Mr. Crab Review

By , on April 16, 2013
Last modified 11 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Crab
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Slick presentation; great use of depth of field on newer devices to keep players focused on the action.
  • Elegant pick up and play style; short, tightly designed levels and an easy to learn one-touch control system.


  • Visual changes don't amount to needing to learn new tactics; once you've played the first few levels you've seen most of what's on offer - repetitious content.


Mr. Crab is nothing more or less than a competent, lighthearted, and gorgeously presented platformer you can tackle in bite-sized snacks. It does settle in to a rut early on, but you might not care if you're having enough fun.

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Everything old is new again thanks to the iOS platform, and while the rotating-tower platformer is certainly not a new one, Mr. Crab manages to bring a breath of fresh air to the dusty concept. And hey, not everyone is an ancient curmudgeon like me, so party on you crazy kids.

Speaking of party, prepare to get your hat-head ready as Mr. Crab has a penchant for noggin-covers. This is more of an aside, but as Dave has mentioned before, gamers love their hats - it's a mystery for the ages.

But enough about you, lets talk about the game.

You control the eponymous Mr. Crab with a single touch - a light tap performs a small jump; hold longer for a high-jump; and if you encounter a wall you can bounce off it as well (reversing your direction in the process). Despite such a simple scheme, the game throws you in the deep end as you attempt to literally wrap your head around its spiraling towers covered the all manner of platforms, enemies, trap doors, and bonuses to pick up.

On earlier stages it's a snap to jump around, collect all of Mr. Crab's wayward offspring and collect the boon at the top of the level. However, the game quickly turns nasty as its abuses the difficulty of keeping track of where you are relative to where you've been, making later stages veritable mazes.

To break things up you can take on a 'boss' creature, though this usually just amounts to getting above them and stomping on their head. Again, this is deceptively easy in theory, but much harder in practice as you not only need to keep track of the boss, but also where you are on the stage (as you can't stop moving) so you don't take damage and lose your offspring.

However, despite the increasing difficulty of navigating and surviving each stage, there's very little variety in the challenges you face. Each new area throws a splash of paint on the environment, giving it a unique theme, but all the elements remain the same (large enemies that take multiple hits, bouncing pads, pods that spawn 'rolling' enemies, etc).

As such, the game quickly ends up feeling very same-y and is content in its lackadaisical sense of progression. It's hard to call the game lazy or unpolished though - Mr. Crab is both a treat to look at and listen to - however, without more meat on its bones it's an easy game to put down.


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