Hot off my doormat this morning is the beat'em game by Matthias Bock and Saul Cross - released exclusively on cartridge by RGCD for backers of the C64 in Pixels Kickstarter project. You must help Tiger Claw on his path to retrieve four valuable magic scrolls that have been stolen by the three lords of evil. What is handy is that the Master Lee transferred some of the scrolls' power into the four masks of endurance before the scrolls were taken. Let the battle commence...
As soon as Tiger Claw is loaded up it oozes quality from the opening screen and soundtrack. The oriental soundtrack sets the mood instantly - the Commodore 64's capabilities of producing such quality sound really has been mastered here. Next, it was simply a case of wanting to quickly jump into the action.
Instantly I was really impressed by the graphics for Tiger Claw - even if your main character is very small this makes the game playing area feel bigger as there's more happening on screen than if your character was larger. The detail on the sprites is good and the music is simply superb - worth noting that you can select a different tune on the opening menu to play with a different one each time. Clever stuff.
Tiger Claw sets the difficulty level reasonably high - but not too high that you don't want to come back and have another go. In fact, I would say the developers have got this spot on as I simply wanted to carry on just to see if I could progress slightly further each time.
Baddies are tough but not impossible to beat and the chap I met who had flames around him was brilliantly animated (and a nice change in music when he appeared got the heart pumping that little bit faster). I will say that initial controls did take a little while to master - particularly the jumping - but with some practice it soon becomes second nature.
I will admit I'm a bit of a stickler for the presentation of games (don't get me started on SSI and Origin games - brilliant) and I cannot finish this write up of Tiger Claw without singing the praises of the presentation of what was delivered. The hard plastic case has amazing cover art and the cartridge itself has a lovely raised logo on it. It's carefully housed in a soft sponge to ensure it doesn't rattle in the box. Post cards and stickers are enclosed along with a little badge and they all add a really nice touch to this package. Even the instructions are enclosed in a small resealable bag. Clearly I'm easily pleased.
Naturally I backed this Kickstarter project and, as such, the last thing I wanted to do was give a biased review of Tiger Claw but if a game is very good... then it's very good.
Written by Chris Burgoyne @chrisburgoyne