Another Crab’s Treasure Review – A New Tide For Shoalslikes

Another Crab's Treasure Review - A New Tide For Shoalslikes

Whilst playing Another Crab’s Treasure I started to get a bit angry. Not because it’s too hard or badly designed, but because it shouldn’t be possible to make a completely passable soulslike and also have good, funny and emotional writing. I think of all the soulslikes that have come before and a lot of them nail one aspect or the other, but to have both seems like absolute witchcraft.

Another Crab’s Treasure starts out with our protagonist, the hermit crab Kril, having his home taken away by a tax collector because he hasn’t paid back taxes to the duchess, something he knew nothing about. He sets off after the aptly named Loan Shark to get his home back. Unfortunately for Kril it’s not going to be that easy.

You’re armed with a cocktail fork for a weapon and one of many shells for defence. Shells are the important armour mechanic. The shells break after a few hits, and almost all of them have a special ability tied to them, which will turn the tide of battle. Sometimes it’ll be a heal, or a decoy, or a special attack. There’s a surprising amount of depth to choosing a shell, as you need to decide between what’s around you, what benefits it provides, and its weight. The weight of the shell (small, medium, and large) affects your ability to dodge, the heaviest shells putting you into the classic Souls ‘fat roll’. Because the shells are so important, you can even buy shell insurance, which will provide a specific shell for you upon death.

Wandering around without a shell is a huge risk, with no benefits. When your shell breaks during a boss fight, you’ll have to do a mad dash to find a new shell, so they can become quite the commodity. Better players than I will probably manage without one, but I didn’t feel like the game ever really pulled its punches. It’s as tough as any other soulslike game.

One might think that the cute colour palette might mean the game is set for a younger, less seasoned audience. Perish the thought. There are plenty of bosses, and plenty of enemies which will be more than happy to rain death upon you. I will admit I feel the parry/dodge timings are a mite tighter than I’d like, but there are augments you can use specifically for offset this. If that’s not enough and you’re still finding the game too difficult, there are also some great difficulty options you can change during your playthrough with no disadvantages. I hear people bemoaning soulslikes having difficulty options; but I don’t think Aggro Crab give a heck about your rants about purity. Whilst you’re on your soapbox trying to convince people it was more difficult way-back-when, this game is at the party making out with the hottest person in class and being the life of the party. Also, the absolute easiest difficulty just put a gun on your back with infinite ammo, which will never not be hilarious.

A lot of the dialogue is genuinely very funny too. I had many moments when I laughed out loud, which feels absolutely wacky for this type of game. Other times I was convincing myself I’d get ’em next time as I was struggling with a boss. By the end of the game I was surprised by the twists it took, and the shift in tone. The currency of the game is microplastics and trash is the main theme, so not sure why I was surprised. All a reminder that humans really are the worst thing for this planet and everything else is doing its best to just hang on.

I kind of wish the game had more weapons though. You can upgrade your fork to get stronger, and some abilities allow you to augment your fork to a hammer but I still wish it had more. It’d make a much more challenging game to code around that though, so I also appreciate the streamlining. There’s a magic system to the game too; your magic is called “Umami” and has the shorthand of MSG, which I almost spit out my drink when I saw it. There’s still a lot of options for mixing up attacks between strength and umami, and the game gives you the ability to reset your stats if you want to see if the seagrass is greener on the other side.

Another Crab’s Treasure is an absolute joy. I freely admit that the later sections of the game are a bit more drab, but it’s by design. It’s a good soulslike that doesn’t outstay its welcome. It has a story to tell, and wants to challenge you along the way. My time came in around 25 hours, and there’s no new game plus that I could see. There’s still one or two bosses I haven’t found yet and some shells, so I look forward to going back and finding them. This is a game that wants to be enjoyed and not have infinite replayability, and that’s totally ok. I’d rather a game that’s tight and does what it wants than something that’s loose with mechanics but trying to be around forever anyway.

Another Crab's Treasure Review Box

Another Crab’s Treasure was reviewed on PC with a code kindly provided by PopAgenda.

Have you seen our Merch Store?

Get 5% off these great Arcade Machines and help support Player 2

Check out our Most Recent Video

Find us on Metacritic

Check out our Most Recent Posts