Crabitron Review (iOS)
Crabitron is a game that I was desperate to love from the second I heard about it. Not because I’m a big tablet gamer, or a crab enthusiast, but for the opportunities it presented me with regards to puns. I wanted to be able to call Crabitron ‘claw-inspiring’ or something similarly cringe-worthy. What I found was an incomparable experience that, if I may say so, is pretty ‘claw-some.’
In Crabitron, the player assumes the role of the titular character who just so happens to be a giant, space crab. Every hundred years, Crabitron descends upon humanity to wreak havoc in order to punish everyone for eating his fellow crustaceans. It’s a unique concept to say the least.
Insane concept aside, Crabitron’s most unique aspect is its control scheme. Taking full advantage of iPad’s multi-touch, the player places two fingers on each side of the screen and takes control of Crabitron’s claws. It’s a scheme that feels awkward at first, and limits the situations in which you can play the game (a desk or lap is required), but once the player becomes accustomed to the control, mega fun times lie ahead.
Using your newly-acquired claws, you crush and smash enemies in order to rack up a high score that is measured in the amount of dollars worth of damage you cause. If you don’t feel like simply destroying your enemies, they can be scooped into Crabitron’s mouth and gobbled up with similar effect. Add in the ability to burp fireballs and you’re on to a winner. It’s a fun and frantic game that constantly switches things up to keep you on your toes. One moment you’ll be smashing your way through some space traffic and then, seconds later you’ll be using your claws to defend Crabitron from a meteor shower. The game never slows down until, eventually, you succumb to the resistance of your enemies and poor Crabitron is brutally killed by having his claws blown off. At this point I would compulsively start again.
The issue with so many iOS games is that they are fun for 15 minutes, but you get bored and never return. Crabitron combats this issue with upgrade and challenge systems. By completing specific objectives, like eating a certain number of people, you achieve new ranks and earns coins. These coins can then be spent in the Crab Lab to upgrade your claws or unlock Power Burgers, for example. Yes, I did say Power Burgers. This is also where micro-transactions come in. You can double or triple your coins by paying £1.99 or £2.99 respectively. These transactions merely exist and are never shoved down your throat, which is appreciated.
A video sharing suite is thrown into Crabitron, just for good measure. Straight from the app, you can trim then upload videos of your game to various sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It’s a nice addition but not something that I see many people using. Video sharing makes sense for games like FIFA or Call of Duty; Crabitron, not so much.
My favourite aspect of Crabitron, by far, is the little references to popular culture. There is a Brick Breaker mini-game, the Titanic likes to appear on occasion and there are even sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads – à la Austin Powers. It just adds an extra layer of fun to the, already present, fun.
It’s games like Crabitron that make you happy that tablet gaming has become such a vast, and accessible, market. A game like this couldn’t exist on a PC or home console. It isn’t a meaty experience that you sink hundreds of hours into or get totally immersed in. It’s a time waster. It just happens to be one of the best and most original time wasters I’ve ever played.Crabitron Review (iOS),