From the second I saw the trailer to the minute I found out this game was from Young Horses, the geniuses behind Octodad I was already incredibly excited for this game. While the premise sounds outlandishly cartoony and childish, the story evolves to be incredibly layered with a message for us about people and how we treat them. The incredible emotional maturity this game adapts to keep things light and fun while being an incredible moving tale gets the balance just right.
The premise is quite simple, you are a journalist recruited to cover an island teeming with bugs who are in the form of snack food. Your employer Elizabeth Megafig has disappeared and you must work with the natives to find Elizabeth and reunite the Grumpuses.
It sounds simple but there is a layered story in here and during the 10 hour story playthrough, there is plenty to uncover that I won’t spoil here. The game is a first person adventure with a ton of exploration and puzzle elements that extend far beyond what we saw in the trailer.
Exploring the island of Snaktooth there are many Grumpus (furry covered creatures with large eyes who love eating Bugsnax) that will ask you to do several things to help them. This includes their weird obsession with willingly wishing their body parts will change into Bugsnax. It is very odd but very endearing and the more you play, the more you uncover why they are like this.
Visually the game is beautiful, it is very cartoony but the 3D graphics and detail on each character is shows the love and dedication from the studio for these creatures. The studio have also taken full advantage of the DualSense controller with the creatures chanting their names in the controller speaker when caught. It is very repetitive and will stay in your head for days (in a good way!)
The writing from the team is on point, there is a great sense of humour on display here and this is blended well with the more emotional points in the story. This also goes for the residents themselves. There are a mix of different characters and personalities that create a melting pot of personas in Snaxburg.
So how do you catch these Bugsnax creatures? Well there is a classic trap that you can lay in their path, you can also use different lures like chocolate and ketchup for certain types and then a swift swoop of your net sees the creature in your grasp. While each creature is different and individual, the catching mechanics do get a little repetitive the further into the game you get. Thankfully the design and writing is on point so it is never a problem.
Bugsnax is the surprise of 2020. It looked like a cute game for children and has transcended into a work of art. The game has a lot to say about loss, depression and the human mind while able to blend with a hilarious Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs style premise. While this game may not be for everyone, it is a solid second entry for Young Horses and I for one cannot wait to see what they do next.
Bugsnax is currently available on PS5 and PC. The PS5 version is currently included if you are a Playstation Plus subscriber.
Be the first to leave a review.