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Paw Paw Paw review for PS4, Xbox One, Switch


Platform: PS4
Also on: Xbox One, PC, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Simpleton/GrabTheGames
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

Paw Paw Paw is one of the latest games from Ratalaika, but it’s not like most other releases from that publisher. While I wouldn’t speak ill of games like Blind Men or CrossKrush, I don’t think that there are too many Ratalaika games that most people will find challenging. For the most part, their games tend to be more of the “play for an hour, get the Platinum, delete” variety than the kind that push you.

Paw Paw Paw is different in that it actually is relatively tough, even on the easiest difficulty setting. It’s a side-scrolling beat-’em-up brawler that requires you to get your blocks and dodges down pat right from the very first level if you want to have any hope of making any progress whatsoever. While you’ll be able to kill plenty of enemies, they’ll frequently take a big chunk out of your health in the process. That means that you’ll need to get good at this game if you want to have any hope of achieving that Platinum — which, again, makes this game a Ratalaika rarity.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend Paw Paw Paw. Far from it, in fact. If you’re fond of brawlers, it’s actually a pretty good one. You have a couple of different options at your disposal, whether you want to fight enemies from afar as an archer, or go in with your sword swinging as a warrior. On top of that, you encounter a good range of enemies, so it doesn’t feel like you’re fighting the same faceless drones non-stop.

It also helps that the game is surprisingly funny. The plot of the game is that you’re leading an animal rebellion against a king who’s decreed that everyone must wear pants. It’s silly, of course, but it keeps things moving along at a brisk pace.

My only complaint is that the difficulty level sometimes feels unbalanced. Paw Paw Paw allows for up to four players locally, and if you’re playing solo it often feels like the game was designed with four players in mind. When it’s just you, it’s awfully easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of enemies, and no matter how good you get at dodging and blocking, you’re still going to die pretty frequently until you grind your way to better health and attack stats.

But that’s fairly standard in beat-’em-ups, and the only real reason it stands out in Paw Paw Paw is, as I said up top, because of how different this game is from most other games from this publisher. Go in without any preconceived notions, and you should find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Paw Paw Paw PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B+