The biggest new releases on video game systems get a surprising amount of media attention. Amongst all the must-have titles and the advertising furore that surrounds them, lesser-known releases can be completely overlooked. This is a shame, as these are the cult classics and beloved niche titles, the equals of the latest Final Fantasy or Call of Duty in every aspect but the generous helping of hype. With this in mind, let's bring one of these unknowns into the spotlight.
1000 Tiny Claws was released late last year, a budget game for PSN's Minis range. It introduces Captain Bluebell and his jolly band of pirates. These guys (in between the rum-drinking and drunken singing that movies assure us pirates get up to all day) stole a priceless sword from an island, a blade they soon discover to be cursed. Removing it unleashed a swarm of giant, ravenous bugs. It's like biblical plague meets the ultimate Doh! moment in one ridiculously implausible scenario.
The only way to save the planet from being slowly devoured by these hungry buggers, Bluebell decides, is the ol' curse and reverse. This translates to sending a hapless member of the crew in alone against the horde, armed only with the sword itself, on a quest to return it.
Conveniently, thanks to the rules of higher rank delegation, this leaves the captain free to safely indulge in a series of brilliantly animated cartoon cutscenes, hilarious dialogue, and much scratching of his leg stumps. The man has one functioning limb remaining, owing to a drunken accident one night while dressed as a unicorn.
Sadly, I'm not making any of this up. With developer Mediatonic's talent for bizarre comic humour, there's no need to.
The story mode sees you fighting across a number of islands, defeating waves of increasingly powerful bugs. Aside from this, there are extensive challenge and survival modes. Each has their own in-game trophies and medals, some of which are quite fiendish to obtain. It's an impressive package for such a cheap buy, and a monstrously addictive experience for highscore chasers. Mediatonic's trademark comedy (see also Who's That Flying and Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess, also PSN Minis) is out in full force, the icing on an already fine-tasting cake. A really good chocolate one, at that. With those great crunchy bits on top. More cakes should have those.
Article by Chris Littlechild