In Mr. Crab, the titular crustacean auto-scuttled back and forth, leaping into the air when you tapped the screen.

His mission - avoid being killed while collecting baby crabs who'd stupidly been captured and peppered about the place by evil crab-hating adversaries.

Mr. Crab 2 could wear the subtitle 'more of the same, but prettier,' because that's the dish being served up.

You spin me right round, crabby

Once again, levels are a single screen wide and wrapped around a tall cylindrical structure. It's reminiscent of ancient cult classic Nebulus, and proves disorienting and dizzying as you leap around, trying to figure out where everything is and how to reach caged baby crabs.

Visually, the game is far richer than its predecessor, with gorgeous textures and lashings of character. The layouts of the levels are improved, too, with all sorts of nooks and crannies to explore, and obstacles to cling to and take advantage of.

In a departure from Mr. Crab, the environments also sometimes temporarily branch out into 2D sections that link multiple columns, adding variety and a change of pace.

There are, for better or worse, no boss battles this time round, though, and the game sometimes feels busy, its graphical detail a barrier to progress during moments when you can't tell what's going on.

Hats the way to do it

There are also points where you feel the developers didn't really know what to do - notably when Mr. Crab plunges to his doom and then immediately respawns, without penalty, bar you having to replay a little bit of the level.

You'll also find in tougher areas Mr. Crab quite often gets knocked flying, and you end up repeating the same bit time and again.

Still, every game will likely find you grabbing some stars, which can be used in a prize machine - now seemingly legal requirement for iOS games - which bestows hats, new characters, and occasionally the odd new level.

And as a free download, it's hard to sniff at a game that is broadly compelling and looks as good as this one does.

Whether it's worth splashing out a fiver on the remaining locked levels is another matter, but it's worth noting the original Mr. Crab received new goodies years after release. Here's hoping that's another thing this sequel borrows from its forerunner.

How does it compare?
  • Mr. Crab - The original Mr. Crab's visually simpler, a touch tougher, and has boss fights. The sequel's a bit better, though.
  • Leap Day - Similar 'bound back-and-forth' gameplay, tighter level design, and much harder. Leap Day is a slightly better game, but mind you don't hurl your device out of the window.
  • Rayman Fiesta Run - Bar some irritating freemium trappings, this remains one of the best platformers on mobile. More expansive than either Mr. Crab, but there's no freebie version.