Grabby claw games are difficult, you’ll know if you’ve ever tried to win a cuddly toy to silence a bawling sprog or woo a romantic interest in some weird knowingly-performative courtship ritual. This is mostly because they cheat. Claws can be calibrated to have the grip of a kitten, or even grow weaker a few seconds after grabbing. Some are merciful, while others make you look a ruddy fool for trying so hard to impress that girl. That’s not why grabby claw video game Fortune Catcher is difficult. The prize wandering about makes it tricky, sure, and the claw controls randomising every round is a problem, but the two-player local multiplayer means jostling for control of the keyboard.
Fortune Catcher tends to spread each player’s keys over both sides of the keyboard, so you’ll need to put your hand near your opponent’s anyway, and you might accidentally bump their hand with yours, or inadvertently firmly grasp it and tear it away, just so happening to twist their fingers until they cry “peanuts!” Perhaps play with the keyboard across your laps, away from monitors and vases.
I approve of jostling. Johann Sebastian Joust is one of my favourite games. I got soaked trying to tip someone over in a Jelly Stomp paddling pool. I was bruised playing B.U.T.T.O.N. I broke Swordfight controllers. Perhaps ‘jostling’ is too friendly a word.
The object you’re shoving over in Fortune Catcher is a crystal ball, so grabbing it will win you a little fortune teller card with a weird joke. They’re odd and fun.
Fortune Catcher is pay-what-you-want on itch.io, but you can download for free then pay later if you want. It’s the work of Marion Esquian and Yowan Langlais.