Paws of Coal by Gamechuck
Paws of Coal is a cozy, point-and-click mystery game by Gamechuck.
Designed in Godot, the premise of the game is simple: solve the mystery of why the rabbits of Burrows are falling ill.
A Detective Game with Prickly Charm!
The protagonist is Charles Quill, an intelligent and well-mannered hedgehog botanist. He has been called to Doctor Hopper’s office because a mysterious illness has swept the rabbit population of the city of Burrows, and the doctor wants Charles to investigate.
As Charles, the player can investigate by questioning characters, researching topics and symptoms in books, and keeping a notebook the case can be solved through deduction and reasoning.
Unearthing Clues: A Whisker-Twitching Mystery!
The game is slow-paced with beautiful artwork and engaging music. The world of the Burrows is very detailed and takes place mostly underground amongst the other subterranean creatures: rabbits, moles, and even lizards! The rabbits are on strike from their mining job because of the mysterious illness, and the boss is trying to cover it up.
As Charles, the player can choose which questions to ask, whether or not to take bribes for information, and solve simple puzzles to gain more clues. The gameplay is all point-and-click, and most objects will yield some information, even the paintings on the wall will tell the player the title and the artist.
The characters have simple animations that give so much warmth and detail to the game; they will rub their eyes, scratch their heads, or raise their eyebrows.
Digging Too Deep
Paws of Coal is very text-heavy, but the writing is clear and concise and tells a great story. This is a game for readers who love to solve mysteries with logic and information.
There aren’t a lot of serious or complex mechanics, which may be frustrating for serious gamers who want more of a challenge.
The simplistic game mechanics can sometimes lead to the player getting stuck in a burrow, unable to go up or down a ladder or staircase until they figure out how to make that move. And there is no guidance provided on how to ascend or descend levels.
There are also a couple of instances where the player can get stuck in a loop talking to a character with no way to move forward until they save the game and exit and restart.
Although the hand-drawn artwork is delightful and the characters are adorable, there is no speech, and some good voice-acting would have added even more charm to the game.
Hop on the Case with Paws of Coal
Gamechuck is an award-winning game development company from Croatia, and Paws of Coal was among the top four nominees for Best Narrative for the Central and Eastern European Game Awards this year. It’s easy to see why, because this game has an intricate and detailed story.
The charming artwork and sophisticated story will delight mystery and animal lovers alike!
The choices the player makes throughout the game determine the ending, allowing for multiple games with different outcomes.
Some folks may wish for less text and more complex game mechanics – this is not a fast-paced story – but it’s the ideal game to curl up with on a chilly autumn evening with a cup of tea and some cookies!
Paws of Coal is available via Steam.
Check out the official trailer for Paws of Coal below: