[Nintendo Switch] Umbracrawl Review

by EdEN, Owner

Umbraclaw from Inti Creates is a 2D action adventure in which you’ll take on the role of a house cat that has been resurrected in the Soulplane. Check our Umbraclaw review!

Umbraclaw from Inti Creates is a 2D action adventure in which you’ll take on the role of a house cat that has been resurrected in the Soulplane. Her name is Kuon, and you must help her fight her way through the land of the dead. Your task is to open the Boundary that leads back to the mortal world. A single hit is all it takes to defeat Kuon! The twist? When Kuon dies, she’ll activate the Anima Revive, which will bring her back to life with a new skill that should hopefully help her overcome the challenge up ahead.

Umbracrawl Review - 1

On top of that, the choices you make along the way, how you play, and how and when you die will have an effect on what ending you’ll reach. Kuon can end up changing into a stronger humanoid form, thus allowing you to attach enemies and take some damage as you wreak havoc. Do know you’ll trade off Kuon’s nimbleness and small form factor, which allows her to reach some areas. Do remember that Kuon is a cat, and that means she only has 9 lives!

You’ll take control of Kuon as she moves around each area by using the left analog stick and the D-Pad, jumping with the B button. The Y button will be for close-range skills, while the ZR button will be for long-range skills. You can dash with the L button. Defensive skills are mapped to the ZL button. Special skills can be activated with the R button. As for rare skills, they’re set to the A button. And then we have ultimate skills, which you can use by pressing the X button. All of these vary depending on how many lives you’ve lost, how you’ve died, and if you’re in feline or humanoid form.

Umbracrawl Review - 2

For example, while in cat form, Kuon can cling on to some wall types for a moment and then perform a wall jump. She can also crawl through tight spaces that are not available to her while in humanoid form. By performing some actions, Kuon will gather Hope Points, which she can later use during crucial times. After dying once, the Anima Revive bestowed upon me the Tigrr skill. Thanks to this, I was able to slash at enemies to deal some damage. Mind you, this does not mean I would always get the Tiger skill since each enemy can bestow a different skill each time – from an established set – after each Anima Revive.

Dying to the same enemy type rewarded me with the Porcupine skill another time. The Porcupine skill allowed me to attack enemies with some very sharp quills by hurling them from a distance. By dodging enemy attacks, I was able to absorb some of their energy, which then allowed me to unleash a more powerful attack that could damage even enemies that were much, much larger than Kuon. Once the Spirit Gauge was full, I was able to unleash her Fatal Stomp after pressing the X button. This skill dealt a ton of damage and allowed me to defeat an opponent 20 times Kuon’s size!

Umbracrawl Review - 3

You can play through Umbraclaw in one of two different options: Anima Mode and Umbra Mode. In Anima Mode, a game over will be triggered when Kuon loses her 9 lives, sending you to the stage select menu. You do have the option of using Hope Points to try and claw your way back as you reset your Anima Counter from the second chapter and on. If you play in Novem Mode, then 9 lives are all you’re going to have. Lose all lives, and the game over will reset your progress and send you back to the beginning of the chapter. Every mistake you make will definitely come back to haunt you!

You can customize your experience by upgrading Kuon. This is done by spending Anima Gems as well as Hope Points. What can you get for those Anima Gems and Hope Points you collect in the Soulplane? You can unlock abilities such as Light Feet 1, which lowers stamina consumption when using Kuon’s dash in feline form. Another option is Nine Lives 1, which grants you a special Magatama. When you’re hit, the Magatama will absorb that single hit, effectively granting you an extra life! And then there’s the Stepping Stone of Hope – Soulbeasts upgrade. This one will make special platforms appear when fighting Soulbeasts in Kuon’s feline form. Another upgrade path is offered by Soulbeast Gems. These are obtained when you defeat Soulbeasts and unlock bigger upgrades that will allow you to progress further on this journey.

Umbracrawl Review - 4

Umbraclaw is a 2D action adventure in which you’ll take on the role of a house cat that has been resurrected in the Soulplane. Cats have 9 lives, and you’ll need to make the most of all of them if you want to find a way to escape the Soulsplane by opening up the Boundary. Kuon is pretty much helpless against the dark creatures that inhabit the Soulsplane, but every time she dies, she will gain a new ability! Depending on how you die and what creature ends your life, there will be different sets of skills to gain access to. You can even end up taking on a humanoid form that can claw back at enemies. Umbraclaw is out tomorrow on Nintendo Switch with a $24.99 price tag.

Umbracrawl Review - 5

This Umbraclaw review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Inti Creates.

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