Many of the titles that were playable at IndieCade aren’t available publicly. There are exceptions, like Rogue Legacy, Papers Please, and this article’s focus, Hermit Crab In Space.
Hermit Crab In Space is available on your Vita through PlayStation Mobile for $2.79. If you have a supported phone, you can get it that way as well, but this title is meant to be played with physical buttons. The game is pretty simple: like a hermit crab, you need to augment your spaceship by finding discarded spaceship parts and attaching them to yours. In other words, you’re looking for bigger shells. Of course, the owners of these spaceship parts aren’t willing to give them up without a fight, so you’ll need to give them one.
Any part can be assigned a button. You can set one set of engines on your left side to the R button to rotate you to the right, and another set to rotate you to the left with the L button. You can assign all of your weapons to the square button, or mix it up if you want.
The art style is nothing special, but the dialogue does crack me up. You’ll find a few bad guys who have choice things to say about your intrusion into their neck of the woods.
It’s a very simple game, and therefore very easy to get involved in at the drop of a hat. It’s what helps make a great portable game. As you’ll play, you’ll find you build smarter too. It makes you want to try again when you’re taken down, and you don’t feel like you’re punished too badly. You can eventually unlock an Endless mode to the game, which removes the goal and challenges you to get through as many sectors as you can without dying.
Sadly, the limited reach and awareness of the PlayStation Mobile platform means that Hermit Crab In Space only sees 1 or 2 sales a day. Do yourself a favor and pick this title up, it deserves better.