Crabitron is a crab simulation game presented by Two Lives Left, an Australia-based indie developer. Players manipulate the pincers of the Giant Space Crab to destroy all the objects moving in front of it or devour them.
Crabitron features a very simple interface. An orange crab bends over at the bottom of the screen with its pincers high in the air against the backdrop of the deep blue cosmos. At the upper section of the screen, there will be an array of objects coming from both sides. They could be buses, police cars, ambulances, taxies, trucks, spaceships and other moving objects that take bizarre forms. You manipulate each of the Giant Space Crab’ pincers with two fingers in any fashion you’re comfortable with, thumb and index finger or index finger and middle finger. You move and pinch to crush the targets or send them to the crab’s mouth to let it devour.
By doing so, you will be rewarded with gold coins and dollars. Dollars are the benchmark against which you’re placed in the leaderboards. Gold coins are used to strengthen your crab. In the crab lab, you can use them to upgrade its claws and buy bonuses. Though there are not too many options available, some can be very useful. For instance, if you buy one of the bonuses – Power Burgers, they will show up during the game from time to time. Eating them empowers you with Super Suckatron, which sucks up all the objects on the screen into the crab’s mouth. So you’ll get lots of dollars easily. Generally speaking, crushing produces more gold coins than devouring. The latter usually brings out a large amount of dollars.
Players’ ranks are based on their completion of the specified missions that can be completed in a random order. Moving and pinching your fingers alone are not enough for winning. Battles can’t be complete unless there are both attacks and defenses. This applies to Crabitron as well. Besides those unarmed vehicles carrying humans and precious materials vulnerable to your attacks, there are also objects threatening your own safety. Missiles, meteors, sharks with lasers, star fighters and alien invaders etc. may run toward you intensively. You have to either crush them or ward off them before they ruthlessly leave you scarred and battered.
Every battle consists of different zones featuring different contents. Players start from zone 1 and keep going to the next after the previous one is cleared. Sometimes there will be a mini-game inserted in the process. For example, one is called ‘Break the Blocks’. You need to make the dropping bullets bounce back to the rows of colorful blocks with ‘your’ claws. The process looks a bit like playing ping-pong. If you manage to make all of the blocks disappear in 60s, you win.
Additionally, given the fact that Crabitron is a game calling for your two hands to function flexibly at the same time, you have to find a good place for your iPad so that it can stay firm before you can free your hands to engage in battles.
Last but not the least, the simulation effect proves to be captivating at first. You pinch your own fingers and watch the crab’s claws mimic the movements correspondingly. Isn’t this amazing? However, if we put its simulation effect aside, there are few elements that can make your eyes light up with surprises. Keeping moving your fingers can be tiresome. The potential preys are rich in categories but have little substantial differences. The obstacles are also presented in a monotonic way, making this game less challenging.