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Another Crab's Treasure Review


the title image for another crabs treasure featuring a coral reef
Image: Aggro Crab

Scurrying through the sandy depths of the gaming ocean, I've recently stumbled upon a true gem encrusted with clever design and environmental consciousness and as a soulslike enthusiast who happens to like the ocean I had to give it a try. Another Crab’s Treasure by developer Aggro Crab might just be the freshest twist on the soulslike genre you'll get your claws on this year. Having completed the game, I’m excited to dive into why this is more than just a quirky underwater adventure it’s a heartfelt journey through the polluted ocean, armed with makeshift shells and a grappling hook, ready to tackle some serious environmental themes with a sense of humour. So stay tuned for this Another Crab's Treasure Review.


 

Story


In Another Crab's Treasure, you play as Kril, a tiny hermit crab whose home is abruptly swept away by a turbulent current, thrusting him into an epic treasure hunt on the ocean floor. This adventure isn't just about survival; it's a poignant quest for a new shell, one that symbolises both a home and identity for our diminutive hero in the vast, polluted ocean.

As Kril, players will traverse various regions of a richly detailed underwater world—from the glistening sands between coral reefs to the shadowy confines of kelp forests. Each new area not only presents environmental challenges but also unwraps layers of a story that blends light-hearted adventure with stark environmental messages.


"These narratives introduce players to the harsh realities facing marine life due to our consumption habits"

The overarching plot revolves around Kril's search for a legendary treasure, rumored to be an epic cache of pristine, untouched shells. However, the journey quickly deepens as Kril encounters other oceanic creatures, each sharing tales of how the encroaching human pollution has affected them. These narratives introduce players to the harsh realities facing marine life due to our consumption habits, from microplastics that blend indistinguishably with the sands to oil spills that suffocate the vital currents of the underwater ecosystem.


Beyond the environmental commentary, the story is filled with whimsical characters and clever interactions that bring a sense of humor and levity to the narrative. For instance, Kril's dealings with a loan shark who offers him dubious deals on new shells or his confrontations with the "boss" creatures like the imposing moon snail, add depth to the gameplay and narrative alike. These boss battles are not just obstacles but pivotal moments that further the story and test Kril’s resolve and adaptability.


Kril's reluctance, yet necessity, to venture into dangerous territories like the Bikini Bottom-esque areas where the shadows of big baddies loom, mirrors the journey many must undertake to reclaim what they’ve lost to environmental degradation. It’s a clever twist that has players rooting for Kril while subtly nudging them to reflect on their environmental footprint.


In essence, Another Crab's Treasure leverages its narrative to weave a touching, often humorous tale that is as much about finding a new home as it is about shedding light on the real-world issue of ocean pollution. Through Kril's adventure, the game achieves a narrative depth that is both engaging and enlightening, making each player's journey a valuable part of a larger, critical conversation about our planet’s health and our role in its future.


 

Gameplay


The core of Another Crab's Treasure is its inventive and challenging gameplay that adeptly borrows elements from the soulslike genre while introducing fresh mechanics that make it stand out. As Kril, players will navigate a treacherous underwater world, battling enemies, solving puzzles, and overcoming intricate platforming challenges.


At the heart of the gameplay is the combat system, which is as punishing and rewarding as any soulslike fan would hope. Kril can equip different shells he finds scattered across the ocean floor, each offering not just physical protection but also unique abilities and spells. For instance, a shell made from soda cans increases Kril's defense against sharp attacks, such as those from coral shards, while a tennis ball shell might enhance agility, allowing for quicker dodges and swift counterattacks. The shell system is also integral to the game’s strategic depth. Each shell has different durability and must be managed carefully; taking too much damage can result in a shell breaking, leaving Kril vulnerable until another can be found or repaired. This introduces a level of resource management that demands players weigh the benefits of offensive versus defensive strategies in real-time.


Boss fights are major highlights, each designed to challenge the player's mastery of the game's mechanics. From the ferocious headsman to the knight-like captain of the guard, these bosses are not only formidable opponents but also gatekeepers to new areas and story progressions. Defeating them requires careful observation of attack patterns, precise timing, and effective use of Kril's shell abilities.


Progression in Kril's abilities is managed through an intricate skill tree, where players can enhance Kril’s combat effectiveness, unlock new moves, or improve his shell spells. This system allows for a tailored gameplay experience, letting players choose upgrades that best fit their play style, whether they prefer a more aggressive approach or a methodical one that focuses on defense and counterattacking. Exploration is another pillar of the gameplay. The game's world is vast and filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered with environmental puzzles often require creative use of the grappling hook and the unique properties of different shells to solve, adding a layer of depth to the exploration. For example, using a metal shell to be attracted to a moving magnet and reach a new area.


The environmental interaction also extends to the narrative, with many areas revealing more about the world's condition through visual storytelling and tooltips. Players will encounter areas choked by nets and plastic waste, providing not only obstacles but poignant reminders of the ocean's plight. These elements enrich the exploration, making each discovery both a triumph in gameplay and a moment of reflection on environmental issues. Understanding the often steep difficulty curve of soulslike games, Another Crab’s Treasure includes various accessibility options to make the game more approachable. Players can customise the difficulty to some extent, such as opting to lower enemy health or enhance Kril’s defensive capabilities, allowing for a more forgiving experience without detracting from the game’s challenge. These assist options are a thoughtful inclusion, ensuring that players of all skill levels can enjoy Kril’s journey and the story it tells.


Overall, the gameplay of Another Crab's Treasure is a rich and engaging blend of challenging combat, strategic depth, thoughtful exploration, and poignant environmental commentary. It offers both hardcore soulslike enthusiasts and newcomers a chance to test their skills and wits in a beautifully crafted underwater world, making every victory feel earned and every discovery meaningful.


 

Graphics & Sound Design


The art style of Another Crab's Treasure captures the beauty and tragedy of its setting. While you'll marvel at the colourful reefs and lush kelp forests, the presence of trash and environmental decay is a powerful visual commentary. The clever use of everyday objects as armor and tools lends the game a whole lot of character, ensuring that each new area not only presents new dangers but also new visual delights. The soundtrack of Another Crab's Treasure is an absolute treasure chest itself. It ranges from calming sea currents to intense techno during boss battles, enhancing the ebb and flow of the gameplay.


 

Conclusion


Another Crab's Treasure is not just a joke soulslike game with cute characters and clever twists. It's a thoughtful critique on environmental issues, wrapped in an engaging and challenging gameplay experience. With its unique take on the soulslike formula and a compelling environmental theme, it’s a must-play for anyone looking for a game that offers more than just entertainment. Aggro Crab has done a great job with their second game, delivering a soulslike experience that’s accessible, visually striking, and deeply meaningful. Whether you’re a veteran of souls games or just looking for a good time with a fun story, Another Crab's Treasure is sure to offer both a challenge and a charming adventure. So grab your favorite shell and prepare to explore the depths you won’t want to miss a moment of this epic treasure hunt.


8/10

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