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Most platform games are known for their difficulty in having players master the art of running and jumping over large gaps and onto hard-to-reach platforms. Taking this concept and turning it on its side, Illusion Labs’ latest game is a vertical auto-running title that simply requires you to know when to jump. Mr. Crab’s controls may sound easy, and its colorful visuals might seem a bit pre-school for some, but this friendly crustacean offers plenty of challenge to keep players of all ages coming back for more.
Levels in the game require you to tap your screen to make Mr. Crab ascend higher and land on the platforms he needs to reach the finish line. Because a level essentially loops in a circle, missing a jump means you’ll simply fall down to a lower platform and have to work your way back up again. As you progress through the game’s 40+ levels, you’ll see platforms get smaller, requiring precise jumps and a better understanding of your environment.
Along the way to finish line, you can pick up different treasures like gumballs or coins, and rescue baby crabs that ultimately increase your final score. Of course, in order to get the coveted three-star rating in each level, you’ll need to pick up almost every item you see and clear each stage as quickly as possible. You’re never given any contextual information as to why this crab is running up trees, glaciers, or even exploring underground caverns, but that’s not important as the game is solely score-based. Interestingly enough, however, Mr. Crab doesn’t offer any Game Center integration, so you can’t really gloat about your accomplishments online.
Aside from the main levels, Mr. Crab also offers a few boss battles that take place in the same side-winding stages, but require you jump on giant bosses several times in a row. These stages aren’t particularly difficult to clear, but they offer a refreshing departure from the more linear stages showcasing more cutesy creatures and a fun soundtrack.
The bottom line. Mr. Crab features plenty of entertaining levels that make it easy enough for a child to pick up, but tricky enough for adults to enjoy.
iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone running iOS 5.0 or later.
Easy-to-learn controls. More than 40 challenging platform levels. Colorful graphics and slick presentation.
Sidewinding nature of stages can strain your eyes after a while. Levels start looking the same after a stretch