Crawl over your fellow crabs but don’t get washed out to sea in Crab Stack!

Recommended Age:8+
Play Time:20 minutes
Our Recommended Age:5+ (with a bit of help)
Skills:Visual Perception Focus & Attention Problem Solving
Contents:Instructions, 1 Hexagonal gameboard, 9 Red Crab tokens, 9 Blue Crab tokens, 9 Green Crab tokens, 9 Yellow Crab tokens
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Crab Stack is a cute game of last crab standing. Your goal is to crawl on top of other crabs to prevent them from moving and end up being the only crab that can move…or the last crab standing. Beware of crawling too far away from your fellow crabs or some of you can get washed away!

Crab Stack is a great family night game night for 2 – 4 players. It is recommended for ages 8+ but with a bit of help I feel like a 5 year old seasoned gamer or a 6 year old could easily play. There is no way to play without a winner so keep that in mind. We stopped letting our kids win at age 6 and only help them with strategy until they start to understand it and can start planning in games…then they are on their own.

You COULD play teams though and take turns moving a crab though. If the Diva were younger we would have done this to make it more fair but she actually does just fine in this one and even when she loses it isn’t by much. I think the Gentleman even appreciated the close games.

The box is pretty standard, square with a lift top lid. Inside is a plastic insert that has a compartment for the Crabs to mingle and another compartment for the fold up chipboard game board. There are three different sizes of Crab, small, medium and large.

The artwork is adorable and each crab seems to have its own personality. Each color set is the same..well they have the same pictures of the Crabs but that isn’t a big deal.

The artwork is a sticker that is on a wooden circle painted in Yellow, Blue, Green and Red. The artwork on the game board (which is chipboard and folds nicely and easily) is simple and basically rocks with water “rising” around them but fitting for the game and kind of cute for a rock. Other than the one sheet of instructions there aren’t any other parts to the game which makes setup super easy!

My kids love this game because they can set up quickly, play pretty quickly (which means more games) and clean up is super easy. You can keep the crabs loose or put them in baggies which is what we do…because I like organization. Now let’s play!


Be the last crab or color of crabs that can move. Seriously, your goal is to be the last player who can move at least one crab while you try to prevent the other players from being able to move or wash them away!


First get the game board out and set it up where everyone can reach it. Now have everyone choose a color and get those crabs. Shuffle them up and put them randomly on the board based on the instructions which is based on how many players there are.

Only the yellow spaces in the middle of the board get Crabs when playing with 2 players. 3 Players uses all the yellow spaces and the blue and when playing with 4 players you use the whole board. Each space can only have 1 Crab on it when setting up. Now figure out who goes first. We use a die or paper, rock, scissors (we have dice for that too!) to decide. Once you have that settled you are ready to play!


There are rules for moving Crabs so I’ll explain those. On your turn you move 1 Crab and then play continues clockwise.

  • Crabs MUST crawl over other crabs and end their move on top of a crab that is equal to or smaller than it.
  • Large Crabs must move 1 space.
  • Medium Crabs must move 2 spaces.
  • Small Crabs must move 3 spaces.
  • Crabs cannot backtrack over the same spot in the same turn.
  • Only the top Crab can move and they cannot move over open water.

There is also the Wave Rule to consider. Crabs must remain connected to each other in one group of Crabs. All crabs not just based on color. If you move a crab and it splits the board into two groups of crabs then the smaller group is washed away! This means they are removed from the game!

Keep this in mind so yours don’t get washed away but you might also want to use it as a tactic to remove other players crabs. My kids picked up on that one pretty quickly…of course. If there is a tie for which is smaller then count the actual crabs on each half and the side with less crabs gets washed away. If there is still a tie then the player whose turn it is gets to choose.


When a player can no longer move any of their crabs they are out of the game but their crabs remain where they are on the board. They just can’t move them if they become uncovered again. Once there is only one player who can move even just one crab they are the winner!

Sometimes there might a situation where a couple players are just moving around doing the same moves but nothing is really going to change. If this happens it is called a Stalemate and you should just say it is a tie. You COULD figure out a winner by playing again or some other way if that is necessary. We don’t though. We explain that a tie means that those two (or more) players played their very best and it is ok to tie sometimes.

Crab Stack is a great Family Game Night game but is also great for adult game nights! We like to play in between the longer games and the winner picks the next game. My kids love it because they can show their friends how to play and we take it to the library or park sometimes to play while eating lunch or to show kids they meet a new fun game.

Show us your Crabtastic victory! @MyGeeklings #CrabStack @BlueOrangeGames

“Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal.”
~ Ayn Rand

Author: sandyz