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Another Crab's Treasure Review

Nintendo Switch by Aggro Crab 0 text

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Claws out, shells on, treasure ho!

"Another Crab's Treasure" by Aggro Crab is a richly imaginative, environmentally conscious action-adventure game that blends the challenge of a soulslike genre with the whimsy and charm of its aquatic setting. Set in a vibrantly colored underwater world teetering on the brink of ecological collapse, this game is both a call to environmental awareness and a deep, engaging narrative experience wrapped in a unique gameplay package.

The game begins with Kril, a hermit crab whose life is upturned when his shell, a fundamental piece of his identity and protection, is repossessed. This sets the stage for an epic quest not just for survival, but for identity and restoration. Kril's journey is emblematic of larger themes—resilience in the face of environmental destruction, the repurposing of what society discards, and an exploration of identity, all presented through the lens of an underwater creature's struggle for survival. As players guide Kril through kelp forests, coral reefs, and the darkened depths of polluted waters, they encounter a world rich with lore, danger, and the beauty of rediscovery.

The overarching narrative thrust of "Another Crab's Treasure" centers around environmental storytelling, where every piece of trash and every landscape feature tells a part of the ocean's story. Players encounter remnants of human waste—bottles, cans, plastic rings—which serve as both physical armor for Kril and metaphoric armor against the game's underlying themes of environmental neglect. This juxtaposition of survival through the detritus of human consumption not only makes a poignant statement about waste but also cleverly integrates into the gameplay mechanics where trash becomes treasure, or more aptly, survival gear.

In its visual and thematic narrative, "Another Crab's Treasure" does something exceptional. It takes the dark, often oppressive atmosphere typical of the soulslike genre and transforms it into something both light-hearted and grave. The bright, cartoony visuals contrast sharply with the dangers lurking within the game, creating a juxtaposition that highlights the game’s environmental messages. Kril’s adventures bring him face-to-face with the results of pollution and environmental disregard, making each discovery both a moment of joy and a reminder of the ocean's plight.

Through cryptic messages left by past inhabitants and the state of the submerged environments, players piece together the history of this once-thriving aquatic world now choked by pollution. These messages and environmental cues are layered throughout gameplay, rewarding exploration and attention to detail with deeper understanding and narrative progression. This method of storytelling invites players to engage with the game’s world in a more meaningful way, turning every exploration into a narrative discovery.

The artistic rendering of the underwater world in "Another Crab's Treasure" is nothing short of spectacular. The game's artists have created a setting that is both alien and familiar, filled with the lush vibrancy of underwater life juxtaposed with the stark, eerie visuals of pollution-affected zones. The dynamic lighting effects illuminate the depths with a bioluminescent glow that makes dark corners of the ocean floor both inviting and foreboding.

vAs players progress, they not only unlock new areas but also contribute to the ecological narrative, encountering species affected by the pollution and sometimes aiding in small recoveries. This progress is not just about moving forward in the game but about deepening the understanding of the environmental impact and Kril’s role in this narrative. The game doesn't shy away from presenting the grim realities of environmental damage, but it also offers a glimmer of hope through Kril’s actions and the recovery of the oceanic world he explores.

Gameplay 7

The gameplay of "Another Crab's Treasure" is a masterful blend of challenge and innovation, delivering a soulslike experience with a unique twist. Players control Kril, navigating through intricately designed levels that challenge both their combat skills and their ability to strategize under pressure. The game builds on the foundational mechanics of the soulslike genre—tight combat, significant enemy threats, and high stakes for failure—with added layers of complexity through its unique shell and Umami Techniques systems.

Combat in "Another Crab's Treasure" is both a tactical challenge and a narrative element. Kril, being smaller than many of his adversaries, must use the debris and trash found throughout the ocean as makeshift armor and weapons. This repurposing is not just a gameplay mechanic but a statement on resourcefulness and survival in a world overwhelmed by waste. Each piece of trash Kril adopts as armor provides different defensive capabilities and affects how he interacts with enemies, requiring players to think critically about how they equip Kril for the battles ahead.

