Continuing our coverage of the Steam Next Fest 2023 we have Another Crab’s Treasure, a 3D platformer souls-like.
Another Crab’s Treasure is developed by the fittingly-named Aggro Crab Studios, responsible for the cynical corporate dungeon crawler Going Under.
The studio’s new game is a bright and colorful step into new territory, but Aggro Crap is nailing it.
Another Crab’s Treasure is the perfect blend between platforming and challenging combat, managing to mix both souls-like and 3D platforming genres expertly without compromising any aspects from both.
Other games have attempted the 3D platformer and souls-like mixture, like Blue Fire, but nothing really seems to come close to the scope of Another Crab’s Treasure.
My position as a souls-like enthusiast probably has you weary that I’m overselling this demo, but I promise it’s everything I claim it to be.
In Another Crab’s Treasure, the ocean has been completely littered with trash, so instead of blocking with a shield, the player can pick up various pieces of garbage from the ocean floor to use as a shell. Each shell has a durability value, as well as a special skill attached to it.
Shells with a high damage skill will usually be more fragile, like the shot glass, which usually breaks in one hit. Having a shell is extremely important in the game, because being naked means you lose a lot of bonuses, and take increased damage.
The game does a lot with this premise, and every shell has a very unique skill attached to it. The nature of the shells makes them somewhat disposable, but you will always be looking around for a specific one after learning their skills.
Another Crab’s Treasure has a massive focus on mobility, and really leans into the 3D platforming angle. The main character is quite agile, and can glide for a short amount of time, as well as use a grappling hook, similar to what we see in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Enemies can also be grabbed with this grappling hook tool, which makes it both a mobility and offensive tool depending on how you use it. The hook can also be used to grab shells from afar or to catch fish.
Every enemy in the game is a different type of sea creature, and the developers have really gone above and beyond with their designs. Some of the most creative ones are these fishes with hooks attached to their heads, who flop around trying to slash you.
Despite the fact that the sea floor is completely filled with garbage, Another Crab’s Treasure has some gorgeous environments. The game’s stages may be completely polluted, but the developers really managed to make them look colorful and nice to look at.
The game’s environments are extremely vertical, and filled with hidden items and secrets. It can be a bit overwhelming at points to have such a large area to explore, but thankfully the game manages to highlight important areas quite nicely with some great level design.
A first glance at the game could fool someone into thinking that Another Crab’s Treasure is aimed at children, but this notion will be dropped quite quickly when players get a taste of the game’s robust combat system.
Players can hide in their shell, dodge, use “Umami Abilities”, and adaptations, which are special skills that can be triggered aside from your shell skills. The adaptations can be compared to weapon arts in Elden Ring, and are usually your reward for solving a platforming challenge or for exploring.
The game demands quite a bit from the player, as bosses have the usual souls-like mechanics, like crushing attacks or grabs that do a lot of damage. Anyone going into Another Crab’s Treasure blindly will be surprised by some reasonably tough fights.
The demo gives us access to one regular level and the game’s tutorial, both housing some really difficult final bosses. The fight at the end of the tutorial is more manageable, but the boss fight in the Expired Grove area is a real test of skill.
Overall, Another Crab’s Treasure is a title with immense potential, and from what I saw in the demo, Aggro Crab has a smash hit in their hands.
The game is extremely charming and features a fantastic art direction, coupled with some really deep and challenging gameplay. Players will have a blast in this microplastic-filled adventure once the game comes out.
Another Crab’s Treasure is set to release at some point in 2024 for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).