This is undoubtedly one of the most surprising announcements of the event ” The Future of Gaming »In June 2020 to unveil the first games of the PS5, but also the design of the two consoles (normal and Digital Edition). Towards the end of the night, Young Horses’ new game is announced with a release slated for later this year on PS5 and PC. This game ? It’s Bugsnax.
A game with a rather quirky artistic direction that plunges us into a mysterious island where the objective is to help its inhabitants, to investigate a strange disappearance and on creatures that bear the name of Bugsnax. A pretty curious kind of Pokémon / Pokémon Snap where the islanders will even turn into food as you feed them.
Yes, presented like this it is quite strange. So the best is to dive a little deeper into the adventure and see what it really is.
Welcome to Ile aux Zenkas
The story of Bugsnax begins on a flying boat on the outskirts of Zenkas Island. A mysterious place which contains an unknown secret which the journalist Lizbert Mégafig intends to pierce in order to release a historical article. According to the latter, the island would be populated by strange creatures half-insect, half-snack: The bugsnax.
From the first minutes, you understand that the island of Zenkas is indeed quite bizarre: In addition to the boats, the pizzas also fly, the earth trembles and the mountains collapse. Just that. Alas, the ship will hit a cliff, we will fall from it and lose consciousness.
This is an opportunity to immerse ourselves in our memories and remind ourselves that our editor-in-chief is not really happy with our work. The latter is also not enthusiastic about sending us on a new expedition, and this trip to Zenkas Island will be our last chance. We have to come back with the scoop of the year and the secret of the island, otherwise it’s dismissal.
By coming to our senses, we learn that we are not Lizbert Mégafig but his assistant. The journalist is missing on the island. It is then that the Bugsnax adventure begins by meeting the first inhabitant: Filbo. The latter is the mayor of the village of Snaxburg. He needs help to feed himself but also to bring back all the inhabitants who have deserted his village. Filbo also promises to help us find Lizbert Mégafig. It promises.
Catch them all ! (the Bugsnax)
It will take about five to seven hours to get rid of Bugsnax. The game will be quite repetitive since throughout your adventure you will have to help inhabitants whose main objectives will be to capture the famous creatures. A kind of low-coast Pokémon without the fighting.
For this, you will have at your disposal several “weapons” and other traps to overcome the various animals available in the game. A sauce launcher to sprinkle the creatures with ketchup. A snax catcher to capture small sized Bugsnax, or the hindrance that blocks the way to most creatures. These are the most used traps in the game, but on certain occasions you will have the option of using other traps that are a little more “rare”.
Once you have caught the insects with the rather strange name, you will be able to collect them in a book that will reference them all (again, a kind of Pokedex but in paper version). Ready to go hunting for strawberries, scaraburgers, carapommes, spiders or even spreads?
The idea will therefore be to collect all the animals, but also to feed them to the inhabitants of the island to bring them back to Snaxburg and bring life back to this village. Small peculiarity, as soon as an inhabitant eats Bugsnax, it gradually turns into food.
Besides the very quirky side, feeding the inhabitants of the island and turning them into food will not change anything in your adventure. We would have liked it to bring a little more to the game, but no. It’s just funny enough to see locals with an arm shaped like chips, a strawberry leg, or a watermelon nose, but nothing more.
You will have to visit the island and its various places, such as the fine sandy beach, through forests, meadows or even the snow-capped mountain peak. Obviously, each place and environment will offer their share of creatures that will not be possible to find elsewhere.
The best bugsnax hunter
Behind its childish and quirky side, Bugsnax will still ask you for a bit of strategy to catch certain creatures. Sometimes setting a trap and hiding in the tall grass will not be enough. We will have to trick and trap the insects, with a result which will depend a lot on luck or bugs (at the same time, we are in bug… snax).
But with each capture, we’re going to have to find ways to achieve our ends. Weaken or stun a creature with the help of another, wait and trigger the trap at the right time, or bait and attract a creature with the sauce launcher, the game has the particularity of offering us several alternatives. The last objective will be to hurry you to recover your trap since the Bugsnax remains trapped only a few seconds.
The whole point of the title will therefore be to make a success of the captures, to chain them together in order to be able to serve the inhabitants who will gradually return to live in the village of Snaxburg. What is really nice is to see this ghost town gradually turn into a bustling little town. The characters in the game are also rather interesting, well written and it contrasts with this very quirky and childish side of the game.
My opinion on Bugsnax
So it’s a pretty special game that is offered (free until January) on the PlayStation Store for all PS5 players. It will still count on a price set at € 19.99 for PC players. A game which will be specially designed for children and which can keep them occupied for a few hours.
The artistic direction is quite unusual and will not please everyone, with a nice game the first minutes, but quickly repetitive. In addition, Bugsnax is far from being technically flawless with some bugs and loading times that are always present when we change zones on this small open-world map.
On the positive side, the game highlights the features of the DualSense and it’s quite pleasant. But then again, it’s also not crazy compared to Astro Playroom, but still, it’s still more than Spider-Man Miles Morales or Sackboy A Big Adventure.
A game worth checking out if you have kids and are on PS5 since it is offered. But it won’t remain an unforgettable experience either.
- The features of the DualSense highlighted
- See Snaxburg come to life as the game progresses
- The different ways to catch Bugsnax
We like less
- Artistic direction
- Some bugs, loading times
- Quite repetitive
- A little offbeat universe that will not please everyone