Crab Champions might be one of the most interesting games to play on your computer, and here is our review!
When you think of the roguelike genre of games, what is the first one that comes to mind?
Is it dashing around while trying to escape the underworld as Zagreus in Hades? Or maybe it’s the seemingly iconic The Binding of Isaac that enters your brain? The odds are you aren’t thinking about crabs, but you will be soon.
“Crab Champions” was released on April 1st, and its journey from meme to full-blown game is quite a story. Created by the same person responsible for the crab rave meme, the game was five years in the making.
The game maintains a surprisingly smooth experience despite its comedic origins, and does not sacrifice gameplay for the sake of humor.
Crab Champions: Basics Of A Run
In “Crab Champions,” you take control of a crab on an overworld island. There you can start your run, and start your journey to be a champion, as the name implies.
Each level takes you to an island where you must clear the horde of enemy crabs, ants, pufferfish, and various other enemies or survive until the timer runs out.
Upon completion, you will be rewarded with an upgrade of your choosing.
After choosing your upgrade, you get to choose what kind of upgrade you would like next; for example, you could choose between a health upgrade or a damage upgrade after completing the next island.
The entire time you are collecting crystals to spend in the shop island, which shows up every few levels and allows you to purchase some upgrades and heal before continuing on your journey.
After taking down a boss at the end of each biome, you will become a crab champion upon defeating your third biome boss.
You can unlock new weapons from the vast arsenal on display in the overworld island by defeating each boss and collecting the keys they give you.
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Crab Champions Gameplay
The gameplay itself is much smoother than I expected it to be. The movement is really enjoyable once you get the hang of it.
The sliding and flipping in the air allows you to cover a pretty big distance in one jump, and constantly moving helps keep you safe from the horde of enemies.
Inside the runs, there is a little bit of a learning curve, and many of my early attempts resulted in deaths after just a couple of levels.
Once you get the hang of the movement and combat, you can focus on unlocking weapons and optimizing your upgrades to become the most powerful crab around.
What Needs Improving?
However, the game is not without its flaws. The spectating feature when playing with other people is pretty uncomfortable and clunky. It feels like the camera can’t keep up with the movements of the player you are spectating.
It took a couple of tries to get the multiplayer to work as well, and I found what worked best was clicking the join game option on the Steam profile instead of trying to invite other players.
The good news is that the game is only in early access, and there seems to be a plan in place to continue to develop and enhance this crab roguelike experience.
The overworld spawn features a giant billboard that acts as a roadmap of sorts for the game, with plans to include new biomes, enemies, changes to bosses, and overall more variation and choice for each run.
As it stands now, “Crab Champions” is a fun jaunt through the islands as a crab blasting anything and everything that gets in your way.
Despite some clunkiness, the gameplay itself is enjoyable once you get through a little trial and error.
Five years after originally releasing the Crab rave video, “Crab Champions” takes the personification of crabs to fun, new heights that I never knew I wanted.