July 30, 2020
I’m only going to give you one guess as to what the game Fight Crab is about, and I’m pretty sure that everyone will get it right. You play as a crab, and you fight other crabs. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then you just won’t be the demographic for this game. However, if you’re excited to get your big meaty claws around the pathetic carapace of one of your crustacean brethren, then you’re in for one big seafood treat, my friend.
It might surprise readers to know that Fight Crab is actually the third in developer Calappa Games’ sea creature themed fighting games, the first two being Neo Aquarium and Ace of Seafood. Both of which can be purchased on Steam either individually or in a bundle called the Seafood Platter.
The actual goal of Fight Crab is simple. You want to be the last crab scuttling around the ring, but the method you use to beat your soft shelled opponents are widely varied. To win, all giant enemy crabs need to be flipped onto their cold damp backs and as you attack them, they have a percentage that slowly goes up (think Super Smash Bros.) that makes it a lot easier to knock them over. While you could simply attack with your claws like the crustaceans of old, we crabs have long since evolved and learned to use a wide array of weaponry. You can utilise a sword, a shield like the chivalrous knightley crabs of yore, or a revolver like one of those well known wild west crabs, the world truly is your oyster.
Fight Crab’s controls can be a little obtuse. While I commend the attempt to fully capture the majesty of the crustacean, the use of one joystick per claw leaves you without an organic way to move or control the camera. Therefore movement is mapped to the d-pad, tapping in a direction will send your crab moving that-a-way and double tapping makes them barrel in that direction like seafood with a vengeance. The camera control is managed by tilting both claws left or right to rotate the crab, and clicking in the joystick to move the camera. While the controls are not easy to use and I’m sure they are even harder to master, once you actually get into a 4v4 all out crab battle, you will quickly find yourself not caring so much.
“While you could simply attack with your claws like the crustaceans of old, we crabs have long since evolved and learned to use a wide array of weaponry.”
Customisation options are surprisingly robust in this game, with not only a large variety of crabs (and one lobster) to choose from in the roster, but also weapons that can be equipped in each of the crusteacen’s mighty claws. I haven’t counted exactly how many weapons there are available, as that would surely be a waste of everyone’s time, though I can easily say that there are way more than someone would reasonably expect from a game about playing as a creature without opposable thumbs. Or any thumbs for that matter. There are swords, nunchucks, crowbars, rockets and even polearms half the length of the stage. Each weapon is little more than flailed about in a fruitless attempt to make contact with another crab, but that doesnt stop the fear you feel deep inside when a lobster rounds the corner with a rocket equipped to each of it’s powerful claws.
You are also able to change the color of any crab that you choose to play as and you can even spec your crab with level up points. You can boost the speed, strength and other stats of your crab to get them ahead in the crab leagues. The map locations in the game are varied as well, from your local grocery store, to a city, and even the top of a table at a fancy chinese restaurant. Each location provides different gameplay opportunities, all being different sizes and shapes, with the restaurant providing the extra challenge of having to stay on the table. The different kinds of crustacean you can play as offer different gameplay experiences as well, playing as a long limbed spider crab feels vastly different than playing as a much smaller snow crab. Tall crabs have limbs that feel long and unwieldy, but their range is insane, and while a coconut crab packs a mean pinch, it also moves very slowly. Make sure to pick a crab that best suits your personal playstyle!
While Fight Crab comes with a versus mode perfect for pinching down on your other crab friends, there is also a decently long campaign with several crabs using different weapons to fight spanning across all the game’s areas. Each area ends with a final fight against a sufficiently powerful opponent. These levels can either be taken solo or with a friend, and if no friends are available, the AI will be sure to help you out. The game isn’t too difficult on normal, but you will likely still find yourself losing a few times, this is when the game asks if you want air support. Usually most people complain when a game implies that they need help, but something about the image of a giant crab abreast a flighterplane tempted me in ways you cannot imagine. I was not disappointed. The actual fights are a sight to behold, most of the time little more is visible than a tangle of limbs and the occasional katana and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Great soundtrack
- Insane customisation
- Hilarious party game
- You get to BE THE CRAB
- Confusing control scheme
- Not a great single player game
Fight Crab is not a game that you learn, it is a game that you and your friends jump into for a fun frenzy of wall climbing, hyper moves and even the occasional kamehameha. It knows exactly what it is, with its bombastic anime menu theme, bright environments and hilarious level names and taglines. It is not designed to be mastered and fought competitively by the kind of people who think Final Destination is the only valid Smash Bros stage. It is a game for people who want to pick a minivan up in their claws and beat a lobster over the head with it. If you think you are the sort of person who will enjoy Fight Crab, I have no doubt that you will.