This day and age, 2D games seem to be rapidly becoming the norm with new game developers starting off their careers with a 2D side-scroller. There’s a market for these high-quality, retro-style titles – just look at our coverage over the last week, two of the main titles were Axel The Penguin and The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human. Fair enough, these aren’t necessarily the first games the devs have created, but they are certainly ones that got them noticed. The Bug Butcher is one.
The Bug Butcher is a nice 2D game by Awfully Nice Studios with fluid animations, a fancy soundtrack, and a cartoon-themed art style, it follows the protagonist – “Harry” – as he embarks on an assignment to a planet know as Zolt, proving his worth as a bug destroying expert, The scientists on the planet hired him because their numbers are dropping… like flies; and to kill the various bug monsters that are slaughtering them all, Harry must kill the bugs…like flies.
Your aim, kill all the bugs, collect all the coins, and save the scientists. Sounds like a nice little story, and fair enough, it’s a nice little game! It boasts similarities to other games wherein the player can only fire upwards, just like Space Invaders, or a vertical version of R-Type.
It looks slightly like, Alien Hominid, remember that? The Bug Butcher seems very based on it, with similar art styles, similar interfaces, but with more modern, sleek graphics, and more bugs.
There’s three modes, Arcade, Panic Co-op, and Panic Singleplayer – all relate to the joyous killing of bugs. Arcade focuses more on the story by following Harry on his quest to save the rest of the planet, whereas Panic modes are timed, and focus on one level as a survival setting.
It may look repetitive, but as always with a combo, rapid-shooting, arcade survival, you can’t stop yourself from playing it for ages. It’s colourful nature, and cute character design add to the humour of the entire thing. It’s funny to look at as much as it is to have fun in it, especially with the ass-kicking power ups!.
You have a choice of playing with a keyboard or a controller. I tried both, but as it turns out, this type of an arcadey styled game just felt right to play with keyboard buttons, imagining the surrounding environment as your local arcade, and the keyboard as the grubby buttons on the machine. It’s super fun to play, you’ll not want to stop…until one of those levels come along where you find yourself stuck on it for so many hours.
Although the game looks super sleek and styled, in places it seems to have been trying to style it up too much. Examples, the very first main menu screen has a mixture of textual buttons and symbols, meaning you need to try and figure out where whatever settings you require would be. Another thing is in game, there doesn’t seem to be a menu option to change the keyboard layout! Instead I had to navigate all the way back to the main screen and change things from there.
It’s a great fun little game, with cute characters, simple controls, perfect for any age that has the patience for the levels that seem to be near impossible to complete. The menus are a touch too over simplified, and I think, personally, sometimes the amount of enemies can be overwhelming, especially with so many oncoming bug bullets. Having the multiplayer option is fantastic, and it’s the type of game you can have a lot of fun with a friend in, and even a stranger. It’s simple, cute, and a game that’s hard to put down.