The Clawfish Arcade is accessible by practice, a small boardwalk venue surrounded by dreamlike fog and plenty of clear, blue water. It’s open solely to me, the lone wanderer that’s free to skip stones off the dock, speak with the native seagull, or stuff cash into the arcade’s three crane video games.
Clawfish, from developer David Czarnowski, was launched in June alongside the Healthful Sport Direct — a showcase for impartial video video games. I downloaded the sport simply days in the past, when it was listed as a featured recreation on Itch.io, and was instantly . Although I don’t have a lot of a keenness for fishing now, I grew up close by a lake in the course of a metropolis, and I spent sweltering days with my ft hanging off the dock, fishing line in hand. There’s one thing so nostalgic for me about fishing video games, and I discover it onerous to not not less than check out every one I come throughout. Clawfish took the expectations I had about each fishing video games and crane video games and mixed them for a really charming expertise: a one-hour jaunt, from machine to machine, on the empty docks.
There may be extra to do in Clawfish than play crane video games, every of which adjustments the mechanic of catching fish barely. (Although the core of it stays the identical: Wrap your claw round a fish to catch and dump it again into the ocean.) The world has completely different little areas to discover, accessible by boat, with issues to work together with. I discussed a few of these earlier than: skipping stones, chatting with a seagull, and ingesting tea from a merchandising machine. These are little touches that make the world really feel particular and distinctive, an alternate universe model of the dock I spent my childhood on.
Clawfish’s foremost exercise is, after all, the crane video games. In complete, the machines are stocked with completely different fish, below 30 of them. They’re not essentially onerous to catch, like real-life crane video games that usually really feel rigged in opposition to the participant, however there’s a undoubtedly a talent to be taught in perfecting the catch. It’s designed to play in a single sitting, so there’s no save button — for those who don’t catch all of the fish in a single go, you’ll have to start out up once more when arriving, once more, on the arcade. And but, once I’ve performed, I haven’t felt stress to hurry myself to catch all fish inside no matter period of time I had. I’ve discovered it a pleasant area to pop in on throughout my lunch break, the place I can leisurely catch fish whereas consuming my lunch. It’s like somewhat dreamy lunchtime trip.
Clawfish is offered on Mac and Home windows PC by way of itch.io and Steam for $3.