There are few genres that revel in nonsense quite as much as platforming does. It makes fast hedgehogs and wise-cracking bandicoots seem like normal members of society, rather than the product of some developer's cheese nightmares.
Mr. Crab follows that trend with aplomb, casting you as a scuttling crab with a penchant for natty hats who has to vanquish giant owls, dodge rolling shrimp, and shepherd his young to safety, all the while twisting around a series of fiendish pillars.
The game is a twisting platformer that lets you control the leaps of the titular decapod and not much else. He'll wander around the tower-like structures that make up each level and it's up to you to propel him upwards. Bumpers change the direction he's walking in, so there's occasionally some simple puzzling to make sure you're going in the right way.
There are themed items to collect on each level - apples in a tree, bubbles on the beach, coins in the treasure levels - and children to rescue as well. The kids follow you around, but if you take a hit from one of the assorted enemies they'll all fall over and need to be grabbed again.
The platforming itself is tight and entertaining. You tap to jump, hold your finger on the screen to jump higher, and you can use walls to boost you even further. The turning nature of the path you're on means you need to be quick to react when an obstacle presents itself, but there's a generous system that only sees you knocked down a little if you fail.
Boss battles are simple matters of bouncing on giant enemies' heads, but they add a bit of variety. There's nothing particularly new here, but the bouncy pads and collectibles are presented well enough that you're not going to begrudge the lack of originality.
Mr. Crab is a silly, engaging platformer that won't set the world aflame or get mainstream tongues clucking, but if you're looking for a new game that's well put-together, with a decent level of challenge and a crustacean star, you'll find all of that here.