PLATFORM: PC, SWITCH (REVIEWED) | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (PC), SEPTEMBER 15TH (SWITCH)
In Fight Crab, you're a crab and you get to fight other crabs. Didn't see that coming, did you?! The idea is to grab, punch and throw things at your opponents, build up their Smash Bros-style damage percentage, then flip them onto their back. If they stay down for a count of three, it's all over! Beating a crab unlocks it for purchase in the shop, where you can eventually buy more than 20 different playable crabs and almost 50 different weapons. With your stats upgraded as far as your funds will allow, battle your way through all manner of bizarre locations to become the number one crab of all time!
Motion controls are enabled by default, so you can flail your actual arms around and see your movements replicated in crab form on screen. There's a standard control option too, although it's very awkwardly mapped to the controller and takes a fair bit of getting used to. Whichever way you play, it's a bit hit and miss; the gameplay gets repetitive fairly quickly, and manoeuvring these ten-tonne tank-like buggers isn't easy - you're never quite sure if that fancy move you pulled off was down to your own skill or just pure good luck.
But it's so ridiculous, over the top, garish and downright spectacular that it's difficult to stop playing. It's certainly something you won't have seen before and are unlikely to witness anywhere else (a basic photo mode is available so you can immortalise your crabby conquests and prove to your friends that you aren't making any of this up, honest). There's even a very generous amount of multiplayer options and battle modes, covering on and offline campaign co-op, battle modes, 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 matches, and crossplay is enabled between Switch and PC players to increase your chances of finding a game.
The soundtrack is another big plus point. Most of the music is incredible, going from shouty upbeat J-rock and pieces that sound like rejected game show themes to a few classier tracks that wouldn't have been out of place on Sky's TV Guide menu in its mid-2000s heyday. Best of all, the music rarely fits with what's actually happening on screen - it's often so out of place that it makes the whole thing seem even weirder and more mindblowing than it already is.
Some people will find the idea of even contemplating playing Fight Crab to be bordering on insanity. It's completely absurd from start to finish, but that's what makes it so enjoyable. We're going with 4 stars out of 5, but it's easy to see how others might not be quite as generous. Fight Crab is the Deadly Premonition of crab fighting games. If that doesn't sell you on it, nothing will!