Adventure & RPG
Bugdom has been called the game that sold a thousand iMacs – this Apple-bundled title was seen running on every candy-colored gumdrop machine from CompUSA to Circuit City and every retailer in between. The hyperkinetic, cartoonish title had instant appeal for both kids and adults, with its pinball-esque physics and wide variety of landscapes, opponents and atmospheres. In short, the game was a hit – so much so that the Mac-only game was eventually ported to the PC. That has happened just two or three times in the history of Mac gaming.
Pangea had a great 2001 and early 2002, joining up with Mac game publisher Aspyr and shipping the polished and highly original title Otto Matic. Brian Greenstone has not rested, however; he is hard at work on yet another title. Taking the technology and gameplay lessons he learned while creating Otto Matic and returning to the game that put him on the map, Greenstone is well along in development of Bugdom 2 – a game that is more accurately described as a revolution rather than a mere sequel.
Perhaps one of the strongest lines of criticism that could be directed at the original Bugdom was that it was a little too cute – even the killer bees had big round eyes and little stubby wings. As you can see from these early-Alpha screen shots, Pangea has kept to the theme of bright, colorful and cartoon-inspired graphics. However, in this sequel the gameplay is a little more serious, and a lot more varied, than the original adventures of Rollie McFly the pill bug.
A Bug Named SkipThis time around the protagonist is a grasshopper named Skip, with a jaunty little hat and a shiny carapace. While Rollie the pillbug could roll into an indestructible ball to bop his enemies, Skip has the ability to actually fly (or more accurately, glide) for a limited distance. This ability becomes extremely useful at many points in the game, either for fleeing from enemies, avoiding obstacles on the ground or just getting an overview of the landscape. As you might expect of a grasshopper, Skip can also leap quite high into the air, an element that gives this game a faster pace than the original.
The gameplay itself will be instantly familiar and yet refreshingly different for those who have already played Bugdom and Otto Matic. It is the same 3/4 view third-person style of engine, with similar large, colorful landscapes and cinematic camera moves. Yet it is also apparent immediately that Skip moves and acts in a much different fashion than Rollie, and the overall pace of the game is almost frantic in comparison.