A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Saving your friend from attacking bugs highlights importance of helping others.
Positive Role Models
Main character, the butcher, is somewhat glib at times, but he demonstrates self-confidence in his abilities to clear the station of menace.
Ease of Play
Requires use of a gamepad. Simple controls; easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Main character uses his blaster, power-ups to shoot lasers, fire, ice. Enemies explode into coins without blood shown.
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"Jesus," "hell" used in same conversation, but that's all.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Bug Butcher is a downloadable side-scrolling shooter where players take on the role of a character named Butcher that must clear a space station of mutant bugs. Controls are easy to understand, and two players can play in a timed cooperative mode on the same machine, but the game requires a Windows gamepad controller. Each of the 30 levels is scored and recorded within the game, although each one can be replayed to either pass the stage or get a better score. Players will shoot lasers, fire, or ice at bugs, but there's no blood or gore shown within the game.
Is It Any Good?
With viable ties to old-school 2-D side-scrolling shooters, this space title has a few smiles under its helmet but might just be a touch short on level numbers to warrant any kind of longevity. There are 30 levels, but many of the levels can be cleared in three to five minutes tops. The Bug Butcher does have several difficulty modes (including an easy mode for younger players experiencing this type of game for the first time) and three ways to play (single-player story, single-player Panic, and cooperative Panic), but each of the levels is more of the same.
Still, what makes this a nice little diversion is that the controls are easy to use and the game has a nice visual style. There's no blood splattering on the walls, and the power-ups are visually appealing. The price is also a nice selling point, but it stays in line with the amount of content (or lack thereof). The dialogue is text-driven, and the sound is serviceable. What sells it is that this feels like an old-school side-scrolling action game, with all those bells and whistles, and has a simple but nice feel. If The Bug Butcher were longer, with more levels or more modes of play, it would be one of those games that most true gamers should own.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.