To call Bugsnax a bit weird would be an understatement. From the announcement alone we are able to gleam this, but it gets weirder somehow bringing in distinctly human problems to the unique characters adds a whole new level of quirkiness. So what is this game about then?
You play as the ‘Journalist’ a nameless and faceless character in this unusual world. But it works well, this is because it focuses your energy on the other characters as well as the Bugsnax.
You go to investigate Snaktooth island after being invited by Lizbert Megafig, the leader of the island and an all round adventurer and explorer. You almost immediately meet Filbo who was left in charge when Lizbert goes missing. Hereby the majority of the game begins and a series of fetch quests. Filbo’s main goal is to get all other residents of Snakburg to return back to town and you have to convince them to come back. Each one has a certain requirement, and usually it means catch them a certain bugsnax and then feed it to them.
The main puzzle is figuring out the technique to catch each one of the 100 total creatures. Some being very straight forward by simply luring them into traps, others are much more elaborate and some times require other bugsnax abilities to help you subdue them to catch.
Visiting new areas is always a joy as you get to experience the new set of life-forms local to the area. Scan them to see what they love and hate and use these to capture them. You will also unlock a slew of weapons to aid you in catching them and using them in conjunction is the best way to succeed. Suffice to say, it gets complicated and elaborate, but always fun.
Areas of the map depict the region to feature elemental bugsnax, so you can easily recall where a certain critter would be located. The biggest negative for me was the lack of fast travel. Although it doesn’t take a very long time to traverse from one side of the amp to the other, it would be nice to utilise the feature of the PS5’s fast loads in order to jump around to areas you’ve already visited quicker.
You don’t ever eat any of the bugsnax yourself, and it may be obvious to anyone who has seen the trailers of this game; it causes the appendages of the Grumpus / residents of Snaktooth Island. Oddly it makes no difference to them and weirdly seems like a pointless quirk of the game, which there are some links to the story in the latter parts of the game.
Throughout your expedition you will capture many bugs and they will get logged into your bugapedia, this is a great resource, everytime you scan an item or capture a snak it will get logged here to keep you abreast of you progress. Perfect for trophy hunters.
There is a story that unfolds and even drama between the characters who keep falling out with each other seems to keep things flowing nicely. The real issues they face are interesting to see in this distorted lens.
To avoid any spoilers I won’t talk too much about wher the story leads, but it involves a mystery and you are there as the journalist to solve it. Interviewing all the cast and figuring out where Lizbert has gone.
I found myself thinking about diving back into the world on occasion and whilst playing you can easily lose and hour or two figuring out how to catch an enemy. Many times being lead astray by the bad physics that make you believe it is possible to use certain tools, but it doesn’t work. I suspect using guides will become more prominent for those really tricky captures.
Bugsnax is worth playing, especially as it is free on PS+. It may not have the best visuals but it won’t suck away too many hours to complete. I’d say around 7 hours and longer if you want to everything. Play this game, or experience may be more apt.
- Replay Value