Mr. Crab, a tower-climbing 3D platformer featuring a plucky crustacean, has been released by Illusion Labs and is now available from the app store. With its polished presentation, simple controls, and entertaining gameplay, Illusion Labs has the makings of another hit on its hands.
Mr. Crab Pros:
- Variety of colorful themed environments, ultra-cute characters, and great animations
- Upbeat soundtrack and arcade sound effects
- Simple tap controls
- Clever level design
Mr. Crab Cons:
- Lacks GameCenter integration
- Gets a bit dizzying when staring at the screen for extended periods of time
Mr. Crab features more than 40 levels where the main character auto-moves along platforms surrounding a tower that auto-rotates as you move. The goal is to collect all of your little crab babies and as much valuable loot as possible on your way to the top. Your only input is to jump by tapping the screen. You can also jump slightly higher by holding the screen slightly longer. Bump into a barrier and the crab skitters in the opposite direction. Jump on the head of an enemy to knock him off of the tower. Some enemies require a couple of bounces, while bosses require several to defeat them. Contact an enemy in any other way and any crab babies in tow will be scattered in the vicinity, stuck on their backs as you drop downward from your platform until you land on another below. There is no way to die, but you can find yourself stuck in particularly challenging sections for a while. You receive points based on how quickly you reach the end point, how much loot you’ve gathered, and how many crab babies reach safety with you. This score is translated into a 3-star system to rate your performance. Levels get much trickier as you progress, introducing wall jumps and the like to spice things up.
Graphically, Mr. Crab has a colorful cutesy look that initially led us to assume that this game was geared toward pre-school children, but the challenging gameplay is just as enticing to adults. The character animations are fluid and fun, and the level design is quite impressive. There are even a variety of environments like sandy beaches, lush forests, and icy tundras to keep the visuals fresh. Enemies, platforms, and loot are themed according to the location. The game can also be played in both landscape and portrait orientation, which is a fun option. The soundtrack is ultra-cute and the tap controls are very responsive and simple to use, allowing you to tap anywhere on-screen to jump rather than limiting you to a specific button. Our only issue was that we did start feeling a bit dizzy after staring at the spinning screen during extended play sessions. Replay value is pretty good, as you’ll likely require multiple attempts at certain levels to nab all three stars. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of GameCenter integration. A universal app for $0.99, Mr. Crab is a 4-Dimple champ.
Mr. Crab Review,