Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Little Bug by developer RedDeerGames.
Little Bug: (The Explanation)
Little Bug is about an eight-year-old girl called Nyah who is trapped in a dark fantasy world and is trying to make her way back home to her family. Accompanying Nyah on her adventure back home is a glowing blue orb. The orb has a unique power that can help Nyah float off the ground and magnetically pull Nyah to it.
The game is a 2D platformer with a twist. The player controls both Nyah and the blue orb at the same time. The Left joystick controls Nyah and the right joystick controls the orb. Now, for a platformer game that has a lot of platforms to traverse, Nyah cannot jump, at all. Instead, you must use the blue orb to pull Nyah towards it like a tractor beam or a magnet. You can’t use the orb’s beam for too long though as it loses power and Nyah will fall. If there is a safe platform underneath her, she will be fine, but if she comes in contact, then you will have to restart at the last checkpoint.
Speaking of checkpoints, these are indicated by a group of candles. You don’t have directly touch the candles in order to activate the checkpoint, you can simply come in close contact to them and they will activate automatically. There are plenty of checkpoints in this game but there are moments where you have quite a number of hazards between you and the next checkpoint. If you mess up and die in a tricky area, you will have to traverse all those hazards again and again until you make it to the other side and reach the checkpoint.
Hazards come in numerous shapes and sizes. The range from glowing pink hands that can sometimes move, glowing pink feet that will stomp on you if you are not quick enough, and dark spirits that will awaken and chase you if you come into their proximity. There are other types of hazards as well but to keep them as a kind of surprise, I’ll leave you to figure out what they are.
Coming into contact with any obstacle is instant death. There are no health bars that reduce if you get hurt. A single touch will immediately kill you. This isn’t game over though as you will respawn at the last checkpoint you activated. This insta-death mechanic is already challenging on its own with just Nyah but the blue orb companion can also be killed instantly. You need to keep an exceptionally trained eye on both Nyah and the Orb at all times. On the plus side, there are no lives and you will just keep respawning over and over.
With the whole theme of the game being about a young girl with a large imagination, you will find collectibles dotted about throughout Little Bug. Each collectible will encourage Nyah to recall a memory associated with that particular object. Nyah can carry objects in her suitcase but she only has space for six items. If you collect any more, you can give the discarded item to a dead cat who can find secret areas and challenges depending on where you are and the item you give the cat.
Little Bug is certainly a curious title and rather challenging. There are times where you will get stuck and have to take multiple tries to get out of tricky areas. The first 10-20 minutes are relatively straightforward but the difficulty immediately ramps up afterwards. If simple yet challenging platformer games are your thing, then you may want to consider Little Bug.
Little Bug: (The Gameplay)
Publisher: Buddy System
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, Action
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: November 26, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 680 MB