Bugsnax is one of the weirdest PS5 games we’ve seen so far — and considering it was introduced alongside one game where you play as a stray cat, and another one where you play as an astronaut exploring a major city, that’s saying something.
What is Bugsnax, exactly? Even after two trailers, it’s hard to say. We know that the central conceit of the game involves adorable, tasty animals that are half bug, half snack. We know that you’ll play as a journalist in a colorful world of cartoon characters, collecting the Bugsnax to solve puzzles and flesh out your collection.
- PS5 release date, price, specs, controller and pre-orders
- PS5 and Xbox Series X SSDs: How this tech will define next-gen games
In other words: Think Pokémon Snap, with a much more bizarre sense of humor.
While Bugsnax is probably one of those games we’ll probably have to play for ourselves to believe, here’s what we know about it in the meantime.
When developer Young Horses revealed Bugsnax during the PS5 games event back in June, we didn’t really know what kind of title it would be. We knew that Bugsnax would feature a catchy song and a cute world full of offbeat characters, but that was about it. Thanks to the Sony’s State of Play video on August 6, however, we now have a much better idea of what Bugsnax gameplay will look like. Take a look at the trailer below for more details:
While there’s only about a minute and a half of footage, it tells us what we need to know about how Bugsnax might play. You take control of a journalist in a world full of exaggerated, puppet-like characters, and your assignment is to learn about the titular creatures. To do so, you’ll employ a variety of traps, bait, photographs and notes.
For example: In the trailer, we see the protagonist trapping one strawberry-shaped Bugsnax (Bugsnack?) with a simple cage. To lure a burger-shaped Bugsnax into a pen, they use a slingshot loaded with ketchup. Luring a pasta-shaped Bugsnax out of a hole requires a laser pointer and some environmental ingenuity. You keep track of the creatures you’ve collected in a notebook; you consult a map to find new locations.
Bugsnax seems to be part collection, part exploration and part puzzle-solving. There doesn’t appear to be any combat, which should make for a pretty chill, lighthearted experience.
Perhaps one reason why Bugsnax has become so popular is because the whole game seems ready-made for memes. What’s odd about Bugsnax memes, however, is that there doesn’t seem to be a single meme format that fits the game. Instead, the Bugsnax themselves seem to fit readily into existing meme formats, whether it’s Gordon Ramsay decrying the doneness of a Bugsnax dish, or Wolverine caressing a photograph of a googly-eyed strawberry.
C. Clumby Clumbernut's office (Bugsnax, 2020)Booker DeWitt's office (BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, 2013) pic.twitter.com/Ra4NRQgD5rAugust 7, 2020
There doesn’t seem to be a particular trick to making Bugsnax meme; just plug your favorite Bugsnax creature into your favorite meme template, and see whether social media goes for it. However, images from Bugsnax aren’t the only things that have transfixed the Internet; the game’s unorthodox theme song has, too.
Bugsnax song and trailer
If I had to cite one reason why Bugsnax has become so popular, it would probably be the game’s unbelievably catchy theme song. The song debuted within the game’s first trailer, which you can watch below:
If you can’t get the song snippet out of your head and want more, the full version is called “It’s Bugsnax!” and comes from Kero Kero Bonito: a British pop band whose musical influences encompass J-pop, dance music and hip-hop, among others. You can listen to the whole thing below:
The song is unbelievably catchy, and perfectly encapsulates the game’s weird, offbeat, cute-but-self-aware vibe. It’s part pop song, part rap and part synth, and if the game’s soundtrack is anything like it, people will probably keep it as part of their regular rotations long after the game ends.
Bugsnax release date and platforms
Bugsnax will be out at the end of 2020 for PS4, PS5 and PC. We’ll almost certainly see some more extremely unusual gameplay footage before then.
For now, that’s most of what we know about Bugsnax: a decidedly odd exploration/puzzle game with a quirky sense of humor. The game doesn’t seem like it will be for everyone, but those in its target demographic (whatever that may be) will probably really, really like it.