The Bug Butcher – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Shoot-em-up, 2D
Developer: Awfully Nice Studios
Publisher: Awfully Nice Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac
Tested on: PC

The Bug Butcher – Review

Site Score
Good: looks great, has humor, fast-paced gameplay
Bad: some minor annoyances with the powers
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Bugs. Nobody likes them and so does the maker of this game, as the only thing you’ll do is kill them, which is fine by us. The Bug Butcher is a 2D side scrolling shoot-em-up where you have to decontaminate a top notch futuristic science facility, while leaving all of the precious scientists alive of course. Use your reflexes, skill and competitive spirit and don’t try to get frustrated!

bug butcher


You play as Harry, a Bug Butcher, someone who obviously kills bugs for a living. You’re sent to a facility that is in desperate need for help, the scientific facility has been overrun by bugs! The bugs attack from the skies and are ruthless and quick, taking down every scientist in the facility. Your job is to decontaminate the facility and kill every bug you lay your eyes on. Of course, you’ll get some help by some of the scientists, but they’re not particularly useful anyway.

The story that is present is kind of amusing, but it’s in no way big or filled with lore. It fits great with the rest of the game and it gives you an initial idea as to what is happening, but there isn’t really any more to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


Graphics wise, The Bug Butcher looks very fun at first. Everything is kind of cartoony and the character sprites look great. The scientists are also kind of funny as they look like white cardboard boxes with legs. There are different levels in the game, each with a few missions in them. Every level looks different and introduces new visual elements to the level, making it nice with some variety. Then there’s enemy models, which are nicely detailed and look great overall.

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The sound effects and music in The Bug Butcher are very nicely done overall. The music is great and goes together nicely with the rest of the game and the sound effects sound good and are sometimes very funny, like when a scientist is being attacked and he’s yelling. None of the elements are overruling each other or are disturbing in any way.


The Bug Butcher is pretty simple gameplay wise. You move left or right in a 2D environment and shoot enemies that are above you. Other actions are super power and sliding. This might sound pretty simple, but it gets very hard the further you get in the game.

In total, the game features five levels with each having six missions, totaling thirty missions altogether in the Arcade game mode. In each mission, you have to kill all of the enemies within a set time, which then allows you to move to the next mission. Every mission also consists of a couple of waves, each wave will spawn after all enemies in the current one are killed or a little amount of enemies are left.

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As you fight your way through the missions, you’ll get unlocks and coins. These unlocks are new powers or weapons, the weapons can randomly drop from killing bugs and every time you kill a bug your power meter will fill, allowing you to activate a random power when it’s full. The weapons can range from a gatling gun to rockets and the powers can be anything from increased fire rate to homing missiles. Of course, you have a limited amount of lives which will decrease every time you get hit by an enemy. To heal back up, you can pick up random drops from enemies. If you die (you will) you’ll have to redo the whole mission.

Some annoyances also occur with the power ups though. There’s one power up that freezes everything in the room and continues to freeze enemies when you shoot them. However, when enemies are close to the bottom of the room when you activate this power, you won’t be able to shoot them because you can only shoot upwards. A solution to this could be that whenever an enemy is too low to shoot, it could be killed with sliding, which currently doesn’t happen.

The enemies themselves are pretty diverse and range from very small bouncing bouncy balls to very big bouncy balls that will split into two then you kill the big one. There’s a big amount of other enemies as well, all in all, you have your work cut out for you… Apart from power ups or weapons, monsters will also drop coins. These can be used in the main menu to upgrade your weapons, power ups and get some passive bonuses like increased movement speed. In order to get as much coins as possible, you have to get a big combo in the missions, as a higher combo results in higher score, which in turn results in more stars for the mission which gives you more coins. In short, don’t get hit and kill enemies fast enough to get a lot of money!

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The Bug Butcher also features very good leaderboards. After every mission you’ll see how you weigh up to your friends and worldwide, which is always nice for the competitive gamers. Once you’ve gotten all the stars in the levels and got top score worldwide (good luck), you can of course try the other game mode. The “Panic” game mode is like a time trial. You start with a set amount of times in an unending level except for when you die or the time runs out. Enemies can drop all sorts of things, but also clocks which increase the time. In between waves you can go to the shop and buy upgrades like weapon drops, power ups or health. If you’re adventurous, you can also play this mode co-op with a friend.


All in all The Bug Butcher was an extremely fun game to play. The first few levels are a nice introduction to the game and to how everything works, but everything gets harder from there on. You’ll have to struggle through terrain that one shots you or even enemies that kill you if they get their paws on you. It’s a very fun game to kill some time and it’s definitely worth playing (local) co-op with a friend.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
The Bug Butcher - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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