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Dungeon Clawler combines claw machines and roguelike dungeon crawling, out later this year

Dungeon Clawler screenshot
Image: Stray Fawn Studio

Claw machines are one of life’s greatest challenges. It’s an easy concept: move the claw, release it in just the right spot and bring home the prize. Except it’s never that easy, is it? In fact, most of the time claw machines are simply there to drain your wallet and leave you sad and prizeless.

Thankfully, the claw in Dungeon Clawler, an upcoming game from Stray Fawn Studio, is a bit more lucky. Dungeon Clawler combines dungeon crawling with claw machine antics to create a rather unique roguelike experience — and after jumping into its demo, it’s left us eager to see the finished product later this year.

Set to release into early access in Q3 2024, Dungeon Clawler has players taking on the role of a rabbit adventurer who has had one of his paws stolen by an evil dungeon lord who now wears it as a good luck charm. After replacing your arm with a special new claw, your goal is to take revenge on the dungeon lord and get your paw back. You’ll have to fight through hordes of enemies and bosses to get there with your new, trusty tool in hand. No pun intended. 

Dungeon Clawler screenshot
Image: Stray Fawn Studio

The main mechanic at play in Dungeon Clawler is, as you’d expect, a large claw machine. At the start of each battle you’ll have two claws to use with the goal of grabbing a variety of objects inside of the claw machine. Each object you grab will affect what happens in battle. For example, if you grab one shield and one sword, you’ll gain one block and one attack with your weapon.

The more battles you win in Dungeon Clawler, the further you’ll proceed into the dungeon — until you reach the boss. Defeat the boss and you’ll move on to the next section of the dungeon. Your ultimate goal is to defeat every boss and reach the evil dungeon lord to get your revenge.

As you fight, you’ll unlock special items that are added to your claw machine and can be grabbed on your turn. Some items affect your character directly while others affect the claw machine. Add a wand into your repertoire, for example, and you’ll be able to heal your character. Grab a water bottle, and the machine itself will be filled with water, making it easier to catch items each round. 

There are also perks that unlock after each boss is defeated which further change the way the Dungeon Clawler will play out. For example, there’s a perk which gives players just one claw to use per turn but each item grabbed is automatically used twice. Every completed battle will add more items and more abilities to your roster. Experiment with which abilities and items go best together and you may just become an expert of the claw. 

We’ve of course only had a small taste of what Dungeon Clawler has to offer, but it’s safe to say we’re impressed. Its concept is already super fun, and many more features are set to be added over the course of development including mystery locations, good luck charms and — bizarrely enough — a cute little grandma who might just make you some custom clothes if you ask nicely. With a unique concept and an adorable art style, Dungeon Clawler is certainly one to look out for later this year.

Becca knew that she would be addicted to video games for the rest of her life when she saw the first pixelated zombie shambling across her TV screen while playing Resident Evil 3. She particularly enjoys being scared, laughing until she cries, or just plain crying while experiencing games. When she isn't playing games she loves spoiling her cat Usagi and eating any kind of sushi she can find.