In The Bug Butcher, by Austrian developers Awfully Nice Studios (in conjunction with Triangle Studios for the console releases), you play as an exterminator called Harry who is tasked to destroy the hordes of alien bugs that are taking over the ship. The gameplay is fairly straightforward, but massively fun.
The game is able to be played co-operatively, which is a great inclusion, as this has been a fantastic game to play with our son, who enjoys - and is surprisingly good at - killing all of the weird bugs and blobs that head his way. The objective is simple, clear out each room of all of the bugs that are infesting it. As you wipe out a wave, more will come until the room is literally covered, and you (and a friend, if playing co-op), have to shoot them all, whilst dashing side to side to dodge them. See, these bugs don't just fill up the room, they like to bounce around, attempting to squish you. So as the waves get faster, and with more bugs spawning, this can be quite panic-inducing, but nevertheless fun.
As well as killing the bugs, you often have to rescue the little scientist guy who is accompanying you. He doesn't do anything really, in the sense of fighting back. His role in the game is to occasionally give you power ups, which can alter your weapon for a short time, giving you faster rate of fire, stronger weapons, etc. Often, spider looking enemies will spawn with big grabby tentacles that will snatch your little scientist friend, trying to take him away - these need to be dealt with straight away, as losing him will end the run.
Three difficulties exist: Easy, Medium and Hard. The difference between these is the number of bars of health you have available to you, with Hard being just a single bar, and this is cleverly, and humourously depicted in you, Harry, wearing nothing but your pants. No armor, whatsoever. Nada. Two game modes exist, so as well as Arcade Mode, which is essentially your Story Mode, we also have Panic Mode, which is pretty much just a horde mode, but an aptly titled one. Both are available in the main menu from the start, but Arcade is the usual one we play, especially if playing with our son. The bonus for playing Panic Mode in co-op, is that if you get downed, your partner-in-butchering can revive you.
The game is fun, fast-paced and interesting, with a variety of upgradeable weapons in your arsenal, a cute art style - that still manages to be gory when those bugs explode, 30 levels that feel and play differently as you progress due to your upgraded weapons and different enemies, and a Leaderboard system, to give yourself the bragging rights against your friends - providing you're the best, of course.
And at only £7.99 on the Xbox Store, it's cheap and cheerful, which makes it even better that it's a whole load of fun. So we decided to give The Bug Butcher a solid 8/10.
Have you played The Bug Butcher? What did you think about it?
Let us know in the comments below!
- V x