Mushihimesama Bug Panic App Review – It’s a Mouthful, But It’s Worth It!

Dual-stick shooters are found in abundance on the app store, and personally I think they fit the device’s capabilities well. iPhone developers CAVE have previously released two shmups for the iPhone and iPod Touch which never really appealed to my gaming fancy, though their newest title to brace the app store just recently, Mushihimesama Bug Panic, really did impact my daily life taking so much time away from it!

Mushihimesama Bug Panic is a mouthful to pronounce, and still I, after playing for a week or so, have trouble saying it. It’s long, yes, but it’s worth saying if you experience the game yourself. The game takes the genre of a dual-stick shooter with a character seen in the developer’s first and second shoot-em-up games.

Reco’s friends in the forest, the bugs, have turned into crazy, evil creatures and must be killed by you. While controlling her movement using the left stick, you control when and what she shoots at with the right stick. In most dual-stick shooters, the right stick lets you freely shoot, however in this pointing the stick in a certain direction locks onto multiple enemies. Charging up the attack is done by holding longer and not releasing, though you’re vulnerable at this time, and letting go chucks bombs at the targeted enemies.

The little bugs pretty much always threaten you in squadrons of many moving at a steady rate and together forming a grid of spindly legs and eyes. When bombed, most of the time a chain reaction goes off which will kill many of the bugs at once adding more points to your overall stash. When facing the rather large bugs, it usually takes multiple bombs to win. After bugs have been killed they leave behind some sort of currency which will automatically collected when walking past within a certain radius of where they’re lying.

You could say that the game is somewhat chaotic from the moment you start playing. Throughout the course of a level there will constantly be bullets flying everywhere, bombs exploding, and some pretty menacing bugs approaching Recco. When she gets hit by bullets from bugs, or gets in contact with one, one out of her three lives is taken away. When all three have been used, Recco dies completely and you must restart the level.

After beating the story mode, which will take a very long time, an endless mode will be unlocked and you know what that is: get the highest score and prevent dying. The levels are all split up into a couple of different environments with each bringing with it different bugs and dangers.

The elements of the game besides gameplay which include artwork and music are both something that really can’t be missed. Each sprite is rendered to perfection with a pixel-style hand and the music is both engaging and just overall great.

It’s a really good thing developer CAVE strayed from the genre that they had been pounding with their previous games because I and I’m sure many other people have been seeing the light in Mushihimesama Bug Panic. It’s got all of the makings of a good game considering the lengthy story mode, endless mode, super-fine artwork, and of course the music that shouldn’t be missed. There’s not a way any developer could extend their game past this in terms of quality and value.

Overall, the game resides in a category with all of the other “Hall of Famers” in my opinion. It’s sitting in a folder nestled comfortably next to all of my favorite apps, and I don’t plan on moving it anytime soon. Consider it a major time-consumer, though a quality one! You will find very few apps for the same price, $4.99, that are better or lie at the same level as CAVE’s new hit game, Mushihimesama Bug Panic!

If you’re on the border, I’m sure you don’t want to buy a game and then realize that you don’t like it. For those of you that aren’t sure, there’s a lite version to try.

Please note: This game only runs on the iPhone 4 (this year), iPod Touch 4 (this year), iPhone 3GS (last year), and iPod Touch 3G (last year) all running on iOS 4.1 and higher. It also runs on the iPad running iOS 4.2 and higher.