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Game Info:

The Bug Butcher
Developed by: Awfully Nice Studios
Published by: Awfully Nice Studios
Release date: January 19, 2016
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Shooter
Number of Players: Up to two players
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $7.99

Thank you Awfully Nice Studios for sending us this game to review!

Alien bugs have infested a laboratory and only the Bug Butcher can exterminate them with his trusty vertically shooting gun.  Many of the bugs will split apart and multiply when hit, so the Bug Butcher must steer clear of falling aliens and dash out of the way as needed.  Since his gun can only shoot up, the Bug Butcher must time his movements with the insects' flying/bouncing patterns.  

There are a wide variety of alien bugs in this 2D shooter.  For example, there are literal lightning bugs that shoot out lightning every few seconds which are usually accompanied by bouncing globs of slime as well as monsters with big mouths that will 1-hit kill you if they sink their teeth into you.  

Besides the alien threats there are environmental hazards as well.  When traveling between the five levels there are elevator missions with flames of fire randomly shooting from the walls.  Another level dubbed Satan’s armpit has a giant hammer in the middle that has to be avoided when it comes crashing down.  

The Bug Butcher
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun and challenging gameplay that can be enjoyed solo or with a nearby friend!
Weak Points: No online multiplayer
Moral Warnings: Alien bugs are exterminated without mercy; minor language (hell)

In total there are thirty levels in the arcade experience and that mode can be completed in less than four hours.  There are multiple difficulty levels that will adjust the amount of health bars you have.  I’ll admit that I beat the game on easy mode which gave me eight health bars.  Besides playing on harder difficulties, there are two panic modes as well: solo and co-op.  The co-op mode is limited to local multiplayer but the goal in either mode is to survive as many waves of aliens as possible and for the longest time.   Once you’re pronounced dead, your performance will be submitted to the global leaderboard for comparison.  (I won’t be dethroning anybody soon.)

No matter what mode you play you’ll be timed and will die if any of the bugs are still alive when the clock hits zero.  The enemies in the panic mode will often drop stopwatches to give you an extra couple of seconds to live.  Other enemy drops include gold, health, and weapon boosts.  Gold in this game can be used to permanently upgrade your weapon’s firing power or add extra seconds to power-ups.  Suit upgrades can be purchased but you can only equip one at a time.  I opted for the 30% speed increase.  

 

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Your performance in each level is rated by your max number of combo attacks along with how much gold you have collected and how much time you had left over.  Depending on your level’s score you’ll be awarded with up to three stars.  The next level will be unlocked regardless if you earned a star or not.  Levels can be replayed at any time to earn more gold or to improve upon your previous score.  Most of the Steam achievements require you to get three stars or beat the target combos for each level.

Graphically, The Bug Butcher is very colorful and there’s a wide variety of aliens to eliminate.  The levels change a few times throughout the game so there’s a decent amount of variety.  Since this game revolves around shooting aliens, there is some cartoon violence.  No blood is shown, just globs of slime.  

The techno style background music will get your adrenaline pumping.  I enjoyed the music and the occasional “aww yeah!” from the Bug Butcher when he racked up a decent combo.  The dialogue between the Bug Butcher and the scientist is witty though there is one instance of the word Hell.  When the scientist finds out that there are alien spiders nearby he says “dear Lord Jesus”.

In the end The Bug Butcher is a fun game that can be yours for less than $8.  If you like shooter games then this one will be right up your alley.  If you’re unsure, there is a free demo available.  

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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