Another day. Another Lynx review. We are lucky to have quite a few new games to play! This one is a review of a professional homebrew. Developed by Fadest and produced by Songbird Productions. So a Bug’s Trip, what's it all about? (I keep calling it a Bug’s Life in my head, I'm surely not the only one!) - Atari Gamer chiming in here - I have the same thought every time!
You play the role of a young butterfly. You must navigate through a number of gardens, collecting little pills and flowers. When visualising the last statement think Pac-Man style graphics and pill eating. It's not as peaceful as it sounds though. There are hazards on your journey, and a few nasty bugs waiting to kill (eat?) you. The game has 40 levels that are set in various seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
This game has been likened to Pac-Man, and living up to the legendary Pac-Man is not easy. So, let's see if the butterfly will soar.... or fall, fail and never be played on my Lynx again. 🐞😅
Ok I have to admit, when the first level loaded, it was hard on my eyes. The gameplay area was small with a big border and score info taking up a large chunk of the screen. You will be glad to know that this was only temporary. The gameplay area does change size as you go through the levels, although the characters do remain small. Once you understand what you need to do in the game, everything becomes clear and simple to follow. The graphics are not going to wow you, but they are colourful and perfectly acceptable. It has a lot more colour to it than Pac-Man. I would describe the graphics as cute!
The music I would say is ok. It fits the game fine. It would have been nice if there were changing tones, maybe to give a sense of urgency, etc. A bit more variety would have also been welcome. It's not bad but I would have liked it to change a little, to get more frantic if an enemy bug was getting close to you.
The controls are perfect. They respond well in controlling your young butterfly. You move the D-Pad in the direction you want to go and tap A or B to make your character stop. Simple controls that are executed perfectly.
So how does this game play? This is the all-important question. I'm glad to say that I think this game plays excellent. I can't help but compare the basics of it to Pac-Man and on the surface they are similar games. You navigate your young butterfly through a maze that are themed after gardens. The bad guys are not ghosts but bugs, slowly released from the middle of the screen to try and get you. You collect pills along the way and can collect flowers for extra points. You must collect all pills to complete a level. There are 40 levels in total. Each ‘season’ contains 10 levels thus making up the 40 levels. There are multiple things to help or hinder you along the way. A nice aspect of the game are the rotating doors. They first appear in the ‘Spring’ season but stay in the game throughout. These are a great tool to hide from the bugs or lock them in a part of the maze while you collect the pills. In the ‘Summer’ season bushes are added to the maze. You can hide in these and bugs cannot get to you. The ‘Autum’ season introduces spider webs. Fear not, there are no spiders coming to eat you! The spider webs are there to give you trouble though. They will slow you down and this may mean a bug catches you. The last season, ‘Winter’ introduces Ice. Again, this is not an advantage for the butterfly. It actually has no effect for our character.... but if a bug walks on the ice it speeds them up. Get caught on the ice with a bug behind you and you will fly no more!
The packaging for this game is excellent. The box is the same size as the standard Atari Lynx official game boxes, however it is full colour and glossy. The cover graphics are nice and give you an idea of what's in store when you play the game. The cartridge is a curved lip style, injection molded cart, sans the Atari Fuji logo. The manual is fairly basic but very colourful and works well. It's the size of a CD Jewel case insert, similar to many other Songbird Productions game manuals.
Being compared to Pac-Man may be a bit unfair. The game is similar in some aspects but very different in others. It introduces some really nice touches with the seasons. The rotating doors are a great idea. Infact all the little changes going through the seasons add something to the game. It's fun and addictive. I would say the challenge of the game is a little easy, but maybe that’s because the makers have been very generous with the continues. I used quite a few! Overall, I would highly recommend this game. It's not Pac-Man or Ms Pac-Man. It’s a Bug’s Trip and its GREAT!