A second chance for humanity.
If some of my last reviews, especially the Nekopara Mega Review, haven't been indication enough - I am a huge catgirl simp. And I don't care if they are cat girls or girl cats, it's a simple golden rule: Everything is better with cat ears. And so one fateful day, on my endless voyage for everything catgirl, in the dark backroom corner of the internet, entering the territory of a fandom I have stayed away from until now for valid reasons, I stumbled upon a simple Adult Flash Game. For the second time in my gaming life I have clicked on an actual, thoughtfully developed game with story made in Adobe Flash - ancient technology long since abandoned - out of curiosity.
...and for the second time, have I gotten way more than I bargained for.
The Last Journey
Imagine waking up in some spaceship's cryo chamber, but very conveniently have you lost all your memories. The only other people on this ship are a good looking woman from the cryo pod next to yours and the generic sci-fi robot that has flown this ship for the last couple hundred years, until you now reached your destination.
The premise is as simple as the mission: Humanity is dead. Their abuse of the planet made it inhabitable, and in a last ditch effort they sent out six vessels of the STX program, inhabited by a male-female-pair of compatible partners, necessary resources to survive for 100 days, and a series of gen-modified "Sprouts" to plant on potentially habitable planets to ensure safe life for new humanity. This is your mission. Investigate the four potential planets of your target system, establish a new life and start reproducing.
However, after your trusty repopulation partner is immediately disgusted and turned off by your eagerness to fulfil your mission, leaving you alone to explore the four planets ahead of you in order to find a suitable home first, you quickly realize there is more to this mission then just planting a Sprout or two and be done.
The planets are inhabited. By intelligent creatures. Humanoid animals, in fact, that possess many human traits. One of the planets, filled with lush greenery and snowy mountains, is property of Queen Roselyn of the dog folk. Another one, vast deserts with dwindling signs of life, struck by an existence threatening drought, home to the cat people under their great pharaoh and his trusty shrine maiden Nebet. The third covered in thick jungle and rocky cliffs, torn in the guerilla war of the technologically highly advanced foxes in their floating cities and the rebellion resistance against their dystopian regime, where you meet Siaren. And finally, a planet that met a fate just like Earth - completely uninhabitable wasteland filled with toxic air, once home to a now space-faring race of lizards, currently under the leadership of Vil Daemith looking for a new home too.
Presented with these options, what will you do? In order for you two potentially last remaining humans to settle down and begin a new life, you need the permission and potentially help of the local residents. So if you help them with whatever crisis they are currently facing, maybe they are willing to help you too.
...but will you be able to stay true to the mission?
Or will your objective change along the way?
A New Beginning
The premise of the game is as simple as you'd expect. While given more depth and variety as your generic introduction to a porno, the aim is still pretty much obvious. You have your generic human partner, as well as a selection of four cute looking furry waifus (and even more side characters) to choose from. And now, get banging.
Through an interesting variety of different puzzles and minigames you need to raise (or sometimes even lower) your three stats of strength, charisma and intelligence. At the same time manage your daily energy which is used for every single interaction - other than walking around - you make, while keeping the ultimum of 100 days time in mind. Ultimately you need to progress a given character's storyline by making the right decisions, passing the right stat-gates, getting the right items and showing up at the right locations with enough energy left. Some of the storylines are intertwined with another, require you to progress on another planet first, or even completely lock you out of another route. All the while, obviously, getting closer to the waifu you spend time with, and getting the juicy bits as reward.
This immediately seems to be where the main focus of this game's development lies. While the artwork is visibly great and the story not too bad for the type of game you're expecting from a two person Furry Porn Flash Game, the over 50 H-scenes, loop animated and with controls in good old Flash Game fashion, have gotten noticably the most love. Smooth as not even some commercial 2D animated Gacha Games are, with caring detail in mind and not too over the top.
...this is exactly when the trap closes shut.
Requires an Ending
It's always when you think you figured it out, when you underestimate a caringly created game for merely delivering roughly the non-existant expectations you had when starting, that the biggest surprise throws you off-balance. And that, too, is where Space Paws left a lasting impression.
Because at the end of the day, it's not the H-scenes which got the most love. At the end of the day, it still is the story itself. Sure, you start out generically walking into the life of a cute furry waifu, immediately getting close to her and after saving the crisis of the entire planet or race somewhere between all your make-out sessions it's time to seal the deal. But instead, this is where it all starts to really unfold.
Not only is the final scene of every route a sincere one. One, where you have to prove via a quiz of everything that happend on their route that you truly are interested in the character before you. One, that is granted the most impressive animation and movie-style H-scene of the entire game. Followed by an epilogue that greatly highlights the outcome of the choices you made, how these reflect on past humanity, and how they influence future humanity. Some of which are more positive, and some way more mixed than others.
No, it all only truly hits once you leave the obvious choices aside. Once you tear your eyes off of the cute, willing, furry waifus in front of you. And take a moment to reflect on the past. The last human that you have. The only one, that didn't let you stick your dick in her first thing you met. They say you hurt the ones you love the most.
This story isn't about some amnesiac nobody going around fucking cute furries because hell, just two humans cannot repopulate humanity in the first place. But why were you sent on this mission in the first place then? That I cannot spoil. However, what I can say is that this story has a true ending. One answering all your questions. One letting the story, including its generic open beginning, come full circle. Full circle, and to a proper close. Oh yeah, and once you processed the true ending...
...there is two more true-er endings ahead of you.
And a Sacrifice
Space Paws isn't perfect. Heck, by normal standards it's not even good. It's an indie Flash Game developed by two horny Furries, with a story that's as rushed as you'd expect and sounds questionably translated at times. Focus put into a shitton of short, nicely animated H-Scenes and incredible sudden bursts of emotions during the endings. Very simple minigames and puzzles, that become repetetive once you need to actually grind your stats for certain events.
However, normal standards don't apply here. Because this is an indie Flash Game developed by two horny Furries. And, unless you want to support them and their new project with a small donation, completely for free on Itch.io. And for expecting a generic Porn Flash Game where you just click through a couple of looped sex animations - you get an actual game, with an actual story. One that gets emotional. One that leaves an impression once you're done. It's one of the weirdes games ever that I got obsessed over for three days straight. But it was time worth spending.
If you, too, want to enjoy a not too short, story-driven game that's actually not just about fucking Furry Waifus - I heavily recommend playing the routes in the following order:
Nebet, Roselyn, Siaren, Alison, Vil Daemith - and you'll figure out the rest.
Also, don't worry. You do not even have to meddle with ancient Flash Player, the game comes as pre-assembled .exe that just works out of the box.