The Bug Butcher is precisely the sort of thing that, once upon a time, would've been priced at the equivalent of an Assassin's Creed or a Call of Duty.
And because we didn't know any better, we would've lapped it up, like the ignorant proles we were. Now enjoy this noise: hurnh-hurnh!! For we now have a resurgence in indie gaming, and all those sorts of games are back - except now they cost under a tenner. That's about the same price as an organic almond milk latte in some parts of London... You know the parts we mean: where the streets are paved with beard wisps.
The Bug Butcher is basically Pang, but with aliens.
Do you remember Pang? Little guy in a pith helmet shoots at bubbles with a harpoon? And the bubbles break into smaller bubbles, and he has to shoot those too?
Well, I say "has to" - he doesn't have to do anything. He could just stand there, but then he'd probably die, and it wouldn't be much of a game. That's The Bug Butcher in a nutshell.
You control a spaceman with a gun, who wanders back and forth a series of single-screen levels, shoots at assorted aliens as they drop from above, or pop up from the floor, or are ejected from the walls, and he tries to not get hit by them.
Some aliens burst into smaller versions, some bounce around like hi-balls, some of them will attempt to kidnap your assistant - a chap who doles out the power-ups (freezing grenades, laser beams, rockets et al) - and some of them shoot at you. As you progress, the levels introduce elements such as walls and flame-throwers, or find other ways to make the aliens' movements more unpredictable. And that's it. It continues. You earn coin. You buy things in a little shop.
And it looks really very lovely indeed, and it's very addictive, and very simple, and it gets harder as it goes along, as you'd expect. I could spend another couple of paragraphs padding this out, and going into all sorts of tedious detail, but - frankly - that would insulting your ability to fill in the blanks, when all you want to know is whether it's any good.
And it is. Not particularly original admittedly, but a lovely arcade-like throwback nevertheless. And - hey - no pixel art! See? It can be done.
SCORE: 6 legs out of 8