Little Bug Review – Niche Gamer

A small independent game intended to explore the mind of a city girl. Her home life is not the best with conflicts with her mother and her new brother. After finding the ghost of a deceased cat, you collect items to honor it.

You embody Nyah accompanied by her spiritual light which helps you overcome obstacles. Roadkill the cat, another spirit guides you through a mysterious empty world. Originally released on Steam in 2018, small insect was released on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. here is our small insect review:

small insect
Developer: Friend System
Publisher: Red Deer Games

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X (revised), Windows Windows, Linux, Mac
Release date: November 25, 2021
Players: 1
Price: $12.99

A simple story of a girl named Nyah who lives with her mother and newborn brother. On Nyah’s way home, she encounters a cat named Roadkill the Cat, who guides her along the paths. One day, after coming home late from school, Nyah and her mother have a heated argument which results in Nyah being transported to a fantasy world.

Through different fantasy worlds, you use your spiritual light to clear obstacles and advance through a world of evil spirits. Facing your troubles in the mystery world, you also find fragments of Nyah’s life with more memories to weave the story a bit more. The story is super simple, lacks context for a lot of character issues. It looks like an add-on to this puzzle-platform game.

Nyah, with her spiritual light work as a buddy system platform mechanic. With this power you can swing and be pulled through platforms that will help you traverse the 2.5 dimensional world. Physics-based swinging is implemented to help solve puzzles and get to checkpoints by candlelight.

Throughout the fantasy worlds you visit, you will find treasures that have story-related descriptions. Plus, they can either be kept in your lunchbox or given as a tribute to Roadkill the Cat. By doing so, you can unlock special bonus levels with more rewards.

Progression through the levels is a good pace and has generous checkpoints so you can successfully clear segments in one go. Other than that though, there’s not much in the gameplay that will keep you satisfied, but will also be good for at least one more race to get collectibles.

Between all the swings and platforming, the world is generally neon-laced and dark. Giant (strange, I know) hand-drawn hands line most levels and serve as a kind of out-of-bounds mechanic, but are lit in bright pink. Lighting on objects is good in some spaces and weird in others, like the TV for example.

A big downside, at least on the Xbox Series S, is a lot of jagged lines on the environment elements. Originally, this game was released on PC via Steam, and later on consoles like the Switch and Xbox One; The graphics should almost reflect something better with hardware like the Xbox Series S, especially when “optimized for Series S|X”. I wasn’t too impressed with the graphics anyway, but it still looked like I was seeing low resolution textures with jagged lines.

You’re probably wondering where the “audio” segment is. Well, there’s almost a lack of audio and I couldn’t reasonably put anything in there that doesn’t exist aside from some enemy grunts and footsteps. There is no voice acting for the characters, but it is not necessary for this type of game since text bubbles appear to convey it.

Although this game has a unique charm, it ultimately does not seem finished and I hope it will be. I had fun racking my brain for ways to solve some more difficult segments. The saddest part of this game’s climax is that it feels a bit empty without much else than gathering treasure and going right.

For its price, even cheaper on other platforms, you can enjoy this nice little indie game for someone short in your family. I thought it was lovely but not exactly for me. If you have an interest in a small game to add to your collection that will be a quick game, this is it and you can enjoy small bits of it.

Tiny Bug was reviewed on Xbox Series X|S using a copy provided by RedDeerGames. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s Review/Ethics Policy here. small insect is now available for Windows PC (via Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch.

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