Paws of Coal review | Adventure Gamers

Gamechuck’s Paws of Coal is an entertaining adventure, adding a detective story to their Trip The Ark Fantastic oeuvre. The interface is easy to use – just point and click. Keyboard shortcuts are also available to help guide Charles Quill as he investigates the outbreak of a devastating illness. In his quest, he must save a visually stunning world filled with stylized art, captivating background music, and likable anthropomorphic characters. While the game is slow-paced and enjoyable, the absence of voice acting and limited animation may leave some players feeling less connected to the game world.

The visual and aural artistry of this locale is enchanting. The graphics are brimming with richly hued browns that transport players underground. The environments will beguilingly seduce them into believing they’ve stumbled into a Disney movie. The masterfully crafted music that envelops them in a sweeping orchestral score reinforces this pleasant illusion.

The graphics and music work together to form the small, inviting district of Rabbit Burrows. Though many rabbits live there, they aren’t the only intelligent fauna that you will encounter. My favorite animal is Vince, a lizard who works as an elevator operator and steam engineer. It’s quite amusing to have a lizard living among rabbits (especially considering that some lizards eat rabbits). Two elements that could have strengthened my empathy for the characters: providing voice acting and more animation. This game introduces plot information through text rather than showing the story using character movement. Charles possesses a great walking cycle and idle animation, but the rest of the characters don’t move a great deal.

Gamers of any skill level will find using this interface a piece of cake. Left-clicking on a specific part of the screen moves Charles to the mouse cursor’s location. Travel can also be accomplished using keyboard shortcuts, “A” for left and “D” for right. Left-clicking on a character opens a dialogue list. Players select their choice by clicking on numbers beside the different responses. The menu provides a full explanation of how to interact with the game.

Aside from running errands for characters, the main challenge you will encounter is using the journal to prepare reports. This is accomplished by clicking on the “prepare report” button and using the journal to cross-check facts from lists derived from the methods mentioned above and verifying their agreement. A white check mark signifies that a fact is selected. Facts agree when their pictures, which are drawn in the journal, are connected with lines. When two facts don’t support each other, a check mark won’t appear until the incorrect one is deselected. When enough facts agree, it will be possible to select a conclusion by clicking on the proper box and the “submit report” button. Be warned, an unobservant player can stumble down a garden path to the wrong conclusion, and consequently a less-than-perfect ending. 

Paws of Coal serves up an appetizing mystery. The accessible interface ensures that casual and hardcore players alike can easily sink their teeth into it. More animation and voice-overs would have enlivened the game world. Nevertheless, Paws of Coal will surely appeal to adventurers who enjoy short, cozy experiences.


Paws of Coal is available at:

We get a small commission from any game you buy through these links (except Steam).