Review: Bugs (Atari 2600)

In this review, we break out some bug spray as we play the game Bugs. We find out how well this action game plays.

This game was released in 1982.

The gameplay seems to be straightforward enough. There are bugs (and, apparently, lizards for whatever reason) that are crawling up the screen. You must aim the cursor at the “bugs” and fire at them to kill them off. If you kill enough of them, you’ll advance to the next level. If a bug reaches the top, you lose.

A complexity thrown into this game is the bug that races along the bottom, attacking your crosshair. If the bug touches your crosshair, you lose. While it is possible to kill this bug with your shots, it requires significant luck to be able to rebound and kill the crawling “bugs” before they reach the top – something I only did once.

In total, you have three lives and each kill adds a point to your total score.

One of the downsides of this game is the fact that it is just plain difficult. If you are playing this game for the first time, chances are, you’ll burn through all three lives in all of 30 seconds and lose the game. The game itself just doesn’t get any easier from there. You’ll eventually get more attack bugs and faster moving target bugs as the levels progress. So, this game has not only a bit of a learning curve, but also starts off difficult and gets harder.

Another problem I have with this game is how short lived this game is. Even if you do well for the average player, the game probably won’t last more than a minute and a half.

Probably the only good thing about this game is the fact that it’s fairly easy to figure out what will cost you lives. It’s no real mystery after about 3 or 4 tries with this game.

Generally speaking, this game is long on pitfalls and short on positive elements. It’s hard, unforgiving, really short, and, as a result, not a game I would find myself going back to after about 10 minutes of play. The only good thing is the fact that it is pretty easy to figure out what will kill you in this game.

Graphically speaking, there was effort applied to give this game a pseudo 3d effect. Unfortunately, the weird transport scene just seemed out of place and not well thought out. The bugs are average looking, but the lizard just made no sense. A very average attempt at graphics.

There is no music to speak of in this game, but the sound effects are quit average. There is the crashing intro and the continually increasing pitch effect to denote how high the bugs are traveling. There is even a shooting sound effect as well as a death sound effect. Nothing particularly big to brag about, though.

Overall, this is not a game I would recommend. It is very hard and extremely short lived. It confusingly has a lizard in there and has very average sound effects. There are very few redeeming qualities in this game.

Furthest point in game: 64 Kills. Made it to the second “level” at one point.

General gameplay: 5/25
Replay value: 4/10
Graphics: 4/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 30%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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