Sometimes, a game comes along and totally catches you by surprise. Whether it’s unexpected gameplay hooks, or a story that really needles your brain, there’s nothing quite like discovering a gem. Now, Another Crabs Treasure might not have been top of my wish list, and the idea just seemed a little too ridiculous. But, what an absolute delight. Coming from the studio, Aggro Crab, what we have is a Souls-like, that takes you on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

Life is pretty chilled and relaxed for our little buddy Krill. A simple hermit crab, with a simple life – all he wants is to live his life in his shell and have nobody bother him. Unfortunately, the local Queen has decided his tide pool is now part of her domain and she’s sent a lackey to collect her taxes. Being cash poor and caught unawares, the not-so-friendly loan shark takes his shell as payment leading to an epic adventure under the sea. From meeting a queen, to starting a civilian uprising and going on a treasure hunt in a forgotten city, Krills life will never be the same again.

Another Crabs Treasure shakes up the standard story telling formula we’ve become accustomed to in the these games. Whilst there is still a great deal of environmental lore, the game leans more into a fully fleshed out and understandable plot. There’s the occasional, wonderfully voiced cutscene driving the story forward at key points and a multitude of NPCs and side characters to interact with. The main cast are well developed and have interesting motivations, for example, Chitan the knight who fought for the Queen but now fights to save the seabed. Or the many bosses, who all lay out their plans and chew the scenery, like every great baddie just before an epic fight. Krill is a wonderful main character as well. All he wants is to get his shell back and he ends up getting dragged into all sorts of shenanigans. No matter what, his resilience is to be admired and his personal growth is fantastic and well earned.

If you’ll pardon the pun, there’s a lot of depth to the story overall. The overarching quest is simply doing what you can to get your shell back, but the story as a whole provides so much more. There’s feelings of loss, empathy and greed. There’s joy and companionship. You’ll experience political plots and back stabbing along the way, while in the background, it gently pokes away at you with an overall theme of protecting the oceans and its inhabitants. This particular topic is very much present, but for those who worry about these things, it doesn’t feel like it’s pushing an agenda. It’s a very human problem, and with a very human feeling cast, the impact can be felt all the more.

It’s all very well written and left me with more than a few person messages and thoughts. I never thought such an unassuming game could carry so much weight and have so much to say. The writing humorous and the voice acting is impeccable. There’s proper emotion in Krills delivery and the back up cast are no slouches either. For what starts as a light hearted romp, by the end I’d grown to love these characters and what Krill has become. He’s some kid!

But it all needs quality gameplay to back it up and this is where FromSofts influence is more keenly mimicked, but it’s not lifted wholesale. One thing I want to get out of the way first is this games approach to difficulty and accessibility. Souls games are known for being tough as old boot straps – and it’s not really any different here. If you want the challenge, just play with the default settings and it comes with the general grief we’ve come to expect. If, however, you’d like to enjoy the story there’s a suit of options to make things easier. You can improve invincibility frames and make the party window larger. You can remove fall damage to make the platforming sections less of a pain. Die when carrying too much XP in a tough area? Get it all back and spend it before you try again. Don’t fancy the combat and want to just experience the story – then here’s a gun. It’s a one shot kill on everything including bosses. It’s actually quite good fun to use and has a ton of HP so it makes for a great piece of defensive equipment should something get too close. The whole approach opens the game up to a much broader audience as a result. It shows that there are ways to make the genre more accessible, while not altering the challenge for those who enjoy it.

Combat has the usual ebb and flow with a reliance on dodging, parrying and blocking between attacks. While the generic sea life can be felled with a few swipes, larger horrors lurk and will happily put you in your place. Likewise, getting caught by small groups will see you meet your maker. Should that happen though, it’s back to the nearest shell and you go again. As expected, all enemies spawn back and you need to collect your old junk again. One thing I did really like though is that they’ve done away with the boss runs. If you get taken out in one of these fight it’s easy enough to spawn at the entrance again. The only thing really lacking was a great diversity in the enemies. Later variants are just tougher versions of what’s gone before but there are a few sneaky surprises in there. The combat is good fun overall, but it is a little basic.

