get excited about PlayStation minis, but we always have time for Mediatonic. Their previous games Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess and Who’s That Flying?! offered satisfying gameplay and a level of ambition that’s miles higher than anything else on the program.
They start by nailing the basics with a simple concept - jumping, shooting and, in this case, whacking – before adding subtle layers of complexity. They slowly ram up the difficulty curve so you don’t notice it getting harder, and they add a splash of humour and colour to keep you entertained and happy.
In 1000 Tiny Claws, you play as Rana, a plucky sky pirate out to save the lives of her crew by clearing stages of infested floating islands. The crew are on trial for unleashing a swarm of deadly insects to the world, and to be fair, they seem to be guilty. It’s a quirky fun story told in a world that brings back memories of Skies of Arcadia.
The gameplay basically follows a battle royale format. Rana is dropped on a floating island and she has to whack the bugs off the edges. The bugs travel further if you inflict some damage first; however, the lower Rana’s health bar falls the further their attacks will send her. It creates this interesting scenario in which you don’t want to get near the edge through fear of getting knocked off, but you want to be there so you can have a better chance of getting them over the edge.
Rana has a basic attack, a combo, a power attack and a hopping dodge ability, and you need to make use of them all to succeed. The hop is especially useful.
It’s very simple gameplay, but it becomes very satisfying once it starts to pick up speed. Later stages see you facing overwhelming numbers of fearsome critters, some of which will fire flames; others are equipped with shields, some teleport and a few go berserk. There is a nice mix, with 12 different kinds in total.
It’s the sheer volume of them though that causes the difficulty, and it doesn’t help that some of the later levels feature platform that collapse from beneath you – as if it didn’t already through enough at you.
1000 Tiny Claws isn’t as inventive as Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess and the controls aren’t as intuitive as Who’s That Flying?!, but it’s still a very good game. It’s exceptional for a mini.
It’s packed full of great content too, including a main story with 25 levels across five stages, boss battles and charming cutscenes; a challenge mode with 25 stages and survival mode with five stages. You can also go back and “gold” each stage to unlock entries in the ship’s log and gain trophies (not official PlayStation ones sadly).
Admittedly, it’s better suited on the PSP than on the big screen, but with its satisfying gameplay, a ton of content, a welcome challenge and some lovely artwork, you can’t go wrong with 1000 Tiny Claws, especially at only £1.99/€ 2.49/ $3.49.
Giveaway – US PSN ONLY
If that still seems too expensive for you, why not win a copy through our giveaway? We have a code to give away to one lucky player. All you have to do is follow these two simple steps on Twitter.
We’ll pick a winner at random on Saturday at 6pm PST.
Please note that this code is only eligible on the US PSN Store. We reserve the right to pick a different winner should we suspect you aren’t eligible. Happy tweeting!