When I saw Bugsnax was the first PS5 game to be released on PS Plus I was skeptical as it looked like a cheap Pokémon Snap cartoon like knockoff game but I have to say I actually ended up enjoying Bugsnax a lot more than I thought I would.
In addition to the PlayStation 5 version. It is also available on PlayStation 4. Bugsnax is an action adventure game where you explore a mysterious island and you find and capture these half bug half snack creatures. So, the creatures that you find on the island are bugs that look like burgers, ice cream, fruit and all kinds of food really. It is a unique game and it’s almost like Pokémon Snap in the fact that you use a camera to shoot them and scan them using your Snackscope.
You also have to use a slingshot with ketchup packages, chocolate packets, hot sauce ranch and different flavors of sauce to attract these creatures to come out of their hiding spots or to trick them long enough to be able to catch them. So, they probably took their main inspiration from Pokémon Snap. In the main plot you are a newspaper reporter who gets invited from a character named Lizbert who’s an explorer.
You get a film strip from them in the mail where she talks about an island called Snacktooth Island and that you have to go and explore the Bugsnax who are half snack and half bug and encourages the reporter to come to the island and document them. So, you make your way onto the island only to find out that Lizbert is missing so now you have to interview everyone that’s in Snackburg. The main creatures are called Grumpuses and they are bipedal furry looking creatures with mostly different colors.
They joined her on her expedition but they’re all over the island. You find them and you have to complete their side missions. You have to talk to all the little Grumpuses and convince them to go back to Snackburg and find Lizbert. They ask you to get certain things and certain species of Bugsnax require you to do certain puzzle solving elements like someone might be too small to catch so you have to give them hot sauce so they expand and then they’re on fire so then you have to figure out how to cool them down to catch them in time.
Some of them also depend on what time of day or what the weather conditions are as to what kind of Bugsnax will be available so there’s a fair amount of strategy in this game so there’s a lot of different little quests and side quests. There’s a fair amount of replay value here and there’s over 100 Bugsnax and when you feed them it transforms the Grumpuses so depending on what Bugsnax you feed them is how their appearance changes and looks.
It’s challenging enough to where you have to think a bit more than what you initially thought as it looks like it was targeted more towards kids. The voice acting in this game is also top notch as each Grumpus is voiced by someone different and each sound unique. There is some adult humor in this game as well which is quite funny that will go right over children’s heads so the older folks can appreciate the game a bit more.
There’s a lot of different things in this game that really charmed me and initially I thought it was some kind of kid’s game that I’m not that interested in but then I looked into the development and the people that made this game actually took 6 years to make this game. There was a lot of slow and steady tender loving care put into Bugsnax and the game has gone through several different iterations before it settled on to what it is now.
It did take a lot of inspiration from Pokémon Snap and Ape Escape and a few other games like that according to the developers. Overall, it is quite a simple but charming game and is rather short coming in at 9 – 10 hours. This game is in first person view and I have to say there’s obviously no high definition HD graphics in Bugsnax as its cartoony and has a cell shaded presentation but the game looks good for what it is.
It controls really smooth and it has very smooth animations and the songs are pretty catchy. Don’t let the cartoony look make you think that this game is just for kids because there is a high degree of challenge on Bugsnax for you to sit down and really think how to proceed and honestly it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
Bugsnax is a fun Pokémon Snap like game with some fun puzzles and unique creatures to capture that takes some figuring out but you have no reason to catch them outside of quests. The story is deeper than you initially thought albeit on the shorter side but has some great humor in it.