Just nipping out for a game of football
Crabs and Penguins is a game primarily designed as an advert for Coca Cola. However, it’s clear from the outset that a lot of effort has gone into the design of this game and it would be a shame to dismiss it just because it has a large company pushing their product behind it.
The premise isn’t really important, but has to do with the crabs watching a penguin football match and returning a lost ball across a dangerous ocean. No, it didn’t make much sense to me either, but it does have a cute video introducing the story, so we’ll let them off.
The game begins with a crab balancing in a football in the sea. The controls are simple; press the right hand button to dive and the left to jump. Pressing jump again will allow the crab to perform a double jump and then holding this down will let him sail downward on a leaf.
The aim is to collect coins, starfish, pearls and hard to find cola caps, with all of these going towards your score at the end of the level. It’s a typical score attack game that encourages you to come back to each level in order to improve your score. There are multiple paths to find all the hidden pearls and cola caps and it’s unlikely you’ll get them all in one run through.
The issue here is that with this being a score attack game, you really need someone to compete against and the game doesn’t give you any form of high score chart, not even Game Center. It’s a puzzling omission when the game is designed as a social app that should have people talking in order to spread the message, but there’s just nothing there that will encourage people to tell their friends about it, short of the game itself.
Graphically, Crabs and Penguins is a lovely game, far better than I was expecting for an advertising product. The game is a 2D platformer, but rendered in 3D and features some great animated backgrounds. Small touches such as bears appearing from caves when you find a cola cap and the different fish under the water all point towards a well crafted game world that the developers have spent a lot of time creating.
The different environments all add something new to the game, building on the previous level and adding another element. Dangerous fish, water jets and even a loop-the-loop crop up as you play, all gloriously detailed.
For a free game, Crabs and Penguins is well worth picking up. Although it’s only 6 levels long, it provides plenty of replay value in collecting those hard to find items and gaining stars on each level. It only falls short in the lack of an option to compete against other players, something a game like this is crying out for.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 6
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