There’s an innate sense of discovery within us. A lust for new experiences and fresh discoveries. There’s also a huge hole left because Sony refuses to make another Ape Escape. Young Horses, creators of the Octodad franchise, decided to take full advantage of the human desires of nature and more Ape Escape. Bugsnax is a first-person monster collector all about catching cute creatures and rebuilding a town.
You, a failing journalist working for GNN, have been invited by the Elizabert Megafig to join her on Snaktooth island for an interview. She claims there are all sorts of delectable creatures who will transform your body. Your ship is crashed by one of these beings, and the only other grumpus around is the mayor. Unfortunately, he’s currently the mayor of a ghost town. It’s up to you, insanely talented photo-journalist, to discover how Liz went missing and rebuild Snaxburg.
You’ll go along taking images to discover new information about the snaks. Once you’ve discovered a new species, you can exploit their weaknesses to capture them for yourselves. There are quite a few traps, but catching species mostly felt tedious. Once you’ve discovered the weakness to flying snaks or ice snaks, you continue to use this weakness on at least five other species.
Snaktooth island is rather small but insanely compact. Each area is beautiful and filled to the brim with snack species. You can easily get from one side of Snaktooth to the other, and it’s a good thing too, there is no fast-travel or in-depth map. You’re given your goals and no other direction. Discovering the clues Lizbert left behind can be tough, but nothing feels bloated.
The meat of this meal is all in the interactions with the residents of Snaxburg. Young Horses is known for their wits, and Bugsnax delivers even more than Octodad before! To complete the story, you’ll have to go through a few quests to get them back in town. These quests typically boil down to “get this snack and come back.” They’re boring. It was especially aggravating when I was attempting to do missions for a grumpus I didn’t like.
Everything in the game is on a timer. You’re never burdened, but each resident has their own daily schedule. The actions you take decide how they diverge from it. Each snack also has a unique schedule and location. You can aggravate them into picking new “homes,” but they all have times they’re active too. The game doesn’t give you a lot of direction on when you can catch certain snacks. It confused me a few times.
Bugsnax is one long fetch-quest. Once you’ve figured out how to trap a snack, there’s no urgency. I wasn’t compelled to keep going back and forth to do things I should’ve been able to do in one sweep. At around five hours, Bugsnax didn’t waste my time, but it didn’t go as in-depth as it needed to be. I can only recommend Bugsnax to the type of individual who can go in blind. I don’t regret my time spent, but I doubt I’ll be going back to it any time soon.