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Another Crab’s Treasure is the SpongeBob Soulslike I didn’t know I wanted

Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

If you’re on gaming Twitter, you’ve probably heard of Another Crab’s Treasure. This indie game immediately gained a lot of attention after a May 2022 Indie Showcase because of its hilarious Soulslike-starring-a-crab premise. Aptly named developer Aggro Crab quickly capitalized on that and now has one of the most consistently funny gaming Twitter accounts out there as it promotes Another Crab’s Treasure. Still, when developers are that loud and boastful about a game on social media, it needs to live up to the expectations that have been set. All the jokes mean nothing and will feel like a distraction if the game isn’t good. Thankfully, Another Crab’s Treasure lived up to my expectations when I played it at Summer Game Fest Play Days.

The crab holds an item in Another Crab's Treasure.
Aggro Crab

During my half-hour demo, I was able to platform and fight through a preview build-exclusive level and fight two bosses. During that time, it lived up to the Soulslike moniker with tough, fast-paced fights, which are only emboldened by Another Crab’s Treasure‘s unique shell mechanic and moveset that feels like it could work in a more traditional 3D platformer. On top of that, it features a colorful and cute aesthetic that makes it feel like the more masochistic cousin of this year’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake.

Se(a)kiro

As soon as I hopped into this preview build of the game at Summer Game Fest Play Days, I was able to get a feel for Another Crab’s Treasure’s controls. It actually feels a bit like a traditional 3D platformer like The Cosmic Shake, which is similarly set underwater, as players can jump, climb, run, roll, and swim-glide around. The level was designed like with platforming challenges in mind too, so fans of 3D platformers may want to check this out. As soon as you get into a fight, you’ll be quickly reminded that Another Crab’s Treasure is inspired by FromSoftware’s games, namely Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Controls are similar to FromSoftware’s game, and the pace of fights is fast, like Sekiro or Bloodborne. The game really encourages blocking and parrying, like Sekiro, which plays into the game’s unique shell feature. Scattered around the levels and arenas of Another Crab’s Treasure, I found lots of trash that I could equip and use as a shell. This not only allows me to take more hits while blocking, but comes with unique special abilities. A soda can let me shoot bubbles at my enemies, while I could eat a piece of sushi I used as a shell to restore health.

The crab runs in Another Crab's Treasure.
Aggro Crab / Digital Trends / Aggro Crab

This system, along with more special abilities and even debuffs that enemies can throw at you, mean fights major and small constantly kept me on my toes as I tried to find helpful shells and discovered the best strategies for taking down enemies. I also enjoyed how the 3D platforming mechanics layered into fights; I found myself trying to run and jump to dodge attacks even more than I was blocking or parrying. Things only got more intense when I got into boss fights, with the first boss I fought — the Polluted Platoon Pathfinder – -being particularly tough. Let’s just say I was happy that I wasn’t recording footage of my first couple of bouts against this enemy.

Like Sekiro or a variety of other FromSoftware games, the boss fights were very well designed and do feel truly rewarding when surmounted. For players who might not be able to beat some enemies, Another Crab’s Treasure is going to offer the accessibility options that FromSoftware refuses to add to its games. Things like extra dodge invincibility and longer parry windows should make the game easier for those who tend to have trouble sticking with a Soulslike for the long run. 

That’s a good thing because its colorful cutesy aesthetic might be inviting to younger players or fans of IP like SpongeBob. The aesthetic actually pairs quite nicely with the Soulslike formula as its visuals can look welcoming and soothing, even during intense moments. Generally, the humor is more muted in-game than you’d expect from some of the tweets about the game, but there are still some good visual gags, like a boss named Heikea, Intimidation Crab (a play on Imitation Crab) wielding chopsticks like they are a sheathed katana blade or the currency of the game being microplastics. Oh, and you have the accessibility option of equipping the gun from Squirrel with a Gun as a shell and insta-kill enemies, including bosses.

A boss fight in Another Crab's Treasure
Aggro Crab.

Still, if the idea of a game that pairs the gameplay and intensity of Sekiro with the humor and colorfulness of SpongeBob intrigues you, my playtime with Another Crab’s Treasure at Summer Game Fest Play Days indicates that it will be an enjoyable payoff to Aggro Crab’s years of memeing on Twitter. 

Another Crab’s Treasure will be released for PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox consoles sometime in 2024. 

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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