iPhone game of the day: Mushihimesama Bug Panic

Game: Mushihimesama Bug Panic
Price: $3.99
Size: 10.2MB
Buy it now from the iTunes Store:US

You know it's going to be a good game when you have to copy its name to the clipboard. Mushihimesama Bug Panic is, as you might expect, an incredibly Japanese game. In truth, I don't have the first clue as to what the hell is actually happening in this thing. It doesn't really matter though, as Bug Panic is high on the desu desu and the being fun.

You play a colorful-haired young girl who I think is someone from something else. Whatever she is, she hangs out with giant insects and throws little bombs at other insects. The latter aspect of her character is what's crucial, as it's what you'll be doing throughout the game.

Gameplay is very much like a 2D scolling shooter of old (especially a military one like Commando or Ikari Warriors), but with less scrolling and more of you walking in most any direction you choose. Touching the screen and dragging your finger along brings up a target reticule, which locks onto enemy bugs up to three times. Your heroic young girl will then toss three bombs at whatever bugs were targeted, blowing them into bug paste. It sounds easy, but don't be fooled. As soon as the first level is beaten, the difficulty ramps right up, with armies of small bugs and energy-shooting giant ones conspiring to wreck your life.

Above: This trailer says it all. The personality, the music, the gameplay (starting about 1:30 in) – this is Mushihimesama

Challenging, charming and thoroughly Japanese, Bug Panic is one of those iPhone games that "real" gamers will want to check out.

Nov 19, 2010