The Bug Butcher is an action shooter, in which you are an exterminator tasked with killing alien bugs that have infested a space station. Is The Bug Butcher worth picking up, or should it be exterminated? Read our review to find out..
In The Bug Butcher you play as Harry an exterminator who has been called to a space station to clean up the hordes of invading bugs. Upon arrival you are met by a scientist who explains the situation and conveniently gives you a quick tutorial on how the game works. The game in a nutshell plays like the classic game Super Pang, where you shoot vertically as enemies spawn in from different doors around the screen, and bounce around as you shoot up at them.
Enemies come in various types and sizes, larger enemies will split down and multiply into smaller enemies as you kill them, until they become the smallest size, the different types of enemies include bouncing blobs, some of which fire projectiles. a strange clawed octopus looking enemy that behave like ‘face huggers’ from the Alien films, and will instantly kill you should they land on you. Spider type enemies that crawl along the ceiling, these you have to pay particular attention to as the scientist that you meet at the beginning of the game accompanies you along the way and these enemies can pick him up and carry him off, meaning game over should they do so, so take care of these quite quickly.
The Bug Butcher can also be played in Co-op via the other available game mode called Panic. Panic is essentially a survival mode with all levels available for you to play on from the get go. Enemies spawn in ever increasingly difficult waves. Upgrades work similarly in Panic as they do in story mode except you have to upgrade between waves and the upgrades only last for that particular session. Panic mode also features online leaderboards.
The gameplay is really smooth, and as simple as the concept is it definitely has an addiction factor. The star rating system has a particular hand in this, and works by collecting coins that are dropped by enemies, and in turn are multiplied by killing enemies in quick succession. Taking damage and taking too long to kill enemies will reset the multiplier counter, thus giving the game its fast paced action. Each level has different amounts to score for each of the three stars, there’s also a bonus objective of reaching a certain multiplier score per level.
You can go back to complete these later if you wish, especially if you find any of them difficult, as the coins mentioned above can be spent on upgrading Harry and his weapons and abilities, making some of the levels easier once you have done so. Speaking of levels, there’s 30 in total, split into 5 areas. As you go through them you’ll acquire new weapons and special abilities, that can also be taken back to previous levels. As you can imagine the further you get into the game the more the enemies will spawn, with some levels having other obstacles to get around such as floating platforms or walls that can be turned on and off via switches on the floor.
Controls are pretty straight forward and easy to get the hang of, with no intricate button combinations simply move Harry left and right with the right stick, shoot with either the right trigger of A button, dash with the B button and use special abilities with the X button. Visually the game is really smooth and quite vibrant with a cartoon look, as often with indie games the dialogue is all done via on screen text. It would have been nice to have had some voice over, although the great soundtrack makes up for its absence.