Game: Bug Academy
Genre: Adventure, Education, Platform, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developer|Publisher: Igrek Games | Ultimate Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E (Everyone)
Price: UK £9.93 | EU €11,04 | US $11.04 | CA $14.61|AU $ 16.57
Release Date: 23rd March 2020
Review code used, with many thanks to Ultimate Games!
This Kickstarter project hit Steam in January 2020, then swiftly made its way onto my favourite gaming device, but is it top of the class or the school dunce?
Bug Academy is delightfully simple to play. The left control stick controls your critter’s direction in the 2D space, ZR is dash, and A is grab. The basic control scheme is your best friend as you flit from level to level, performing absurd tasks with your gaggle of buddies while piloting the single worst-handling creature in existence – and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t an excellent giggle the whole way through.
I wasn’t even 10 minutes in and I was already in love with this quirky little adventure platformer. I was zooming about like a madwoman delivering fridges and demolishing castles, laughing like a loon the entire time and completely ignorant of my partner warily edging further away. It was a genuine pleasure to play, and I’m looking forward to introducing my best friend to it next time we’ve had a few drinks.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are really well done; backgrounds fade away into pastel 3D environments that never feel too busy, the cutesy style disguises the difficulty the game can present, and the assortment of critters are just adorable. Bright colours really make the cartoony world pop out of the screen, and look equally beautiful in both handheld and docked mode.
The soundtrack is too catchy for it’s own good. For days after I played, I’d find myself bopping my head away to the tune without even realising I was doing it. The critters make adorable squeaks when they bump into things as well, which I admit sometimes had me purposefully dropping them on the floor just to chuckle at the sound.
This really is a game for all ability levels. The bronze star is easy to get in most levels, as the target is set relatively low, the silver star is generally easy enough to get (for me at least), but the gold star can be really difficult. Sometimes it’s as simple as beating a certain time, other times it’s as difficult as launching a cow a certain distance – yes, you read that right. The task and target differ from level to level, meaning you never get bored of trying to beat the same task all the time, which makes it an easy game to lose a few hours to in a single sitting!
It’s cute, well balanced, brilliantly executed, and most importantly, it’s fun. An adorable game for all the family, Bug Academy deserves an A* in every category!
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up