“There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.”
Developer/Publisher: DragonGlass Games Workshop
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Price: 9.99€ (Steam)
*This review was through a review code but it does not change how I feel about the game and the rating on which it shall be given by the end. Enjoy!*
Bugs Must Die is a peculiar game developed and published by DragonGlass Games Workshop. One of the things you will notice when booting up the game is it screams a good mixture between pixel art and epic action that will let you squash various opponents while looking cool doing it.
However, before the story of Bugs Must Die unveils, what is this game exactly? Well according to DG Games it’s a spiritual successor to Konami’s 1986 Jackal that was around many arcades in the world. Using the same concept of you driving a vehicle trying to shoot whatever is opposing you on the path to victory.
The game itself is a top-down bullet hell 2D pixel art (twin stick with a controller) run’n gun shooter with elements of some hack and slash… phew what a mouthful so from here on I will just mostly use bullet hell as that perfectly shows the type of game that’s in store for you.
As an elite agent from the GPCC or Galactic Pests Control Company, you as Agent M has been sent to the planet M-79 in order to rescue two missing special agents while trying to prevent the evil Mantis Beings from invading Earth. On this terrestrial planet, Agent M and her fellows not only must vanquish the evil Mantis soldiers but also battle with different bosses cloned from Earth pop culture by Mantis scientists.
Squish, kaboom, pew pew pew… Splat!
Graphics in Bugs Must Die scream arcade nostalgia from the 80’s just with a better colour palate than back then, but still attaining much of the same charm. Every special ability, secondary weapon, main weapon, explosion and death animation from the enemies all come in enough visual goodness that doesn’t hurt your eyes as the thousands of bullets are appearing on screen.
While yes, it might seem chaotic they are still presented in a way that doesn’t give you any form of discomfort watching it happening.
Sounds and Music are quite frankly really good to listen to. More than once I caught myself go “pew pew pew”, “ratatatat” when using the various weapons at once disposal throughout the game. Not much can be put here other than if you listen to DG Games Workshop’s gameplay video, you will hear what I’m trying to poorly describe.
Bugs? Only a good bug is a dead bug!
If there is a thing that could be pointed out for being a small gripe in its design, probably that would be the vehicles themselves as since you will find yourself often in a barrage of bullets, swarms of ranged and melee Mantis Soldiers. It was a bit irritating when you will get hit by the smallest pixel hitting the very frame of Agent M’s vehicle. This of course might seem intentional but more often than not it can lead to a lot of frustration as bullet hell games usually only let you get hit at the core of your controlled weapon of mass domination (just a small pointer that I found while playing the game).
Only two bugs I often ran in to was that melee Mantis would sometimes hit me even after I had already disappeared from their range, and sometimes enemies would constantly respawn not making it possible for me to advance even though the arrow pointing to the next location was showing.
However, besides those two things… the game ran absolutely beautiful on the pc with mouse/keyboard and a controller too.
Lock and load!
You have 3 powerful vehicles, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example the Jeep is more of a jack of all trades, good at many things but doesn’t excel at any given area. Where as the tank is slow but a powerful machine to be reckoned with. 6 main weapons and 9 sub weapons to choose from, drones to help you out in battle and two powerful special attacks (one which can be changed from attacking to maneuverability while the other is more of a support skill).
Not only that but if you lose all of your vehicle’s life, you become a moving core… pod (wasn’t sure on the specifics) that only intensifies the game even more as you now must stay alive, so the timer can run out and thereby give you a new vehicle life to continue.
There’s also the option to gather coins around which you can use to purchase drones or upgrade various weapons or vehicles in order to become an even bigger killing machine against the Mantis. Or if you have trouble beating a stage, DG Games have been kind to include an option to buy the next stage with coins gathered in the level you are currently playing. Thereby continuing with the story without having to rip out your hair in frustration.
In Bugs Must Die there are 13 story missions, a challenge mode which includes 8 levels with random bosses and a hard mode once the story missions have been completed. Which I might add that yes, this game is quite difficult but not to the point of you not being able to become better and beat the game with practice.
Since this is DG Games Workshop very first indie game, I can honestly say that I’ve firmly enjoyed the time spent playing Bugs Must Die… and while many deaths came to my Agent M in which her story hasn’t ended yet. You might be able to beat it and get an even better score in the end.
That is why I give Bugs Must Die the definitive score of:
It must be applauded to DG Games Workshop for hitting the game right out of the park with a nearly flawless execusion to the design that through my playthrough only had a few bugs that weren’t gamebreaking. Highly recommend for you to try it as well.
What did you think of it? I’m doing my part to help stop the impeding invasion of Mantis Soldiers. Are you?
Let me know down in the comments your thoughts and do swing over to their Steam Page in order to get this game yourself.
Stay Cozy and have a nice day!