Another Crab’s Treasure is an approachable Soulslike with a comedic twist

Hermit crab holding up pitchfork
Aggro Crab

Souslikes come in all shapes and sizes, including colorful seascapes with cute crabs.

Another Crab’s Treasure is the Finding Nemo of Soulslikes: a more accessible, cartoony approach to one of the most unforgiving genres. It’s no Dark Souls, but it is an alternative for those tired of the typical dark fantasy Soulslike settings and the tropes attached to them. On the surface, it’s just about a guy who just wants his house (read: shell) back. However, it tells an entertaining story with genuinely challenging combat in between those narrative beats. It even lightly comments on societal and environmental issues like plastic-filled oceans and the downsides of capitalist society.

Kril the hermit crab lives a life of solitude until a “loan shark” informs him that his shell is now the property of the Duchess, who has claimed his part of the ocean as her kingdom. As such, he must pay taxes on his shell to keep it. He has no money, so the loan shark forcefully ceases his shell and leaves Kril naked and defenseless against underwater dangers like trash-obsessed crabs and belligerent neighbors. Kril then ventures into the ocean to reclaim his shell and learns more than he bargained for in the process.

Kril the hermit crab fighting crabs
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Studio Head Nick Kapan apparently had the idea for Another Crab’s Treasure even before Aggro Crab Games existed. Neither one inspired the other; rather, they came from his love for crabs. He came up with the premise, but staff, including Creative Director Caelen Pollock, helped bring the story to life. “The original idea is just a hermit crab wearing trash as a shell, so there’s all these environmental themes in the game. It goes to some pretty dark places,” says Pollock.

That said, Another Crab’s Treasure emphasizes action-oriented gameplay alongside its witty story. It features unforgiving bosses that demand strategic choices and timely inputs. You could dodge to avoid damage entirely or, if a boss’s attack patterns are too difficult to anticipate, hide inside temporary shells like soda cans to shield yourself from damage. Shells also come with various stats and abilities to consider.

As Pollock describes, “It’s a little bit similar to our previous game, Going Under, in that a lot of it is based on swapping off the items that you’re using really frequently. So, in this case, that’s your shell.”

Kril hermit crab in coral reef
Image used with permission by copyright holder

I battled with an angry crawfish but had trouble adapting to his heavy-hitting arm swings. Thankfully, Aggro Crab added an accessibility menu to keep its game as approachable as possible. If it’s too difficult, you can use one of the many accessibility options to strengthen your shields, increase the damage for Kril’s attacks, and so on. You can even use a gun if you want to just progress through the story without worrying about challenging bosses.

What is a gun, you ask? Kril will suddenly come equipped with a pistol on his back, which fires bullets that instantly kill enemies whenever you use the attack button. Just lock on and shoot. It frees players to focus on other parts of the game that might be enjoyable to them, like the story or collecting cash in the form of microplastics. So, if you’re looking for a Soulslike where you can tune the difficulty and laugh along the way, it’s worth a try.

Another Crab’s Treasure launches on April 26, 2024, for Steam, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox Game Pass, and Nintendo Switch.

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