“I had in mind this idea of a hermit crab wearing waste instead of a shell for about six years, but nobody allowed me to make it.“. In full solidarity with Nick Kaman, Art Director at Aggro Crabthanks to the publisher Kowloon Nights for deciding to finance the souls-like we all needed. At the end of the spring Nintendo Indie Showcase, the Kyoto giant has proudly raised the curtain on the first trailer of Another Crab’s Treasure, an Action RPG with platform elements that will lead us into the depths of an ocean threatened by pollution.
Colorful and full of surreal irony, the title is the second work of Aggro Crab, a software house born in 2019, but which has already had the opportunity to make itself known for another rather eccentric project. In the previous Going Under, the team had in fact led us through the maze of a roguelike in which an unpaid intern found himself exploring the cursed ruins of a tech start-up. Now, Another Crab’s Treasure it seems to be on the same wavelength as its predecessor, with the intention of declining an increasingly popular videogame genre in an accessible, colorful and witty production, but also with an important message to convey.
At the bottom of the sea
Kril is a hermit crab. A sentimental and courageous hermit crab, we might add. When its seashell – which is also his home – is foreclosed, our hero does not resign himself to the need to simply find another shell. Reckless, he decides instead to go on an epic treasure hunt, in order to regain his beloved home.
But the ocean is vast and full of dangers, and facing it without a shell to protect it is absolutely unthinkable: to replace his shell, Kril will therefore decide to temporary reliance on waste which for some time now have been navigating the currents, fueling the growth of an unexpectedly prosperous underwater society.
Over the years, fish and crustaceans have built their development on the constant influx of garbage from the land. Waste has thus transformed into a real lifestyle, permeating every aspect of existence, from fashion to the construction of improbable weapons. However, in his journey Kril will begin to unearth important clues related to a dangerous curse that is permeating the waters. Named – without euphemisms – “the Crap”the latter appears to have the potential to permanently destroy the oceans.
The reality behind thepollution of the seas and an industry that does not know the concept of environmental sustainability will thus overlap the personal mission of the hermit crab protagonist of Another Crab’s Treasure. All this will lead krill to cross the scenarios of an ocean that seems able to offer unexpectedly varied settings.
With a minimal style and bright colors– definitely far from the medieval dark fantasy atmospheres so dear to the genre of reference – the souls-like of Aggro Crab in fact offers marine scenarios on which lopsided sand castles stand, but also sparkling coral reefs, tangled forests of algae and dark abyssal bottoms.
From what we have been able to observe so far, the Action RPG seems to conceal an unexpected depth within itself, for a single player adventure that promises a strong narrative pull and an entire ecosystem of ocean creatures and landscapes to discover.
Soulslike with variable depth
Among the announcements of the latest Nintendo Indie Showcase, the two founders of Aggro Crab peeped out, who took the opportunity to offer some initial information on what the gameplay of Another Crab’s Treasure. Thanks to the contributions offered by the developers, we learn that the intent of the team is to create a souls-like Sui generis by context, style and settingbut without giving up the characteristic elements of the genre.
Among the latter there is obviously a level of challenge calibrated upwards, which, however, will also be accompanied by one great attention to accessibility. In fact, the authors aim to make the experience suitable even for beginners, who will be able to count on a large number of customization options for the level of challenge.
The most significant threat of Another Crab’s Treasure will be represented by colossal crabs that will animate the boss fights of the game. Among frightening crustaceans armed with cutlery and other specimens ready to use tea leaf filters as spiked balls, it seems that poor Krill will not have an easy life during his journey.
To protect itself, however, our hermit crab can count on the waste collected in its underwater wandering. The latter will in fact replace his lost shell, offering him protection from the onslaught of opponents. Aggro Crab promised a review of over 50 shells, each of which will have unique characteristics. Among crumpled cans, glass bottles and buckets, Kril’s arsenal could be quite varied, while the sighting of a shell capable of illuminating the darkness of the abyssal depths prompts us to imagine intriguing properties for these strange armors. On the weapons front, it seems instead that our hermit crab has a particular predilection for a fork (perhaps a crinkle?), Although we do not exclude that the final version of the game can count on more offensive tools.
What is certain is that our Kril must have felt particular admiration for the Wolf of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twicesince he has decided to equip himself with a practical grappling hook. Thanks to the latter, the character is ready to overcome platform sections, hooking himself to the remains of fishing nets and other elements of the scenario. S.
On this front, we also point out the possibility of make practical leaps, the range of which will however be enlarged by the rapid movement of the claws, regulated by the essential stamina. Moreover, controlling the energy seems to be essential even in the most excited game phases, between underwater shots and dodging.
However, we must remember that our Krill found itself in take on the role of a hero a bit by chance. For this reason, it is necessary to forgive him for some mistakes, with the team maliciously confessing the forecast of a 1% chance that in making a roll you could end up tripping over your hermit crab legs. Aggro Crab has also warned players not to be found without a shell on: as well as inconvenient, being hit without protection would cause the unfortunate death of the protagonist of Another Crab’s Treasure.
Aware of his structural fragility, however, Kril is also a modest figure, always inclined to learn from those around him. By interacting with other inhabitants of the sea, we can thus begin to master the mighty Umami magicthanks to which we will be able to “ blast enemies with the overwhelming power of a mantis shrimp, trap them with the hideous Bobbit worm, and more“. We can’t wait.