Bugsnax Review (PS5)

Gotta catch (and eat) them all! Bugsnax!

Released: November 12, 2020
Available on: PS4/PS5
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Young Horses
Publisher: Young Horses

In Bugsnax, you play as an unnamed (possibly famous) Journalist who got an interesting video in the mail. This turns out to be from the explorer Lizbert, who aims to find unexplored or lost areas or civilizations, and her doctor girlfriend Eggabell. On her recent adventure, she found her way onto Snaktooth Island and found an incredible discovery. Due to this discovery, she even gathered 11 others to make up her expedition team to build a new settlement at Snaktooth Island. What did Lizbert find? Not quite bug, but not fully snack, she discovered Bugsnax! They’re said to be the most delicious thing you’ll eat, but you do have to catch them first (or have someone else catch them for you). As Lizbert admires your work, she has invited you to their settlement, Snaxburg, to document and publish her findings. When you show your supervisor your intentions, she is against it but otherwise agrees to send you off when you are unmoved.

It isn’t until 2 weeks later on a stormy, rainy night that you venture out to Snaktooth Island. All seems well until a huge flying Bugsnax comes around to knock you out of the air. And after taking a nasty fall that had even me flinching, he soon finds out that Lizbert and Eggabell have mysteriously disappeared after an earthquake. And Snaxburg? All of the others except Filbo, who you first meet, had a falling out and went their separate ways. They’re all on Snaktooth Island still, just not at Snaxburg. So while you’re here, it looks like you’ll also try to find all of the others and the mystery on what happened to Lizbert and hopefully find her. I can already taste how interesting this story will be.

One of the main things you’ll be doing here is regarding the Bugsnax. You’ll actually be catching a lot of these Bugsnax during the course of the game, and even all of them at least once if you so choose. There are 100 different Bugsnax scattered around the 8 different locations and all of them take on different foods (or varieties of food) and a bug or animal. A lot of them are cute and they all even say their name while they’re roaming around, when you catch them, and right before they’re eaten. To go along with this, they all vary in ways of capturing them that will require you to figure out. They have certain times that they’ll appear (which you can easily change the time by taking a nap in a bed), some will only appear or not appear when its raining, their own likes, dislikes, and fears, and may require extra steps to even capture them. Like some Bugsnax will be on fire or freezing and it will require you to put them out/defrost them so you don’t catch on fire or freeze when you try to get them. Some are even aggressive towards you, which you can use for your own benefit, but you will have to find a way to get around it if you want to capture them or a Bugsnax that happens to be hanging around them. Thankfully, after giving them a little scan with your camera, you do get some information on them, which may give you more insight on how to catch them, what they like and dislike, and their pathing. Which is pretty useful for a lot of the Bugsnax as you get further into the game.

You’ll catch Bugsnax with your trusty Trap, which will both light up and make a sound when a Bugsnax is in the capture area, but while placing it down and hiding may be enough for some, it won’t be for all. There’s also the standard net for Bugsnax that find themselves stunned. You only have a limited time of retrieving the Trap or catching a stunned Bugsnax though, so you’ll have to be quick! You’ll receive a sling shot to sling some sauces as well, which each area will introduce a new sauce plant as Bugsnax love certain sauces as they’ll generally go to the sauce splotch. As it gets more complicated, you’ll be introduced to the Buggy Ball that will let you get Bugsnax hidden in small crevices or even sauce them to lure Bugsnax without running out of sauce so quickly (which I always seem to forget); the Snakgrappler so you can grab (and activate) certain things; the Lunchpad which is a launching pad for you or even for your Trap so you can catch flying Bugsnax; and a Trip Shot which trips Bugsnax and stuns them. Though, I’m not sure if I misunderstood the tutorial or not, the Trip Shot is pretty tricky to figure out as the only way to actually trip them up is not shooting it towards the Bugsnax, but to a solid surface that is in the way of their normal path.

Oh and I can’t mention catching Bugsnax without some other delightful details! Each Bugsnax you’ll catch will be put into your Journal and will then signal it to appear on your loading screen. So you’ll be able to see your loading screen go from having rows of Bungers, Strabbys, and Fryders only, to a huge variety. Not only that, but after you meet and bring back Gramble early on, you’ll be able to donate Bugsnax to his farm. This does increase your inventory, but this will also let you pet the Bugsnax that are roaming outside! Photography side game when haha.

As you unlock more areas for you to go through and capture new Bugsnax, you’ll also come across the Grumpuses that left Snaxburg. You’ll want to bring them back to Snaxburg and while they’re pretty reluctant at first, they’ll eventually be swayed. You’ll just have to do them a little favor. Once they agree to go back to Snaxburg, you can then do an interview with them to know who they are, what their role is, why they decided to leave their old life to be here, why they left Snaxburg, and what they think happened to Lizbert. They may even give you something that will get you more insight on Lizbert and Eggabell or a way to collect something that you’ll need later. Right from here, and the various interactions they’ll have with others afterwards, you’ll get a clear picture on the dynamics between everyone and understand why they ended up splitting up. As well as why some stuck with another. Though, you do get some instances that shows that they can get along and their points of conflict may very well be partly because they’re all alone on this island. They can’t really go anywhere else or get breaks from them. Kind of like how roadtrips are really stressful, except more deadly.

