Bug Chucker in Review – It’s Angry Bugs…In Space!

I don’t know about you, but I hate bugs. Passionately and of all shapes and sizes. For people like me the App Store has a myriad of bug-killing games. But Cyan, the legendary makers of Myst (TMA Review) and Riven: The Sequel to Myst (TMA Review) have gone one step further and actually made it a fun and entertaining artillery puzzler out of the concept of flinging bugs into space. Ready, aim, chuck!

Bug Chucker is an original spin on the artillery puzzle genre. It doesn’t go much into detail of what’s going on in the game itself, but from the App Store description it appears that the bugs’ last, best hope for peace – the Galactic Bugship S.S. Treehugger – is under attack from the evil Sawz, the robotic minions of Lord Lahguh. With no solution in sight the selfless bugs are ready to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the Great Tree.

The premise of Bug Chucker is quite simple: use the bugs to destroy the enemy saws. But as the war is set in space you won’t be able win out on the simple parabolic trajectory, common in almost all other artillery games. Instead you’ll have to take into careful account the various planets, debris and even black holes to allow your bugs to reach their targets. A unique feature is the detailed physics model implemented in Bug Chucker. Every single piece of debris follows the rules of physics to the letter, which allows for some interesting gameplay possibilities. This is especially true after the more advanced bugs become available.

And though these don’t offer any revelations (i.e. you can simply trigger the Beetle to explode or the Grasshopper to accelerate), the original placement and physics give this quite traditional artillery ammo a completely new perspective. For example, a clever way of solving a puzzle might be to trigger the explosion at just the right time to shift some space debris towards a black hole, which will in turn destroy those pesky enemies in its wake. Finally a feature worth noting is that a level ain’t over until you say it’s over, so feel free to let the score continue to pile up as more of the floating debris is destroyed.

Instead of the cute cartoony graphics found in the genre of late, Bug Chucker is all business and features detailed Sci-Fi renderings of the environment in full Retina glory. It even plays natively on both the iPhone and iPad as a universal app. The music quite surprisingly is in a redneck country style but oddly enough, it ties in nicely during gameplay. And the controls work rather well, with a unique decision not to do a complete flip when turning the device upside down. Instead only the interface elements are rotated, meaning that you can choose whether you want the cannon on the left or right side of the screen.

At first glance Bug Chucker seems to be just another Angry Birds wannabe. But Cyan wouldn’t be Cyan if they didn’t have something up their sleeves, and thankfully they managed to stick whole galaxies of fun up there. Bug Chucker turns out to be an original and beautifully designed artillery puzzler with an accurate physics model set in space. It does have some minor flaws (the lack of an in-game story intro and any kind of social network integration come to mind), but they are completely overcome by the sheer fun of chucking bugs into space.

With this I declare Bug Chucker officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Bug Chucker Developer: Cyan Worlds
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.4 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 33.91MB
  • Excellent physics model
  • Original gameplay
  • Universal app
  • Intuitive controls
  • No in-game story intro
  • No Gamecenter or Openfeint support
  • Quite difficult to get more than one star for a level


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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