Though its announcement trailer might not have made it completely obvious, it turns out Bugsnax is something of a narrative puzzle game. As you encounter grumpuses, the Muppet-like characters inhabiting the game’s world, you’ll pick up tasks to complete from each. Those tasks usually involve catching the titular bugsnax, creatures that are basically food with legs, by figuring out their behaviors and tricking them into traps.
Though the game that Bugsnax has become is mostly about catching bugsnax and using them to feed grumpuses, that wasn’t always the case. Developer Young Horses has been working on the game for about six years, and president Philip Tibitoski said in an interview with GameSpot that a whole lot of gameplay ideas have come and gone during that time. Some of them sound funny, some interesting, and some a little disturbing.
“Initially, there were always grumpuses and there were always bugsnax and you were always foraging for them,” Tibitoski said. “And over time the mechanics have changed a lot. We’ve gone the Pokemon Snap route of actually being on a track and riding a little cart and capturing bugsnax as you go, we’ve had bugsnax preparation mechanics, Cooking Mama-style thing, because some of the mechanics we were looking into had to do with, like, sticker-peeling. And then we were talking about peeling parts of bugsnax to prepare them to eat, which was horrifying. And after a while we realized it didn’t really fit even besides just the fact that it’s multiple games’ worth of mechanics.”