Sometimes, the name is the game. Bugsnax, the new game from Octodad developer Young Horses, is all about catching bugs made of traditionally appetizing foods like pizza, strawberries, carrots, and lollipops, which turn your body parts into food when you eat them. They’re bugs, but made of snacks. Bug… snacks? Bugsnax.
It’s a wacky, whimsical conceit that, when paired with the game’s cute and colorful art style, puts a smile on your face and pushes your imagination to run wild. The surprisingly powerful desire to discover more about this world and its weird, wonderful creatures fuels every aspect of the experience. Its clever, if somewhat temperamental, puzzles revolve around catching Bugsnax. The story sends you off to investigate the mysteries of their home, Snaktooth Island, and its colonists. And though that drive is purely superficial–your real motivation will be to see all the clever Snak names and designs–the game you experience along the way has a lot of substance.
How do I even begin to explain what’s happening in Bugsnax? You control an investigative journalist who’s reporting the expedition of explorer Lizbert Megafig to Snaktooth Island, where she’s discovered evidence of an ancient civilization and the delicious, mysterious Bugsnax. When you arrive, Lizbert has gone missing and her colony, Snaxburg, has disbanded. Your goal, for most of the game, is to find the colonists around the island and convince them to get back together so you can get your story and find out what happened to the lost explorer. Most of the time, “convincing” means feeding them Bugsnax.