Carve up some grub.
I went into The Bug Butcher with little expectations. I figured it was going to be a short play session to see everything it had to offer and then I would be done. What I didn’t know was that even if I did play a short session, it was going to be filled with some pretty decent action mixed in with a great looking art style.
The Bug Butcher has come to a planetary space station to help out scientist who called out for help due to a horrible alien bug infestation. The Bug Butcher is now here to clean up the mess the best way he knows how, blowing the ever-loving crap out of the bugs with his blaster.
Platforms: PC, XB1, PS4
Price I’d pay: $9.99
Players control the character as he moves side to side, shooting upwards at the incoming bugs. Think of it like Space Invaders or Galaga. Dodge the enemies and their projectiles while firing up at them. Along the way, players can pick up power-ups like a faster fire rate or fire shots that do more damage, as well as use items that become available after filling up a meter from killing the bugs. These items come in a variety of flavors like a hardcore machine gun, invincibility, and freeze grenades.
The variety of bugs is also pretty well done. There are bugs that bounce around, split into smaller bugs, spider-looking things that attempt to grab the little scientist that you have to save constantly, and a lot more – spicing things up a decent amount throughout the 30 levels that are here.
Players pick up coins while playing that can be used to upgrade the gun, increase power-up stats, and help out with useable items. It adds a bit of extra progression to the game. Although none of the items are necessary to win a round, they are always helpful and it’s never a bad thing to use them.
There is also a “panic” mode where two players can attempt to blast bugs to oblivion while trying to beat a time limit. Time bonuses drop from fallen enemies at times that extend the time limit, but the difference here is really the randomness of the entire mode. In story mode, players can pretty much memorize enemy patterns and where they will pop up. In Panic Mode, it’s all random, making this mode much more hectic.
The art style feels like something right out of The Behemoth’s art book. The crisp look of all the characters really pop, and the backgrounds along with the electronic soundtrack really set the game up really well. It is a nice look, and one that really stuck out to me for a small game.
The only real issue I had with the game was just how hectic it can get. I sometimes lost track of everything, especially projectiles that ended up hitting me for damage when a lot of things were going on on screen. Aside from that, it is a bit of a short experience. Granted, this game is meant to be played multiple times while attempting to memorize the levels to get a better score, it can really only stay so long.
In the end, this is a decently fun arcade shooter, much like Galaga or Space Invaders. It has a neat art style and plays really well. All for ten bucks too. If you’re feeling a little old school and want something that could last you around four to five hours, this is it. You’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.