The commitment that Bugsnax has to its own unbridled insanity is commendable. The humanoid characters that you play as and interact with are called Grumpuses – muppet-y anthropomorphic creatures with names such as Lizbert and Beffica. The titular snax are named like bizarro Pokémon ranging from the sentient burger beetle named Bunger to the cheesy butterfly named Cheepoof. The whole game is wrapped in this quirky Pokémon Snap veneer as you adventure to Snaktooth Island to figure out what happened to all the Grumpuses and complete your collection of Bugsnax in the process.
This is the kind of game that only seems possible from Young Horses, the developer who previously made the similarly batshit Octodad (also out on Switch). Bugsnax first launched on PlayStation and PC back in 2020, and is now coming to Switch (and more) alongside the free major content update The Isle of Bigsnax. The Switch port is serviceable, running at a consistent 720p and 30 frames per second but with considerable load times between areas. The loads were long, but once I was playing, it was a great handheld experience and a good enough TV one.
The largely narrative-driven game puts you on Snaktooth Island as an unnamed journalist trying to figure out what happened to Lizbert Megafig, the head of a burgeoning civilization on the island harvesting the quirky inhabitants that are mixtures of bugs and snacks. These Bugsnax weirdly transform character’s limbs when eaten. It sits somewhere between endearing and unsettling. When you arrive at the island, the community is in tatters and it’s up to you to gather the Grumpuses together again and find Lizbert. This is done by completing a wide variety of quests that involve satisfying each character, usually by collecting and feeding requested Bugsnax. Once they return to the village, you have the chance to interview them (as you are a journalist) and in the process start to find out more about the island’s mysteries.
From a first-person perspective, you have access to a variety of tools to aid you in your Bugsnax-collecting quests. Some are easy to capture, as you just need to lay out a trap on their path and catch them. Others involve shooting ketchup or chocolate to attract them to a certain location, while later ones can get even more complex, relying on using other Bugsnax and the environment to set up a catch. Sometimes it’s a little finicky to figure out what to do, but there’s no real penalty for messing up and part of the charm is the absurdity of the whole enterprise.
Outside of the quests, I found the writing to be both hilarious and engaging. The characters are all preposterous with memorable voice acting. While so much of it is over the top, you spend so much time with the interpersonal relationships of these characters that every so often you land on a poignant emotional beat. The story takes some wild twists later on as well and is boosted by how good the writing and voice work is.
The Isle of Bigsnax opens up part way through the main game and builds on a lot of the ideas of the original game. You can tell it’s an add-on, but it’s a welcome and enjoyable addition to the experience, adding a few more hours of gameplay with a bunch of big-ass Bugsnax and new puzzles. The way it’s implemented, especially with the new addition of fast travel, makes Bugsnax feel like a more full and fleshed-out game.
This is a wild and weird game that is a welcome addition to the Switch library. There is nothing else out there quite like Bugsnax and while the Switch version is not the best performing version, folks with only the Nintendo console or a desire for portable play shouldn’t have too much to complain about if they decide to journey to Snaktooth Island.
Source link : Nintendoworldreport