Clawfish – a claw machine for nabbing slippery friends


The only good claw machine is a dead claw machine as Socrates once said. HOWEVER Socrates was rubbish at claw machines so he WOULD say things like that. If he had been slightly more contemporaneous with he could have honed his claw machine skills with Clawfish [Itch page], a claw machine fishing game made for TOjam. TOjam is the Toronto game jam, FYI, and the theme this time was “Prepare for disappointment” so a claw machine is a pretty good fit.

Clawfish is not a perfect proposition in that it seems to track the lives you have a bit wonkily, but given the game is based on a machine designed to screw you over that doesn’t actually feel egregious. I also like the fish themselves. So far I’ve nabbed a Splambin Gorfkin which “can only be found in flooded libraries” and the Trouble Guppy which is “unhappy with you”.


It’s a cute little project and the grabbing action works with the fish to produce that same sensation of something slippery and awkward that a real claw machine offers.

Tis pay-what-you-want over on programmer David Czar’s page.


  1. Stinnaz says:

    Oh Pip! Clearly this is an aquatic vertebrate torture machine and yet you seem to be endorsing it… Shame on you!

    All this time I thought you were a champion for our furry and not-at-all-furry animal friends…

    You’ve.. *sniff* let me down… *sniff* *sniff*

  2. poliovaccine says:

    There’s something about ingame fish I just cannot resist. Remember the Japanese restaurant level in the original Hitman? Yeah, I spent wayyy too long just watching the scorpionfish in those tanks. Not to mention, somebody went and made a Fallout 3 mod that puts a mini-mirelurk tank in your Megaton home, thus making my life complete. Favorite Morrowind mod ever? Fishing Academy. Biggest reason? You could stock an aquarium.

    Then Subnautica came out and I just disappeared into my own joy.

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    Drib says:

    I like the names and details on the fishes you’ve caught.