Moderately sized enemy crab
First rule of Fight Crab; You do not talk about Fight Crab. All well and good, until you need to write an in-depth review that is and truthfully told, there’s a lot that needs to be discussed regarding Calappa Games’ newest 3D action game. Fight Crab takes us to an alternate reality where Crabs rule the Earth, now battling for supremacy having mastered our weapons. A bizarre premise but considering their previous work on 2016’s Ace of Seafood, not out of character.
Upon loading up FC, its low production values are immediately evident, greeting you with a red text menu that could’ve been done in a day. It comes with a weird mix of presentation elements, backed up by a high energy soundtrack that would not be out of place in an anime rhythm game. There’s not much story within the campaign, plainly stating your plan is to flip over as many crabs as possible during a world tour.
Taking you to 11 different stages, each location brings a new wave of enemy fights, culminating in a boss battle and these fights earn you money. FC’s campaign employs the same structure between most locations, meaning repetition quickly sinks in, but online co-op unlocks after the first stage, allowing two-player campaigns. It makes life more interesting and further adding to multiplayer, you can also engage in 1v1 and 2v2 battles, both online and offline via Versus mode.
Super Smash Crabs.
Fights don’t have a time limit, but once you’ve flipped over an opponent, they must remain floored for three seconds to secure victory. Should you get knocked over instead, crabs can recover balance by punching. If you lose, you must restart, but an AI crab will now assist you. Action is physics-based, and each pincer is individually controlled via the joysticks, moving across maps via the D-Pad, but it often feels awkward, like hits aren’t landing as intended.
You can either grab opponents, smack them or equip weapons — these range from simple trees to more unusual items like lightsabers and shurikens. As a result, flipping opponents can often prove hilarious, and FC’s sheer absurdity will undoubtedly provide a few laughs, like when your friends start arming themselves with huge knives. Unfortunately, this novelty wears thin quickly and knocking down a crab only proves funny for so long.
Reminiscent of Super Smash Bros, each crab has a percentage-based health and the higher that gets, the more likely you’ll get flipped. Over time, crabs will begin to charge their hyper gauge. If you use it early, you can create an instant explosion. If its fully charged, Crabs enter hyper mode, granting super strength for 15 seconds and this can sometimes be the decisive edge needed to secure your victory.
Don’t be too crabby
It’s not until beating the first location that FC truly opens up though. You can use previously earned money within the shop, unlocking weapons that are equipped upon entering battle or purchasing new crabs. There’s 23 in total such as the Christmas Red Crab, Longarm Crabs and Lobsters, which unlock as you advance. Cash is also used for levelling up your crab, buffing stats like strength and endurance.
Fight Crab certainly holds an appealing concept but, like many good ideas, gets let down by in the execution. Multiplayer is easily its strongest component and arming yourselves with a ludicrous weapon to floor opponents has a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the quest to become Supreme Crab gets bogged down in repetition, not made easier by janky controls. There’s an enjoyable game at FC’s core but ultimately, its best experienced in small doses.
[Reviewed on PC]