30 August 2018
Scratching a certain itch
You’ve Got Crabs is the new game from the designers of Exploding Kittens and Bears vs Babies. And my job here is done because with that sentence I have told you if this game is for you or not. Send me my cheque, Mr. Editor, I shall be in the conservatory.
Really, this review is superfluous. You know enough about games to be reading a website called ‘Tabletop Gaming’. The odds are very strong you have an opinion on Exploding Kittens and its ilk. You’ve Got Crabs is much like its older sibling, only better presented and more briny.
The gameplay is borrowed from the traditional, if little-known, set-making game kemps. Play is simultaneous: everyone grabs cards from the middle all at once, trying to get four the same. When you do, you give a pre-arranged secret signal to your teammate sitting opposite, who must yell, "You’ve got crabs!" to win you both a point. But if anyone else notices your frantic signalling and shouts it first, they get the point.
And that’s the whole game. You can play it with a deck of ordinary cards, but ordinary cards do not have artwork and crab-puns from the Oatmeal guy on them, or come in a sweet box with cute little drawers.
If you’re still on the fence about it, there’s an expansion that consists of one wild card and a pair of rubber crab claws that you have to wear if you hold the card – if that sounds like fun, knock yourself out. If not, don’t dare be sniffy about it. Fast, funny intro games like this are bringing new people to gaming, widening the hobby, and that’s good for all of us.
Designer: Matthew Inman, Elan Lee
Artist: Matthew Inman, Elan Lee
Time: 15-20 minutes
This review originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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