GAME NAME: The Bug Butcher
DEVELOPER(S): Awfully Nice Studios
PUBLISHER(S): Awfully Nice Studios
PLATFORM(S): PC Steam (Reviewed)
GENRE(S): Arcade shooter, bullet hell
RELEASE DATE(S): January 19, 2016
When I first saw The Bug Butcher by Awfully Nice Studios I was drawn to the art style immediately. It looked like an interesting platform shooter but I wasn’t sure what to make of it just quite yet. I was really excited to get my hands on a review code and that’s when my eyes opened and I realized that this was the amazing 2D bullet hell arcade game that I’ve been waiting for.
There’s something fulfilling about shooting aliens and blasting them apart (with huge ass guns) but when you mix in an anti-hero like Harry who has a hilarious personality, you have a recipe for success. I loved the charm, humor and sarcasm that was brought to the forefront immediately in the beginning stages, it set quite the tone and made me know that this little game had a huge personality which I loved. The concept is alien bugs drop from the ceiling or bounce up from the floor and it’s your job to kill them all and make sure your friend doesn’t get carried away from a ceiling spider alien. In the process you can collect coins which go towards power ups and also unlock weapons, power ups, and perks.
The Bug Butcher cartoon art is fantastic and top notch and the game animations are very smooth. The music is pretty jamming as well, with its electronic hard hitting beats. It’s kind of relaxing and energetic at the same time. It’s the type of music I could have on in the background and do creative work to. The Bug Butcher has the type of quality you’d see from a triple A title. Which makes sense since since the Austria duo team of Awfully Nice Studios consists of Till Aschwanden, self proclaimed “Art Monkey” who worked at Blizzard in the past, and also Rainer Zoettl “Dev Monkey” who’s worked in the VFX community and has movies like The Hobbit & The Avengers under his belt.
The Bug Butcher game controls are quite simple. You shoot and run, use power-ups to your advantage and to boost your speed and gun/power and try not to die. The concept is easy but mastering it can be the difference between a padawan and a Jedi. The game does a great job weening in newcomers like myself and slowly ramps up the difficulty, which I greatly appreciated. I especially liked the power-up that freezes all enemies in the air so I could catch up and blast them to smithereens.
I recently did a Twitch Let’s Play of arcade mode, we made it through 10 mission maps. You can check it out below and don’t forget to follow me on Twitch.
There are three different modes you can play, Single player Panic, Co-Op Panic and Arcade. You can also select difficulties of Easy, Medium and Hard. On Single player you have five missions per map level. On Arcade you have a training area and then 5 mission maps per level and 5 levels. The variety of weaponry available to blow up aliens is pretty amazing. My favorite is the laser or as I like to call it a lightsaber. There’s nothing like lighting that badboy up and splattering those alien bugs. My second favorite is the Gatling gun of course, I of course unlocked the steam achievement “Machine Gun Lover” after my 1000 kill.
Once you collect enough coins and destroy a decent amount of alien bug waves you can start to upgrade things. There is an upgrade menu that you can select what you’d like to choose, there are 5 weapons to unlock, 5 power-ups, and 5 perks. This game is just extremely fun and with the upgrades you can make, it keeps the game fresh.
If you love high quality arcade, bullet hell, alien shooting games with amazing graphics and really energetic music I recommend getting The Bug Butcher on Steam. Not only are there a lot of levels and content but there is a variety of weapons and power-ups which keep the gameplay unique and fresh. With the added ability of being able to play co-op, the replay-ability is also very high. It’s a no-brainer, go check it out…now. (Humming of the Gatling gun spinning up)