Sometimes I buy a game in iTunes simply because it shows up in the new and recommended section of the store. Other times I purchase a game because it looks like it might be incredibly stupid. I bought Mr. Crab for both of these reasons, and after a weekend spent in crustacean circles I'm feeling pretty bad about the second one.
I blame Thursday afternoons, when the iTunes app store gets flooded with new releases and important updates to popular games. In a sea of familiar games that I've either been following or playing for months, here's a little googly-eyed crab, rendered in strangely-shining 3D. I might have passed it up completely, if not for the hypnotic draw of the giant spider in a top hat Illusion Labs used for one of its store images. Terrifying, yet oddly-compelling.
Once I was drawn into Mr. Crab's web I was trapped. Yes, crabs do not make webs. Imagine if they did. I'd never swim again.
Mr. Crab is an upwardly-mobile platformer. The titular hero click-clacks a circle around a series of colorful towers, collecting baby crabs on his way to the top. If he hits a wall, he changes direction. If he hits a walrus he'll drop down a level. If he jumps on a walrus' head, it would di. I probably would too.
The only thing Mr. Crab needs from you is a boost. Touch the screen to jump. That's it. Might as well jump. Forget it and jump. Jump.
It's not nearly as easy as it seems. The cylindrical levels are constantly turning as Mr. Crab moves, making judging tight jumps tricky business. Motion sickness sufferes might need to sit this one out, as the ever-spiraling shape will make them go insane.
Once you start playing Mr. Crab it's very hard to stop. There's always one more level, and then there's a boss fight, and well, that's done, might-as-well see what the next level looks like. Yeah, it's one of those. There is a final level, and you might just sit there until you reach it.
- Genre: Platformer
- Developer: Big Fish Games
- Platform: iOS
- Price: $.99