Review: Another Crab’s Treasure is a Unique Soulslike with Tons of Charm

If you like soulslike games, Another Crab’s Treasure is one of the more unconventional ones. It has a cute, stylized art style that doesn’t fit in line with the traditional dark and gritty tone many soulslike games tend to adopt. Don’t get me wrong - it has all of the hallmarks of a souls game, just with a bit of a softer edge.

Another Crab’s Treasure is a third person action role playing game. In it, you take the role of Krill as he hunts for the shell that was taken from him. It’s a pretty big deal since it’s his home, and that’s where he lives. Or at least he thinks so as he takes up arms against anything that stands in his way. But there’s a deeper corruption spreading through the ocean that’s affecting most of the life under the sea, turning it aggressive and mean. Not only does this give you more reason to take up arms (or claws), it also makes it so you don’t have to feel bad about all of the people you murder.

While Another Crab’s Treasure is a soulslike, it's almost like a soulslike with training wheels. Combat is a little simplified since there is no stamina to worry about depleting. But all of the other features you’d expect a soulslike game to have are there: bonfires, respawning enemies, shortcuts, experience that is dropped at the spot of your death, etc. Developer Aggro Crab didn’t really do much to change up the formula. What makes Another Crab’s Treasure special is in its execution: its characters, humor, and setting.

Most soulslike games take themselves so damn seriously, but Another Crab’s Treasure is funny and often cute, making it stand out amongst its peers. Why offer more difficulty and darker settings when you can just have a lot of fun? Not that Another Crab’s Treasure isn’t difficult.

As with other soulslikes, even the lowliest enemy can be dangerous. It takes memorizing enemy locations and behaviors to survive–especially when fighting bosses. If you die in Another Crab’s Treasure you drop your microplastics and shell where you died. Microplastics serve as the “souls” in Another Crab’s Treasure and can be used  as currency at shops, or to upgrade stats such as strength or vitality. If you die before you can retrieve your body, those plastics are lost forever.

Another Crab’s Treasure has a pretty overt message on pollution that remains center stage while never seeming preachy. In fact, the underwater creatures have made a bit of a cargo cult out of the garbage that is thrown into the ocean. There are entire cities built from trash, enemies use trash as weapons and armor, and you even use discarded items as your primary means of defense: your shell.

To mitigate damage you can either dodge out of the way, or block incoming attacks with your shell. Each different shell type has its own attributes like weight and special umami power. Each shell also has a unique power that stands in for spellcasting in Another Crab’s Treasure. Shells can give you access to offensive and defensive abilities, like offensive spells and buffs. Krill can duck into his shell to block attacks. If you time attacks correctly, you can perform a parry. The ability to riposte, however, is locked in a skill tree.

The skill tree in Another Crab’s Treasure is divided into four main disciplines, each with two branches. You don’t really have to worry about specializing, as there seems to be plenty of crystal shards around,which is the currency you use to upgrade your skills. The different skills change how you play Another Crab’s Treasure–whether you want to focus on offensive versus defensive skills, etc.

There aren’t different weapons in Another Crab’s Treasure–all you have is your trusty fork. This fork can be upgraded to do more damage, and it can even be turned into a “hammer” through skill points. 

Skills, upgrades, and new shells aren’t the only way to make Krill capable of taking on stronger foes. You can slot in passive upgrades called stowaway. They’re only active as long as you’re wearing a shell, but they can bestow some pretty powerful buffs. And with the right skills, you can create some synergies that make the difficulty of Another Crab’s Treasure pretty trivial.

If you don’t want a challenge, however, there are ways to play Another Crab’s Treasure without going through all of the frustration. There are a wide range of assist options that let you change many aspects of the game to make the gameplay more palatable. You can even give Krill a gun!

There isn’t just combat in Another Crab’s Treasure. Another very un-soulsike feature is the inclusion of jumping and a wide array of jumping challenges. Krill even has a fish line that allows him to traverse up designated areas, making Another Crab’s Treasure feel a bit like Sekiro at times.

Aggro Crab might not be widely known, but they should be - they put out great games with an even better sense of humor. They just keep having bad luck with release timing. Back in 2020 they released a fantastic roguelike game called Going Under, which happened to be the same year that Hades hit version 1.0. Now with this soulslike game dropping on the heels of No Rest For the Wicked, it might be another case of bad timing.

Another Crab’s Treasure is my favorite non-Fromsoftware soulslike game. It’s unashamed to be a soulslike while also adding its own spin on presentation. I absolutely loved my time with the game, and would recommend it to those who have played soulslike games for years or those looking to get their feet wet for the first time.

Another Crab's Treasure is available tomorrow for PC via Steam and on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series S|X and PlayStation 4 as well as PlayStation 5.

A Steam key was provided to us for this review

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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.