As the premier PC gaming storefront, Steam has seen countless games pass through the release turnstiles during its nearly two decades of existence. Between the AAA blockbusters and the shovelware, many players find lots of value in the various novelty game releases that hit the market. Fight Crab is most certainly classifiable as a novelty game — it's about crab deathmatches — but it manages to occasionally rise above its outward appearance to offer a real good time. It won’t be a smash hit with everyone but those needing an escape into stupidity will find Fight Crab digging in its pincers and refusing to let go (or at least until the crab arm tears off).
This game should sell well in Baltimore
FIght Crab revolves around 1v1 and team battles between crabs. The primary objective in these fights is to get the enemy crabs into the vulnerable upside-down position. This starts a short countdown timer that will eliminate the participant if it completes. The primary single-player portion of the game resembles the arcade mode from Street Fighter where you travel across the globe to do battle with a variety of outlandish crabatants (I invented this word).
As you beat down the various challengers, you can upgrade your crab’s stats like endurance or power. Additionally, you can purchase weapons at an in-game shop to assist you in battle. Swords, ninja stars, and the like will be at your disposal, which is helpful, as each new location you travel to will be more insane than the last. You will battle in a variety of environments from Chinese restaurants to cityscapes. Your opponents will carry fans, swords, guns, and more. The cartoonish escalation of stakes never fails to elicit a chuckle.
The action is always depicted in a third-crabson view behind your character. The controls are simultaneously vexing and intuitive. A gamepad is essential as Fight Crab is more or less unplayable with a mouse and keyboard. Each pincer is tied to your analog sticks, with attacks bound to the triggers and block bound to the bumpers. You can pilot your crab around your targeted enemy using d-pad manipulation.
The moment to moment gameplay reminds me a lot of the old PC game Die By The Sword in that positioning your character’s arms are the key to success. It never feels as precise as Die By The Sword as your pincers are manipulated by control sticks rather than a mouse, but I enjoyed the bit of nostalgia I felt from encountering this type of combat system once again.
I’m sure that it is inevitable that some of the community will unlock the true secrets of Fight Crab’s combat depth, but the entire ordeal felt like chaos as I progressed. Just mashing buttons and yelling at the monitor proved to be adequate to conquer the roster of enemy crabatants. This sense of disorder surrounds all parts of the game from the front-end menu to level design, and audio. Cohesive is not a word that would ever be used to describe the design or presentation of Fight Crab.
What's worse than lobsters on your piano?
If you are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have buddies who would be into crab battles, Fight Crab offers a few different ways to get it on, including online co-op. It also supports most of the community features offered by Steamworks integration, such as achievements, leaderboards, and the ever-awesome remote play support. Objectively, this is barely a game but the events occurring within are preposterous enough that its $20 entry fee can be justified by interested parties. Equal parts fever dream and time-waster, Fight Crab may find a way to sidestep into your Steam library. 7/10 crab mallets
This review is based on the PC Steam release. The game key was provided by the publisher for review consideration. Fight Crab is available on Steam now for $19.99
- Preposterous fun hiding behind nonsense premise
- Online modes including co-op
- Cartoonish escalation of story mode is hilarious
- Inconsistent presentation
- Button-mashing seems to work as well as skill
- Most of its value is tied to novelty
Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Fight Crab review: Are you chitin me?
I for one like these puns.
What's the first rule of fight crab?
Chitin is pronounced kai-tin
if there are any ranged weapons then kiting is also possible in this game, so you're in the clear
Crabatants is a fantastic word.
When's the Fight Crab Shackbattle?!