It's not often we get a new game that features a cat as its protagonist. The most recent title to do so was Stray, which was bound to be a huge success regardless of its presentation because, well, gamers love cats. So, they already won by tapping on our heartstrings. Nonetheless, Stray was a fantastic game in its own right, and it ushered in a previously unexplored genre. As a result, other games want to follow suit. The latest title announced that will feature a cat as its protagonist is Umbraclaw. So, if you're curious about what this nine-life adventure has in store, read on because here is everything you need to know about the game.
What Is Umbraclaw?
Umbraclaw is a 2D side-scrolling action-adventure platformer, recently announced by developers Inti Creates. If you're unaware, Inti Creates is an independent Japanese game developer who specializes in creating 2D action-adventure games. They already have a ton of successful series within the premise, but none are quite like what we see with Umbraclaw. Indeed, it appears that this is the first time the developers are venturing outside of their comfort zone.
At least, as far as they are comfortable with that is. After all, Umberclaw falls into the same genres as many of the developer's other series and appears to be sticking to the classic Metroidvania theme present in all their titles. The most notable difference here is that our protagonist is a cat. So, what mischief do they have this feline getting up to?
Unlike the other cats, our protagonist Kuon has used up all nine of their lives and died in the mortal world. However, as a magical cat, Kuon awakens in the “Soulplane” or in other words, the world of the dead. Playing as the feline protagonist, you must now brave the dangers of the underworld to help reunite Kuon with their owner on a personal cat journey. A heartwarming plot that has most certainly piqued our interest.
According to Inti Creates, the main motivation for this story is that “Umbraclaw is a challenging game that proves that cats are not just cute, but cool as well.” Furthermore, they mention the stories “dark-tinged yet lively graphics will pull you into the fantasy storybook world.” As a result, you can anticipate a fictional journey through the afterlife full of mystery and adventure wrapped in a heartwarming story.
Umbraclaw will be a 2D, side-scrolling, platformer action adventure, which gives us a good idea of the gameplay. Although that doesn't say much about what it entails. According to what we know so far, Kuon will use the “Anima Revive” system to combat the monsters and obstacles of the Soulplane in Umbraclaw. Essentially, the “Anima Revive” system allows Kuon to tap into the abilities of other animals. As seen in the screenshot above, Kuon appears to have been granted cheetah-like speed to aid in its escape from lava.
Aside from the cheetah evident in the screenshot, we aren't sure what other animals and their abilities Kuon will be able to utilize. Furthermore, it's unclear whether they'll branch out from the cat family tree or not. Nonetheless, this feature appears to be an interesting gameplay mechanic that should add to the character of Kuon and their journey.
Just in time for the Indie Live Expo 2023, Inti Creates announced on May 18 that they have begun work on their newest project Umbraclaw. Given how fresh that reveal is, there's not much light to be shed on the game's development at the moment. What we can confirm is that Umbraclaw's development will be overseen by director Satoru Nishizawa. The Inti Creates Director is best known for his work on the Blaster Master Zero series for the studio.
Along with the Umbraclaw announcement, Inti Creates released a trailer. Although it is short and subtle, it gives us a close-up look at the protagonist Kuon. In addition, we get a better glance at the abstract and mystical levels of the Soulplane.
What caught our attention the most is the key art at the end of the trailer. We can see what appear to be monstrous animal forms. Are these possibly some of the “Anima Revive” forms that Kuon can take control of? Or maybe it'll be some bosses we'll be going after. In any case, we're only speculating, but it's difficult not to think that has some hidden foreshadowing to it.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Umbraclaw's is confirmed to release on PC via Steam. However, its release date is currently to be announced. If we had to guess, at best we would hope for late 2023 or early 2024, however, that is merely speculation. Furthermore, Inti Creates has yet to drop the scoop on any special editions of the game. Granted, the lack of information is all due to how recent the announcement of the game is. Nonetheless, stay tuned to Gaming.net because we'll have the latest scoop on all the new updates and details about the game, right here.
Also, be sure to check in with Inti Creates official social handle for all the latest updates here. We'll be sure to let you know just as soon as the game receives a finalized release date. Until then, be sure to add it to your wishlist on Steam here.