Don’t let the sweet image of Mr. Crab fool you -- he won’t hesitate to pinch your gonads until you cry “uncle.” An iOS game by Illusion Labs, Mr. Crab is a platformer that will take you round and round in circles as you try to reach the top of each level. The titular crustacean hero is super cute, as are the crab babies you’re tasked with saving in each level. Are you crabby enough to save the babies?

There are a massive 44 levels to unlock in Mr. Crab, and the game starts off with several levels unlocked from the very beginning, giving you the freedom to swap levels and explore without having to beat them in order. As you move forward, more advanced levels unlock so that you’ve always got a choice about what level to play, which is great. There are several difficulty levels, and the difficulty of any given area is clearly marked so you know what you’re in for. The aesthetics of each area are quite different, and feature bright, eye-pleasing colors. Mr. Crab even throws in a few boss fights which, when defeated, grant our hero cool hats to wear.

As much fun as Mr. Crab is, it can be equally annoying. A player’s skill and temperament will be a key factor in whether or not they actually have fun playing the game. The only thing you have control of is the timing of Mr. Crab’s jump, making the controls super simple to learn. Tap to jump, tap and hold to super jump. He automatically moves at his own pace, and will continue in one direction until he bumps into an obstacle and reverses. Your timing and reflexes will determine whether or not you go insane.

The levels spin around in a circle as Mr. Crab works his way to the top. If you hit an enemy, you’ll get knocked down a tier. If you miss a jump, you fall down a couple of tiers. If you don’t jump in time and hit a wall, it changes your direction and you go backwards down the level until you can hit another wall. If you are cursed with poor timing and/or reflexes, you’ll probably feel frustrated often. But, if you like a challenge and want to test your platforming skills, you’ll probably dig Mr. Crab.

The game is very well made, with great graphics, cute characters, and easy controls. There is no pressure to purchase upgrades or bonus items whatsoever because there are none at this point. However, even though there are over 40 levels, each level is pretty short and doesn’t take very long … that is, of course, unless you have poor reflexes and keep dropping to the bottom repeatedly. And if you’re not careful, Mr. Crab can make you dizzy. Be sure to sit down while playing if you suffer from any kind of impaired balance or vertigo!


App Store Link: Mr. Crab for iPhone & iPad | By Illusion Labs | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 47.5 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating