Bug Fables is a turn based cartoon type RPG with mini game elements and a massive amount of content and depth.
Set in the land of Bugaria.You play as a team of bugs,who seek fame and fortune by questing for the ultimate prize and the one artifact desired by their Queen and kingdom…The everlasting sapling !
Starting out as a team of just two characters and from a short tutorial chapter at their home base. Brave and gutsy bugs,Vi the bee and Kappu the horned beetle travel through 7 chapter segments,facing enemies,collecting treasures and building up a team capable of traversing each chapter dungeon and defeating its boss.
There’s many skills and abilities to develop for each character and many secret areas on the map and also plenty of side quests from the many characters you meet.
Success in each battle rewards EP (exploration points) that act as the games XP requirements,TP (teamwork points)for individuals skills and abilities and MP (medal points) that allow extra powers and abilities for the medals that you can collect and wear.For example, your first earned medal alters and increases game difficulty,granting extra rewards and improved EP for each battle.
The combat system itself is pretty much easy to pick up and play with each character having slightly different attack instructions over a” press button at the right time”mini game system.
Set over a moving pointer on a slider.Vi the bee attacks by players stopping the pointer at a green section of the slider.Kabbu by holding down on the direction button at the correct symbol highlighted and new team member Leif the moth,requiring a specific button pressing when instructed at random on the slider.
It’s most certainly an impressive looking game.Each scene pans in a bright 3D effect as characters move across the screen,and the cartoonish drawings of each character maybe one dimensional.Yet there’s enough substance in the character dialogue and witty exchanges to add enough depth to each,in a world that doesn’t really need a strong backstory.
There’s also plenty to do with a system offering a wealth of strategy and customisation options,covering many hours of gameplay.
It’s just a shame,that there were many instances that left me cold and underwhelmed.
Most importantly,I seemed to find an issue with the mechanics themselves and this more or less,materialised in the first dungeon encounter.
The dungeons are pretty large and require teamwork to solve the puzzles and progress into other areas. For example,falling water droplets can be frozen into blocks by Leif.The blocks moved by Kabbu into a certain position thus allowing the team to jump onto the block and up onto platforms. Vi can also use a boomerang ability to activate switches and start up rotating platforms that the team can then reach and jump across. Yet,the constant switching between members seemed to feel more cumbersome than it should be ! Seemingly,the many options just appear to stumble over themselves at times.
Above that,is the issue of no enemy respawn.
Of course,this system is welcomed by those who hate to grind their way through a game and yet with facing a boss there’s a problem.
If you battle the boss and discover your team is underpowered.There is no option to get your team stronger by backtracking through the dungeon and battling any previous enemy. You can also,only get so far back and prohibited from leaving the dungeon and blocked from returning back to the area and back to base!
So,with death at the hands of the boss.You are given the option to retry the boss battle or respawn your team at your last save point,and yet you feel kind of stuck in the zone and what feels like a wide range of options,suddenly feels very limited.
Overall though,there’s a very commendable RPG title here,that’s tremendous value for money.
Developers have clearly put a lot of thought and effort here with clear inspiration and influence from paper mario and created a smooth running title without glitches but with bugs !
Thanks to Moonsprout games / DANGEN Entertainment for the code.