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iPad  header logo

Crabitron

For: iPad

Pinch me, I'm dreaming

Product: Crabitron | Developer: Two Lives Left | Publisher: Two Lives Left | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1-2 | Networking: on one device | Version: US
 
Crabitron iPad, thumbnail 1
Truly great games all have a moment - a single, fleeting interlude - that simultaneously humbles you and convinces you of their worth.

Crabitron's moment came when the frenetic action and background music stopped and the RMS Titanic flew in from screen-left.

A crude parody of the pennywhistle theme from 'My Heart Will Go On' began, and I watched dumbstruck as the spectacle unfolded.

Then, without hesitating, I grabbed the ship in my monstrous claws and gobbled it up: Jack, Rose, steerage, and all.

The crab smiled, the music and action picked right back up again, and I was hooked.

Crustacean capers

Crabitron is a game that can only exist on a tablet, and it's aware of this from the very first prompt to start a new game.

As you take control of the giant, wrathful space crab you'll see each claw flanked by two dotted circles. Placing your thumb and an opposing digit on these circles allows you to open and close the claws.

You'll start pinching slowly at first, perhaps snatching up a single spaceship and slowly crushing it your grasp, but soon you'll be gleefully flinging your claws about the screen, deflecting missiles and snatching passing space limos in one fluid motion.

With the pinch-to-kill controls quickly mastered, you'll begin flying through the zones of Crabitron with equal glee.

Stop being shellfish

In between arcade-style levels you'll occasionally face boss fights and urgent challenge sections that underscore the absolute zaniness of Crabitron.

IAPs explained
While you'll need to collect coins to upgrade your crab claws, you can't buy these coins in-game.

Instead, you can elect to purchase a Coin Doubler ($2.99 / £1.99) or Coin Tripler ($4.99 / £2.99) power-up that doubles or triples the amount of coins you'd otherwise receive.
During one of these frenetic deflection stages, my wife - alarmed by my flailing and profanity - asked what I was doing. When I pointed to the game screen with some frustration, she asked if she could take control of a claw.

I didn't see anything about multiplayer in Crabitron's rules, but I figured it would work.

With her in control of the left claw, I manned the right and realised that Crabitron not only works well as a local multiplayer game - it positively shines as one.

Unfortunately, the fun with multiplayer ends with the upgrades as each upgrade you purchase will only apply to one claw (permanently).

As such, you and your local multiplayer partner will need to have a strong friendship to survive the inevitable arguments over whose claw should get what upgrade first.

Clawesome

If Crabitron didn't offer the unique, tablet-specific style of gameplay and controls that it does, it would easily be dismissed as another silly arcade game, but it's an enjoyable and fast-paced game whether you play it by yourself or via the ad hoc local multiplayer.

It has a few flaws that you're likely to encounter - mostly due to the iPad confusing four-finger input with its multitouch gestures - but such gripes shouldn't take away from your enjoyment of this terrific game.
 
Crabitron
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 1 May 2013
The most fun you'll ever have with an intergalactic crustacean, Crabitron's a ton of fun that can be shared with a nearby friend
 
Have Your Say
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Joined:
May 2013
Post count:
1
@TwoLivesLeft | 14:32 - 3 May 2013
@Josh I'm one of the developers. We're experimenting with iPhone right now. We have a full version of Crabitron running on iPhone — you can play with four fingers touching the tiny screen. It's actually possible to play pretty well, but it feels incredibly cramped and unpleasant.

So we're trying to discover a better control mechanism for iPhone that only uses two fingers. Then we'll make that the default scheme for iPhone (with the option to switch to full control for those who really want it) and update Crabitron to be universal.

We have some ideas but we'll only really know whether they work when we try them. So we'll keep experimenting until we find something that works. We don't want to release it unless Crabitron feels really good to play on iPhone.
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
121
The_PG_American | 13:39 - 3 May 2013
@Josh: I have my guesses for the answer, but I'll see if I can get in touch with the developer to weigh in on this one officially for you :)
Joined:
Apr 2013
Post count:
125
Josh Dombro | 23:56 - 2 May 2013
Have they explained exactly why it's only on iPad? In your opinion is it too big or sensitive for a smaller screen? I've been following this game (and their Crabstarter) and would love to play it, but I only have an iPhone. Any word on an iPhone port soon?
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
121
The_PG_American | 15:30 - 2 May 2013
@Mr_Bez: I didn't wind up turning off the multitouch gestures. While the issue mentioned in the review was slightly nettlesome when it popped up, it's no worse than the few times I've pulled down the notifications shade from the top of the screen while playing other games.
Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
395
mr_bez | 07:24 - 2 May 2013
So if you turn of the multitouch gestures in your iPad settings, you have no criticisms of this game at all?
 
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