Developer: Calappa Games Publisher: Calappa Games Music: DEKU Platforms: Steam (PC), Nintendo Switch, itch.io/Booth (PC) Released: 30-July 2020 (PC), 15-September 2020 (Switch) Genre: 3D fighting game
You are a crab.
A simple crab, you find yourself thrown into the ocean with a single purpose, a single goal, and a single thought: You must fight.
A 3D fighting game, Fight Crab takes you through battle after battle, flipping your opponents onto their back.
However, like crabs, your task isn’t all that simple. As a decapod crustacean, you must master control over your armoured body and 10 limbs. You not only battle in the ocean, facing other crabs, but you also take to the streets, castles, cities, determinedly focused on flipping every single opponent you encounter, whether they be crab, lobster, or otherwise.
But… does your tough shell hide a soft interior? Technically, yes! But emotionally, it’s all crab all the way through.
This is a fun, chaotic, broken-but-it-feels-right sort of game.
The game mechanics are cluttered to say the least, deliberately so. The controls make sense, and they’re easy to learn (it’s easiest if you use a controller!), but they’re difficult to master, and that’s part of the fun of it.
You’ll find yourself flailing your claws around, scuttling over obstacles, wielding anything your pincers can grab a hold of. Your body is a weapon, and so is your environment, and your enemy is also a weapon. The weapon your enemy is holding could be your weapon as well.
Punch your enemy, block your enemy, grab onto them, forcing them to yield to your crustaceous superiority. Who cares if you’re facing a lobster with a knife and gun, it could be your knife and gun if you’re crab enough.
You can level up your crab, perfect it’s form to your style. You unlock new crustaceans and weapons, and you also earn abilities and power ups. Are you ready to surge with righteous crab power, pummel your opponent, and then blast them away with pure, crabby energy? Well, you better be!
If at first, you feel you’re mashing buttons, that’s ok. Crabs also need to learn the ways of tactics, finesse, and controls. You and your crab will grow together. Soon you will be in sync with each other.
Outside, you may be human. But inside, emotionally, it’s crab.
Sound effects are standard for a fighting game, your claws sound satisfying, you can hear the energy of the blast as you’re blown away. There’s an announcer telling you your next opponent is arriving.
Now the music is good. It’s powerful, it’s futuristic, energising, and enjoyable to listen to. And it pushes the whole game experience to the limits. This is an absurd game, it’s silly, it’s like a joke that’s played seriously. And there were genuine moments when I thought ‘oh actually, that’s pretty cool’.
The music ties it all together.
I was a little nervous about playing this game, I have a history with our crustacean friends, and I worried I wouldn’t enjoy this game. I thought it would be too goofy, with minimal effort for a laugh. And the UI and menus reinforced that, they look very ‘serious’ but I couldn’t understand a lot of it initially. Parts of the game could’ve done with a lot more polish. So, I was a little apprehensive.
I am happy to say I was proven wrong.
I don’t know if it’s a great game, but it definitely was a fun game. And I am astounded by how well this was executed. The controls were easy to learn, the game actually automatically locks onto your target and manages parts of your controls so you’re not overwhelmed. You’re given so many weapons, power ups, and abilities that I just could not wait to use whatever it was I grabbed. It’s a tree? Ok! A coconut crab has appeared with a hammer? I’m not going to back down, onwards I go! A lobster with rockets attached to its claws? Who thinks of these things, this is brilliant! I’m having an absolute whale of a time. I can’t wait to crack open this sweet game at a party with friends.
Maybe the UI leaves me crabby, I felt like I was going crabwise with the layout and navigation of the menus, and maybe I felt like I was being thrown into boiling water with the battles as chaos reigned.