Another Crab’s Treasure review — A claw-some adventure

I know what you’re thinking already. Yet another Souls-like game right? Well yes, but this one’s different, I promise. In the vast expanse of the gaming sea, a new gem has been found, and this is none other than Aggro Crab’s deep sea action adventure game Another Crab’s Treasure. You play as the cutest hermit crab ever, who had his shell stolen and sets out on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully his. But don’t be fooled by the game’s cute aesthetic, this Souls-like is no pushover. Find out why this is one of my favorite indie games this year!

The premise is simple yet whimsical. It’s not only about Kril’s journey to get his shell back, but also about the environmental issues that plague the world. The presence of trash in Kril’s undersea society serves as a valuable resource, yet it brings with it a mysterious infection known as the Gunk, threatening the ocean’s existence. And who knows what has happened to the world above the water? Despite trash being everywhere, the underwater kingdom in Another Crab’s Treasure is a vibrant and colorful one. Unlike the typically dark and brooding atmosphere of Souls-like games, this game is filled with bright and cartoony aesthetics. The coral reefs, kelp forests, and the dark abyss of the deep sea are all rendered in a style that is both cute and captivating.

Another Crab's Treasure - First 30 Minutes on PS5 [GamingTrend]

You already know the whole ordeal when it comes to combat. If you’re reading this I assume this isn’t your first Souls-like game, but that’s okay if it is! You’ve got a light and heavy attack, along with a dodge button. Die and you lose all of your souls, which are called microplastics here. Resting at a bonfire equivalent heals you but respawns all the enemies around you. There are parries but you need to release the block button right after the enemy attack lands, and not before. Movement and attacks are surprisingly not limited by stamina, which already makes this game much more accessible than its inspirations. Instead of blocking with your weapon or a traditional shield, you do so with your shell! 

Shells are a whole topic of their own, and a central theme of the game’s plot as well as gameplay. You actually start off naked with no shell, because the loan shark took it from you! But as you progress, you pick up trash from the world above that you can use as a makeshift shell, including soda cans, bottle caps, and later on even the empty shell of another crab. Each shell has a different amount of durability, and breaks when it reaches 0. Think of it as armor from your typical Souls games, as there are light shells and heavy shells that affect your dodge roll. Each shell also provides a different magical skill to use, called Umami. Some can spew out multiple bubbles and other ranged attacks whereas others allow you to do a special melee move. Every shell can be swapped out on the fly, so don’t be afraid to find a new one to play around with if you get bored of one.

The actual combat is serviceable, albeit a bit floaty. The beginning hours will be a lot tougher due to the fact that you don’t have a lot of your abilities and are only equipped with very basic shells. Bosses hit like a truck and will easily wipe you if you’re not careful. That being said, there are a ton of bosses to fight in Another Crab’s Treasure, several that pay homage to FromSoftware titles. So if you’re a boss fighting fan, you’re in for a treat. As long as you sit through the first few hours, the game opens up with its plethora of options, including skills that grant you the power to grapple to enemies or perform a riposte after a successful parry. You can, of course, spend your hard earned microplastics to level up attributes like strength or vitality, much like your typical role playing game.

The endless sea is yours to explore when you’re not busy fighting off possessed crustaceans and other deep sea entities. Get ready for some platforming, grappling, and underwater flying! There are a total of 69 shells to collect. Yes you heard that right, 69. Wandering off the beaten path will always reward you with power ups to increase your overall health, or other upgrades to your shell. But my favorite part about exploration is all the silly references to real life items we see in our world today. The Marlboro cigarettes are called Mario here. You’ll see Heinz ketchup packets used as flags and banners. Smuckers Uncrustables are Shuckers Uncrustworthys here. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is I Swear To God If This Isn’t Butter, I’m Seriously Going To Lose It. And the list goes on! I couldn’t help but chuckle every time I saw one of these products.

Did you know that this little crab could shoot a pistol and simultaneously use it as its personal shell? Well Krill can! If anyone ever gives you any trouble or frustration, you can pull out a gun and give them a one way ticket to the grave. Another Crab’s Treasure reinvents accessibility with its extensive suite of toggles and features. Aside from the pistol, you can also toggle more lenient parry and dodge windows in addition to extra shell durability and even prevent microplastic loss upon death. This “game for all” is designed to be accessible to newcomers of the genre while still providing a challenge for veterans!

Aside from a few glaring technical hiccups, I couldn’t find anything wrong gameplay-wise with this game. But unfortunately, it needs a bit more polishing on the performance side of things as there are some nasty bugs and frequent stutters. The game tends to freeze up and cause the frames to dip significantly when loading into new zones, and even in the midst of combat sometimes. Other times I would get stuck in terrain or button prompts would be unresponsive. None of these are game-breaking issues, but they did lessen the overall experience. Nothing a few quick patches can’t fix though.

An avid enthusiast of both tabletop and video games, finding endless joy in exploring different realms of entertainment!



Another Crab's Treasure

Review Guidelines

Even though Another Crab’s Treasure doesn’t break the mold of your typical Souls-like game, it’s a charming one thanks to its funny and not-so-serious mood. The hilarious yet practical accessibility features along with a colorful cast of characters make this one of the best indie Souls-likes to date. Who knew that one of my favorite indie games of this year would involve a hermit crab setting off on a deep sea adventure to take back his shell?

Henry Viola

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