Thunder Paw (PC) review
"Run-and-gun lite, with some bite"
Thunder Paw's Steam store page tells the tale of a young, carefree, anthropomorphic German Shepherd named Thunder. When we first see him, he is frolicking in in a sunny meadow near his home, clad in polka dot swim trunks, chasing a ball with no cares at all in the world. But then his parents are kidnapped by a mysterious party, and the next screenshot is of Thunder, his swim trunks swapped for full army fatigues, his beach ball ditched for an assault rifle. That... escalated quickly.
We are told precious little else. Outside of the letter that the kidnapper was thoughtful enough to leave behind, we aren't told why an explosion(!) preceded the event. We aren't told why someone would want Thunder's mom and dad in the first place -- perhaps a ransom? Is the Paw family wealthy? And we're not told when Thunder was enrolled in My First Spec Ops Training (because he must have been), but it doesn't matter. There are a lot of gun-toting animal commandos to kill before this family is reunited. Let's get to it.
The bare bones premise appropriately prepares us for a bare bones experience: Thunder Paw is the most basic, rudimentary 2D run and gun shooter you'll likely play. It's an old school side-scroller, so for retrogamers like me, that fact puts points on the board from the get-go. As with Contra and others of its ilk, you'll want to run to the right and never stop shooting. Every so often, a boss will present itself and these guys boast large health meters and tricky moves, so happening upon them is always a present surprise, a departure from the otherwise generally tame.
Staff review by Marc Golding (September 01, 2019)
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