What Is Bugsnax?

July 1, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment

The PlayStation 5 showcase included the reveal of a brand-new game from Young Horses, the developer of 2014’s bizarre game Octodad: Dadliest Catch, a game that tasked you with completing normal household chores and activities while hiding the fact that you are an octopus.

With that title to their name, a new title from Young Horses will probably be a strange one, and the newly-announced Bugsnax was revealed with a quirky, documentary-style trailer that left viewers with one big question: what is it?

The trailer, while cute and amusing (and featuring a catchy song by the British pop band Kero Kero Bonito), did little to explain the gameplay of Bugsnax. Fortunately, the developers have since revealed some more information about their upcoming game.

Bugsnax is a first-person adventure game in which you travel to Snaktooth Island at the invitation of the explorer Elizabert Megafig, only to find that she’s disappeared and her helpers are scattered across the island. According to the official website, you will need to explore the island to find and reunite these characters, hunt down and capture 100 species of Bugsnax, and use caught Bugsnax to customize characters with different looks.

When listing inspirations for the game, programmer/producer Kevin Geisler named Viva Piñata, Pokémon Snap, Ape Escape, and Dark Cloud. Creative director Kevin Zuhn listed Pikmin 3, The Muppet Show, Adventure Time, and BioShock.

Putting together the inspiration and the provided gameplay details, we can start to imagine how Bugsnax will play. The Ape Escape inspiration, for example, is most likely in reference to how you track down and capture Bugsnax, while the Dark Cloud inspiration refers to the city-building aspect of reuniting the island’s inhabitants. The BioShock inspiration is the trickiest to pin down, although Zuhn later explained in an interview with GameRevolution that it’s how Bugsnax involves setting traps and interacting with the world.

Some fans think Bugsnax is secretly a horror game, using its cheerful, upbeat presentation as a disguise for a darker story. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Bugsnax, but it’s much less of a mystery now than when it was first revealed. It’s due out in the fourth quarter of 2020, so we should see plenty more Bugsnax gameplay between now and then. What do you think of Bugsnax so far?

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