Review: Bugsnax – Earlier this year there was the presentation where the PlayStation 5 was finally revealed. One of the first games that also made its appearance there was Bugsnax, a very odd one out. At the time it was not yet clear what kind of game Bugsnax would be exactly, but now we are a few months further and we have been able to download Bugsnax as a free PS Plus game. A good time to take a seat in front of the TV with a bowl (bug) snax next to it, so that we can find out what this game has to offer now.
Bugsnax is A colorful party
To begin with, that is a very colorful world, into which we are invading, as it were. What is immediately noticeable is that due to the visual way in which the game presents itself, absolutely everything you see splashes off the screen. From the various creatures to everything else you encounter in the world. No environment or character stands out in terms of design, and it is also very sharply displayed in high resolution. But with the nuance that it is not a graphical showcase for the console, because it does not look ‘next-gen’. Anyway, this colorful event makes it a joy to explore, including the areas that the game has to offer later, where they are initially closed. To access it you have to follow the story and discover more of the world step by step.
You will enter a beach, you will walk through a desert and you will end up in a snowy area. Thanks to the visual style, which is comparable to that of an animation film, the whole world is so inviting that you regularly keep playing for a little longer. While you are doing that we come to the audio and at that point the game has it fine. All the sounds that come from the characters exactly amplify that absurd vibe that the game presents to you. What also helps here is the roguish tune that you hear throughout the game. Although the audiovisual is nowhere groundbreaking, we cannot ignore the fact that together it looks very appetizing.
Filbo the mayor
From the moment you start the game, the story is still quite vague. Because quite suddenly you enter the world and soon you find out that you are an investigative journalist by profession. This thanks to Filbo, who is asking for your help for that very reason. Filbo is a blue colored male who most resembles a little Barba Pappa. Due to circumstances he has been appointed mayor of the area you entered. You are Filbo’s last rescue, because his goal is to make sure that the town of Snaxburg does not remain deserted and therefore falls into oblivion
Because of your profession, it is therefore up to you to bring all other Grumpuses (that’s how the other characters are called) back to the town of Snaxburg. That is now deserted and the intention is that this will become a lively place again. This also brings us right to the next point, in order to get all Gumpuses back you have to feed them each individually different kind of bugsnax. Bugsnax ‘are very special creatures. These can include walking spare ribs, running Oreo cookies, walking hot dog sandwiches, running cheeseburgers, flying pizza slices, and much more.
Bugsnax- Absurd creatures cross your path
Precisely because of all the absurdity that you have to deal with here, it is really a joy to see every small and large snax creature. Every creature you encounter is based on food, which is what makes it so bizarre and at the same time useful to use for the Grumpuses. It is quite exceptional what all comes along, but the presence of such creative figures is a strong point of the game. You simply do not believe your eyes, because just when you think you have seen everything, you come across the following very creatively designed creature.
The absurd presentation of the game somewhat disguises the somewhat monotonous and therefore simple structure of the gameplay. In short, you have to look for different snacks on behalf of each Grumpus and then feed them back to them. This sounds a bit simple, but there is certainly some challenge here. After all, it is still quite a job to find out exactly how to catch a certain walking or flying snack.
Shoot ketchup with your slingshot
You will have various tools at your disposal for this, such as a kind of safety net and a small trampoline. You will also have to combine such attributes with each other, even occasionally having to use other creatures to be able to catch a specific bugsnax. To give an example: If you want to catch a Bunger (hamburger), you have to shoot ketchup at this creature with a catapult and that will attract another Bunger. If that Bunger then crashes into it – due to the pull of the ketchup – the one with ketchup will become disoriented and that is the time for you to catch the Bunger with your safety net.
And so you will again and again be faced with a challenge in terms of how to catch a particular Bugsnax. You need to use the different attributes, combine this with each other and also look around. This is because the environment can also play a certain role. It can take a long time to figure that out, with all the side missions added as well as the other bugs that you can discover. There is therefore still a lot to experience outside of the main story, so that you end up spending quite a bit more time on the game than you might expect in advance. This despite the somewhat repetitive nature of the gameplay.
Finally, Bugsnax also uses the features that the DualSense controller has to offer. It doesn’t go as deep as in Astro’s Playroom, for example, but it’s quite creative in its own way. If you get hold of a Bugsnax via one of your attributes, you will hear the Bugsnax in question pronounce its name through the speaker in the controller. Each creature has its own name and pronunciation, which is a funny extra. As for the haptic feedback, every step you take during a sprint is reflected in the controller and the adaptive triggers also have their effect. When you tighten the catapult you will, for example, get a pulsating feeling and that way Bugsnax makes nice use of the controller features.
Bugsnax – Conclusion
Writing about walking and flying snacks that you have to catch, do you still believe it? Yet it is so and just as absurd as we thought this in advance, that’s how enthusiastic we eventually became about this game, which introduces itself to you in a very creative way. You literally fall from one surprise to another and when you realize what you are going through, you sometimes cannot suppress a smile. These events, along with the game’s audiovisual style, disguise the few slightly fainter dots. That is the gameplay that eventually becomes a bit monotonous and the main story is also a bit on the boring side. However, if you are open to an absurd and creative experience, then Bugsnax remains a tasty free snack to snack on in between. At least give it a try.
- The different ways to catch Bugsnax
- Diverse and bizarre creations
- The colorful play world
- Interesting climax to the story …
- … that has a somewhat monotonous structure
- The gameplay gets a bit repetitive over time
- Graphics a bit simplistic despite the style