The success of insect blockbusters Antz and A Bug?s Life confirmed just how fascinated we are with the compound-eye view of the world ? a place in which puddles are oceans, drink cartons are mountains, and where danger lurks behind every plant stalk and sweet wrapper.
After Bugdom?s Rollie McFly, Bugdom 2 brings us another ? and equally unlikely ? hero in the shape of Skip, a gadfly grasshopper ambling to the far side of Bugdom to visit his orthopteran kin, only to stumble into insect Armageddon.
Skip?s troubles start when Bully Bee swoops from the heavens and buzzes off with his knapsack. I?ve not reached the end of the game, so don?t know if I?ll get to discover the bag?s contents, but they must be something stronger than grasshopper nibbles: maybe Skip is like those Central Park crackhead squirrels, who?ve been hanging around the wrong bins.
Skip?s adventure differs wildly from that of Rollie McFly?s. For starters, he?s got pals to help him out: there?s Sam the Snail, who sets him tasks ? such as killing the fleas in Fido?s fur ? before handing over the gate keys that permit progress; and there?s Sally the Chipmunk, who feeds her acorn habit by doling out stage-maps.
Bugdom 2?s landscapes are utterly different, with the often-surreal scenarios of Bugdom 1 replaced by action that takes place in the ultra-real gardens, dustbin, guttering, sewers and rooms of a house ? and the game is all the more immersive for this: outside scenes brim with accurately rendered garden paving, while indoors, Skip is faced with giant toys, furniture, and household goods. Danger also comes in varied and entertaining forms ? from bottle-top-throwing bugs to a laser-shooting toy robot. Oh, and don?t get suckered by the hoover during The Closet stage.
Bugdom 2?s stages are also more imaginative. Not only does Skip get to hone his surfing skills ? albeit in a sewer ? but he takes to the skies on a balsawood plane.
The one downside with Bugdom 2 is that in OS X its HID (Human Interface Device) Manager input technology is less user-friendly than OS 9?s Input Sprocket, meaning the only input devices configurable on OS X are gamepads. And, the keyboard settings are fixed
Bugdom is the only title I?ve ever really played, and that was because it came
free with my iMac. However, I did become addicted. Depressingly, Bugdom 2 has caused me to put my entire life on hold
as I bid to reunite Skip with his cracksack, because his journey is imaginative, beautifully crafted and fantastically