The Grumpuses here will also give you some side quests, which I do recommend doing either before or after you reach the end (you’ll be put right before the point of no return when you reload). Interviewing them is not the end of your interactions with them as they’ll ask for you to help them. Most of the time you’ll be asked to capture a specific Bugsnax for them (which if you’ve been keeping up with the side quests, are usually in the area you just discovered or in the next area), but you do get others that will have you complete a task for them. These let you get to know the Grumpuses here more than what you did during the interview. And here, you really see how great the writing is (if you haven’t already). They’re all different with their own unique problems and insecurities that they’re trying to fill with Bugsnax. Some side quests will even give you insight on other Grumpuses. I never got tired of these quests as I loved getting to know these Grumpuses more and getting more interactions with and between them. My favorite questline has to be Beffica’s, who basically tasks you with spying on the others and report back to her.

Aside from this, you can also feed any Bugsnax you catch to the Grumpuses here. As you probably already know, Bugsnax will change a part of you to the food that they represent. And depending on the limb, it’ll depend on what it takes on. Some are pretty cool, pretty, kind of ugly, funny just on that it keeps catching you off guard, or lowkey horrifying. In my case, I always got caught off guard whenever I realized that one of the Grumpus’ hands was a soda can. And one of my favorite transformations has to be the Instabug’s body transformation as it’s so pretty. So by the end of the game, depending on if you wanted to fully transform them (to get the achievement or just because), you may have them in amalgamations of different food parts or fully representing a certain one.

Of course, with you feeding Bugsnax to the others, you might wonder what about us? Are we, the player, able to eat Bugsnax too so we can change our body? Well, this is actually answered pretty early on. After all, since you are doing a story on Bugsnax, it would be in your interest to at least try it so you can write about how they taste or the experience of first eating one. However, after you swallow a Strabby, you immediately puke it up. Revealing that you’re allergic to Bugsnax. Though, I still have questions. Like do they actually taste like the food they represent or are they a burst of wonderful flavors that slightly varies? What texture do these Bugsnax have? Do they really shrink when you go to eat them or do you have to jam them in and not be someone that constantly has trouble swallowing pills? Is the packaging on the Sodies and Snackpods part of them or do you have to “open” them? Do any of the Grumpuses here ever have the urge to eat their own transformed limb and do the transformed limb taste like the food it turned into or does it still taste like your own flesh?

Some of the questlines will even have you go up against these huge Bugsnax at the end of them and these serve as boss battles. These boss battles are incredibly well done and will have you using your different tools to get them weaker and to a more manageable size for you to catch. Some of them cracked me up with how funny it happened to be, especially regarding the Mothza Supreme, or flinch as it did not seem pretty.

This doesn’t have fast travel, at least apart from certain quests that will put you where you need to be, but for the most part I didn’t really care. Especially when I remembered that there was probably a way to run. Though I did wish for when I was in the last area of the game called the Frosty Peaks. This is mainly because you do have to climb a mountain to get certain Bugsnax and that I had to go there constantly since the only side quests I had left was to go there (and while it did warp me there, I still had to run back to Snaxburg).

If there was any complaints I really had, I’d say that I wanted a bit more food variety (rather than variations of the same food type) and the camera does sometimes have problems. If you approach a conversation trigger in the wrong direction, the game will reposition you in the spot the game wants you to be in. Most of the time it’s just a little nudge, but you can be so far off that you’ll be whisked all the way around and possibly through a building depending on where it is (which happened to me with Gramble that made me miss what happened). I also had times where I wished I could just nudge the camera a bit up when talking to the tall Grumpuses.


When Bugsnax was presented, I automatically knew I wanted to play it. It was just so colorful and I loved that whatever the characters ate transformed their body. Though, I didn’t really know much other than that as I didn’t really aim to watch other trailers. While I wasn’t able to play this as early as I wanted to since I didn’t have a PS5 until now, I’m really glad this was offered as a PS+ game so I could immediately play it when I was finally able to. If you didn’t pick it up this way, I do still see this as worth the asking price. If the game being absolutely delightful isn’t convincing enough, the game did take me about 14 hours to complete everything, including getting all of the achievements. Don’t let the thought of this looking like a kid’s game (which I kind of find strange since I didn’t see this as a strictly kid’s game) keep you away. Heck, I wish I could retroactively add this to my 2020 GOTY list.

I loved Bugsnax and I was pretty sad when the game ended both because of, well, what you learn and that I’m leaving this colorful world filled with (mostly) cute Bugsnax and the Wumpuses that I came to know and adore. Though, the developers have already mentioned that we will be getting more from the Bugsnax world and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store. I’m especially curious on what’s going to happen in relation to the post-credits scene. Fingers crossed for a sequel!


♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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