Home Reviews 4/5 Review Another Crab’s Treasure Review

Another Crab’s Treasure Review

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There is something wrong here. I’m playing what looks like a nice friendly platformer, but I’m repeatedly getting my ass handed to me. Yes, Another Crab’s Treasure, the latest from Aggro Crab is a Soulslike in all but name. And I have, without wanting to spoil the rest of the review, been loving it. 

So, come with me to the underwater version of Dark Shoals (see what I did there?) and let us see what dangers the big bad ocean has to offer. Try not to die!

Another Crabs Treasure review 1
This is Another Crab’s Treasure!

Obviously every hero needs a backstory, a reason to leave his home and try and fight. Our little crab, Kril, is no exception. Being a hermit crab, he has a lovely shell of his very own, until one day a tax collector comes calling, telling him that he owes taxes to the Duchess who has annexed his tidal pool. Long story short, the Loan Shark takes Kril’s shell, telling him that he can have it back when he has paid the owed taxes. The scene is thus set to try and recover Kril’s home.

But with a big wide ocean out there, what can possibly go wrong? The thing about hermit crabs without a shell is that they are pretty squishy, and so we need to try and fight to survive. There is a cool mechanic I’ll chat about later that should help us with that…

Now, the presentation of the game is our next port of call (I will stop with the sea going puns, honest) and here the news is largely good, but sadly not perfect. The action in Another Crab’s Treasure is viewed from the traditional Dark Souls perspective of third person, looking over Kril’s shoulder (do crabs have shoulders?) and the world is a lovely, 3D kind of place to go exploring. The enemies we face are nicely designed and beautifully animated, and this helps with seeing what is going on in the inevitable combat that we have to engage in. And it must be said, the draw distances are long, and everything looks great, especially the way that human trash has been incorporated into the environment. 

The sound is also bang on, with some lovely music and sound effects accompanying the action. The only fly in the ointment is the camera, which gets confused very easily, happily leaving us looking at a blank wall while we get the shell kicked off of us. There are also certain areas where it is possible to get stuck in the scenery, usually when carrying a good amount of microplastics! These are quite common complaints for Soulslikes though, so I’m not going to make too much of a meal of them. Overall, presentation is pretty good, all things considered. 

Another Crabs Treasure review 3
Deffo a Soulslike…

Of course, in a regular Soulslike, there are souls to be collected from defeated enemies. And so is the case here. The currency in Another Crab’s Treasure is that of microplastics, a frankly alarming phenomena found in the seas. This stuff not only allows us to level Kril up, hopefully making him less squishy, but it is also used to buy things from the shop. As you level up, you get stronger, being able to put points in the usual way for your character; like health, attack power and so on.

There is a skill tree that is separate to the ordinary one that uses Umami crystals to purchase powers that can really make a difference to the way that you play. These allow such things as plunge attacks and parries, and with these options in play, the game feels a lot more like a proper Soulslike. Of course, you have to get far enough into the game to meet the character who can do this for you, and there are a lot of problems before you get there, including two mandatory bosses and at least one optional boss. 

Kril’s armoury is a little sparse when it comes to weapons; his only option being a fork that he finds at the beginning of the game. However, hunt down the obligatory blacksmith and the relevant materials, and this fork can be upgraded to make you stronger. However, the real game changer is found in the shells that Kril can grab as he goes along. These not only provide you with protection if you block with them, withdrawing into said shell, but each shell also has a special power that is unlocked with an Umami charge (again, once you get far enough into the narrative) and these are great levellers. The powers vary from shell to shell, with the soda can, for instance, shooting out bubbles that interrupt the enemies, while the waffle cone shell freezes enemies when they attack you. Finding the right shell for the fight you are about to face is a matter of luck, but you can definitely develop preferences based on the attacks. 

Combat is as you’d expect, with the difficulty of Another Crab’s Treasure set somewhere in the stratosphere. From there, the usual Dark Souls tropes of dodging, parrying and counter attacking are all present and correct. The Umami charges are recharged by attacking with Kril’s fork, and so as long as you can keep your shell in one piece (easier said than done, believe me!) you can keep attacking. For me, the difficulty is right on the button for a Souls game, being incredibly hard.

Another Crabs Treasure review 2
Hard, but fair

But you should never fear – if you aren’t a veteran, or if you just want an easier ride, there are a full range of assists that can be turned on, ranging from giving Kril a gun, which is a one hit kill on any enemy, boss or not, through to simpler ones like a longer dodge window, or reducing the damage that you take from foes, from a little bit down to basically making you invincible. In this way, Another Crab’s Treasure can be balanced to how you want to play, and this is a good thing to see. Using these assists doesn’t disable achievements either, which is always a bit of a tick.

Another Crab’s Treasure is an outstanding game, only let down by a dodgy camera and some unfortunate scenery issues. The combat is hard but fair, capable of being tweaked to your liking, and that means exploring a vast underwater world as a small crab has never been such fun.

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another-crabs-treasure-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Good story</li> <li>Great challenge, that can be mitigated</li> <li>Cutest Soulslike ever</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Camera gets confused easily in tight spaces</li> <li>Issues with falling through the scenery or getting stuck in walls</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Aggro Crab</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 25 April 2024 | £24.99</li> </ul>
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