Enemies in the game range from small, pesky predators of the deep to colossal, terrifying bosses that challenge players to leverage everything they’ve learned. The bosses, inspired by real marine creatures, possess unique abilities that Kril must counter with his own. This not only makes each boss battle a significant hurdle but also a puzzle that players must solve, integrating the game’s environmental narrative with its gameplay. For instance, a boss modeled after a bobbit

worm might use its ability to ambush from beneath the sand, forcing Kril to adopt a shell that improves his mobility or enhances his sensory capabilities to detect subtle movements.

The "Umami Techniques" further enrich the gameplay experience, granting Kril abilities based on the characteristics of the marine life whose essence he captures. These abilities range from the explosive punch of a mantis shrimp to the ensnaring grip of a bobbit worm, each offering new combat strategies and interactions with the environment. As Kril defeats enemies and overcomes challenges, he gains access to these powers, which can then be used to explore previously inaccessible areas or to turn the tide in battle. This system not only diversifies the gameplay but also ties into the game’s thematic core by emphasizing the interconnectedness of life and the importance of understanding and respecting the natural world.

Exploration is another pillar of "Another Crab's Treasure," with the game world consisting of interconnected environments that Kril can traverse in a nonlinear fashion. This setup encourages players to revisit earlier areas with new abilities or insights, allowing them to uncover hidden paths, solve environmental puzzles, and discover secrets that were not accessible on their first pass. The game rewards this exploration with both narrative insights and practical upgrades, enhancing Kril's abilities and his capacity to influence the game world.

The environmental puzzles are a standout feature, often requiring players to manipulate elements of the oceanic environment or to utilize specific Umami Techniques to proceed. These puzzles are not just obstacles but narrative expressions, revealing more about the game’s world and the impact of pollution as Kril solves them. Each solved puzzle not only progresses the game but also subtly educates the player about the environmental themes at the heart of Kril’s journey.

Accessibility and difficulty customization are integral to the game's design, reflecting Aggro Crab’s commitment to making "Another Crab's Treasure" enjoyable for a wide range of players. Difficulty settings and assist features allow players to modify the game’s challenge level, making it accessible to those new to the soulslike genre while still offering a rigorous experience for veterans. These settings can be adjusted at any time, giving players the flexibility to tailor their experience as their skills improve or as they seek new challenges.

In conclusion, "Another Crab's Treasure" offers a gameplay experience that is as deep and varied as the oceanic setting it portrays. Combining challenging combat, strategic gameplay mechanics, and a compelling narrative with environmental consciousness, the game sets itself apart in the crowded soulslike genre. It challenges players not just to master its mechanics but to think critically about the themes it explores and the world it presents, making every victory in Kril’s journey feel both hard-earned and meaningful.

Graphics 8

The game's graphics are a standout feature, presenting a colorful, cartoonish art style that contrasts with the typically grim aesthetics of its genre peers. The underwater settings are meticulously crafted, filled with vibrant biomes and animated with a lively, almost tangible quality that enhances the exploration experience.

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Storyline 7

The narrative of "Another Crab's Treasure" revolves around environmental themes, portraying a once-thriving underwater kingdom now struggling with pollution and a mysterious affliction known as the Gunk. Kril's adventure is not just a journey for survival but a commentary on environmental degradation, making the storyline both compelling and socially relevant.

Multiplayer N/A

This game does not feature a multiplayer component, focusing instead on a rich single-player experience.

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Issues and Community Feedback

While the game has been praised for its innovative approach and engaging gameplay, some players have reported challenges with the difficulty curve, which can be steep in traditional soulslike fashion. However, the developer has included various assist options to tailor the experience to different skill levels, ensuring accessibility while maintaining challenge.

Conclusion 7.5

"Another Crab's Treasure" is a notable entry in the soulslike genre that successfully blends challenging gameplay with a charming narrative and environmental consciousness. It's a testament to Aggro Crab's creativity and commitment to delivering a game that's both fun and thought-provoking. With its unique setting and engaging mechanics, it promises to attract a diverse audience, from hardcore gamers to those new to the genre.

Pros and Cons

  • Vibrant world
  • Innovative combat
  • Environmental narrative
  • Steep difficulty curve
  • No multiplayer

Player Quotes

"Never knew I needed a cute Souls game until now!"

"Kril's journey hits harder with every piece of trash-turned-treasure!"

"The difficulty can be brutal, but it's worth the challenge!"

Explore More

Please note that this review is based on the feedback and sentiments of players on various Reddit threads and does not represent the views of all players.