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Escape from Bug Island review

AT A GLANCE
  • Survival-horror on Wii!
  • Squishing bug corpses
  • Horror designs pick up towards end
  • Controls are god-awful
  • Graphics are N64-ish
  • Everything a million times better in RE

Like a viscera-loving fly, developer Spike has wormed its way into the rotting body cavities of countless survival horrors, laid its eggs and given birth to Escape from Bug Island. It’s a real scavenger of a game, gnawing on the meat of the finest pedigree - namely Resident Evil 2 and Silent Hill 3. But like the common fly, it’s unable to digest it all without puking up on it first and churning it into a grotesque gaming mess.

Playing as a floppy-haired girly-faced guy - whose soft, boy-band looks look rather out of place when tearing out a praying mantis’ guts with a scythe - you wander about a mist-shrouded isle with only a torch, various instruments of whackage and a hefty supply of throwable rocks to keep you safe. “Keep you safe from what?” we hear you cry, as you look nervously over your shoulder. Well, due to a plot mechanic we were unable to translate, the island has seen a sudden spurt of insect evolution, with normally boot-fearing critters now boasting a gigantic size and a taste for floppy-haired girly-faced guys.



The idea of eschewing zombies and mutants for the oozing menace of the insect world is enticing; few things match the natural creepiness of flaky exoskeleton plates or the mechanical crack of mandibles. However, Spike is simply content with blowing creepy-crawlies out of proportion for some cheesy B-movie giant bug scares - in the process making it easier to see the joints between the blocky polygons in the poor insect design. The bugs are so clunky, they wouldn’t have looked out of place in N64’s GTA-meets-Starship Troopers title Body Harvest.

Weirder still is the eventual betrayal of the insect angle as scaly fish-women and highly disturbing man/dog/toad hybrids are introduced into the mix. This further move into fantastical-horror is completely unnecessary, though we must admit to quite enjoying throwing rocks at a seriously irate demon gorilla - despite his exposed brain and glowing red eyes making him appear less King Kong, more King Wrong.

More Info

Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Eidos
Developed by: Spike
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood, Violence

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