There are plenty of tower defence style virtual reality (VR) titles out there, from rather mediocre examples like Clash of Magic VR to the excellent Defense Grid 2: Enhanced VR Edition. It’s not an easy genre to design for, sitting on a knife edge between overly repetitious and addictively strategic. Recently, Go-Ah! Games entered the field with Paws ‘n Claws, a cute looking tower defence that has a fun element to it, yet lacks the spark to make it really stand out.
Paws ‘n Claws is very much a bare bones real-time strategy (RTS) experience. You play a dog who needs to stop a bunch of cute looking cats making their way to the goal, at your disposal are a range of towers each offering their own particular strengths and weaknesses – so nothing out of the ordinary there. As you’d expect tower options are fairly limited to begin with expanding as you unlock more levels, starting with basic gun towers and then moving onto rockets, slow-down, sniper, stun, and various others.
While these all have their normal auto function for dispatching the kitties, one of the nice features about Paws ‘n Claws is the ability to jump into any tower and start having a pop yourself. And depending on the tower you’ll get a different weapon. So the gun tower will let you dual wield a pair of pistols, while the stun tower arms you with a catapult which can fling bananas onto the track.
As with any tower defence title the enemies follow a predefined route so you can plan your tower building strategy. Go-Ah! Games has created some wide open, cartoon style worlds to play in, unfortunately you’re restricted to several pre-set building locations. Which really is a shame considering the space you’ve got to play in. You can jump between towers either in the building menu or using a teleport feature, and can even explore some of the locales should you have time – the feature is fairly irrelevant as there’s nothing to find, merely a distraction as you wait for waves to start.
While there are no secrets to uncover there are upgrades to unlock. Killing more cats get you more cash and therefor better weapons. Not only does a tower upgrade improve its stats, your gun also gets a boost, with improved rates of fire and damage.
Yet, while all the core components are there for a good little strategy experience it’s missing something. Features like a speed up button for when you’ve kicked ass on a wave aren’t there, so you’ve got to just hang around and wait. And fans of tower defence titles may find Paws ‘n Claws a little short, as the 10 levels will take around a couple of hours on normal.
If you enjoy VR videogames like Kittypocalypse then Paws ‘n Claws has that similar charm to it. It’s a fun little time waster that younger players will certainly enjoy. It lacks the depth of other tower defence experiences and just doesn’t quite have enough uniqueness in its gameplay offerings to shine in its own right.