One thing it does entirely differently though is flip the equipment system on its head. There are no traditional armour types here but armour is everywhere. Tin cans, tennis balls, dolls heads, you name it, this is your armour. As a hermit crab, everything you inhabit can be turned into a shell and they all come with a variety of spells or “Umami” as it’s known here. The different weights also affect dodge rolling with the larger ones resulting in a panicked dive rather than a graceful cartwheel.

Each ‘armour’ piece basically gives you protection and an extra health bar if used properly. You see, when blocking, the shell will eat most damage. The bigger the shell, the more damage it can take. This can all be mitigated though with the trusty parry. Timing this right not only builds up a balance meter which tips them over when filled, it also negates all damage to Krill and his shell. It’s a pretty clever mechanic. There’s also only one weapon throughout and that’s your trusty fork. Naturally, this can be upgraded to cause more damage, additionally though, one of the skills you can unlock later allows you to attach trash and turn it into a heavier hitting hammer. It’s a very elegant solution that fits right in with the theme.

Exploration is a large part of your adventure and thankfully it’s a very pretty open world. Large central areas operate as hubs to each of the dungeons and there’s a nice mix of biomes, all sporting nautical accoutrements and a variety of fauna. Seeking out hidden nooks and crannies can often yield collectibles or throw a little parkour puzzle at you. Much like Metroidvania titles, you might find areas locked off until further upgrades are available. The first of which is a handy grappling hook that can be used to swing over gaps and later, as a spear to pull enemies toward you. There’s a fair amount of platforming to be done later in the game as well. None of it is super challenging, but again, it’s more than capable with the controls feeling very tight. With it being set underwater it’s easy to make adjustments on the fly and you can paddles to get more distance.

It’s all very familiar then, but it totally feels like it’s one thing. The setting for one is unique. Who’d have thought a crab with a fork for a weapon would work? The cartoon stylings also betray a capable combat system and some deft writing. There’s a ton of Easter eggs to be found and lots of NPC chatter. There’s a stripped out stats system at play as well. It focuses on four areas – health, resistance, attack and magic. Spending XP to level up is much easier to understand with each point being explained clearly. I lent towards damage output and health and buffed my stats with the many pieces of equipment I could attach. There’s a skill tree as well and again, this is simplified into three branches with only a few upgrades available in each. It’s here you can access extra attacks, better magic abilities and shell improvements. It’s also really easy to max out so pick what you think you’ll use most at the start and don’t worry about missing anything.

This was something I enjoyed most about Another Crabs Treasure – I never felt like I was missing anything. It has open spaces but progresses in a linear fashion. Little branches open shortcuts and dead ends usually have treasure. It never feels like it’s wasting your time if you explore. It doesn’t throw a million side quests at you either which is quite refreshing. It’s not all perfect though as I did experience hitching when loading into new areas and some dramatic performance issues in busy areas. None of it impacted important moments but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.

I had a great time with Another Crabs Treasure. The combat was enjoyable and the story was a treat. I went in knowing very little about it and came away really impressed. It looks lovely, the cast are excellent and the gameplay is tight. Its short length is ideal, with me finishing in about 8 hours. There’s plenty to do in that short time and it’s exceptionally streamlined. What we’ve been given is a great example of how to take inspiration from something and put your own stamp on it. The ability to tune the difficulty to your own preference is an excellent idea that would be great to see implemented in similar titles. Aggro Crab have a winner on their hands here and I hope we get to see more of Krills adventures in the future.

  • 85%
    CX Score - 85%



  • Tune the difficulty to your preference
  • Great story
  • Solid combat
  • Simplified upgrade system



  • Some performance issues
  • Poor enemy variety

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