Digitiser Reviews Archive


Bug - Saturn, 4/10/95


After the terrible Virtual Hydlide and Digital Pinball, this more than clears the slime from Sega's rubber sledge.

Bottom line: Bug is the first proper 3D platformer. Yes.

From the collect-o-gem gameplay to the bonus rounds to the bosses to the power-ups to the jump-o-head attacks, Bug uses every platform cliche you can imagine. But that doesn't matter.

Where Bug doesn't bear the scars of its undistinguished platform lineage is in the layout of its levels.

If M C Escher had been a game designer and not a fart, this is the game he would have designed.

Not only can your character wander far into and out of the screen, but the stages stretch high for several screens. In/out; up/down. Incredible.

It's difficult to understand the score without playing the game.

Being a Bug, your character can walk up walls and across ceilings. He can also, depending on the power-up, zap them with his antennae or spit slime.

The 3D conceptualisation is quite incredible. Platforms, ramps and walkways criss-cross each other and overlap like veins on a cow's udder. Mapping the game must have been horrid.

Yet you can stand at one end of the level and look far into the distance to plan your route. It's like being in a coma.

Occasionally, one of Bug's enemies - perhaps an insane grasshopper, perhaps a sharpshooting snail - will spring from nowhere.

Generally, though, the game is fair in the extreme. For particularly tricky sections of platform-o-jump, the entire screen scrolls out and you're treated to a wider viewpoint.

That isn't to say it's easy. Bug is possibly the toughest platformer Sega have ever put together.

Bug's levels are vast. The first sub-stage of level one took us nigh-on 20 minutes to complete.

Even then we couldn't be sure we'd seen everything.

Subsequent levels become bigger and more complex, with multiple routes to the exit. For sheer ingenuity of level design, this game is on a par with Super Mario World.

Up there with Daytona and Fighter.

Bug - Saturn - by Sega

Players: 1
Graphix: 86%
Sonix: 81%
Gameplay: 89%
Lifespan: 88%
Originality: 90%
Uppers: The new era of platformer
Downers: Can be a bit TOO unforgiving
Overall: 89% - Good (Bug)

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