Crabs are usually under the sea, but Mr. Crab has dreams of being higher, and he also has stranded baby crabs to rescue. Mr. Crab is the latest game from Illusion Labs, makers of Blast-A-Way, Touchgrind BMX, Labyrinth 2, Touchgrind, Foosball, and Sway. It’s an arcade ascent where Mr. Crab moves automatically, and you simply tap for him to jump as you keep spinning upwards to the top. The game could be a simple endless riser, but Illusion Labs has transformed the style into an action packed platformer complete with 44 levels, and eight boss battles.
There are four main types of environments with beach, tree, frozen, and volcano that are assorted based on the level packs of three. Every single level makes for a surprisingly complex adventure with the ever spinning tower that features spiraling pathways with plenty of forks. It’s not just a straight climb, and instead you will need to go into various offshoots to rescue the baby crabs, which are the essential part of a three star score. As you rise, you will face enemies to jump on to, springing platforms, rolling obstacles, wall jumps, and gaps that can result in a fall to the lower ranks to rise back up again.
Every single aspect of the game is so well designed, as you would expect from Illusion Labs, and that polish enhances the gameplay nicely. The 3D style allows for the unique spinning platformer, and it’s great to see in action as you circumnavigate the given tower. The art style is superb as well to fully immerse you in the colorful Mr. Crab world. There’s so much to see, and do in each level that all 44 make for one engaging journey that you will thoroughly enjoy climbing through. One neat bonus is that the game can be played in both orientations.
There’s just so much to like about Mr. Crab, and Illusion Labs has done a great job in melding a casual style with a relatively challenging game to make the unique style accessible to all. It’s kind of like Badland in using a one touch control scheme which could be just a simple endless game, and fleshing it out into an intricately designed platformer that isn’t like anything else in the App Store. One of the drawbacks is that you can fall down quite often through precision stretches, and it becomes quite tedious jumping through the same sequences over, and over. The path can also get a bit convoluted with so much going on in each section of the tower, but the 3D perspective does let you glance at what’s coming up ahead.
Mr. Crab ($0.99, Universal) is another finely crafted iOS experience from Illusion Labs that effortlessly rises above a crowded App Store to make it a should buy. This is how you rise above the sea of sameness in the App Store.