Bug Heroes 2, Foursaken Media’s sequel to its bug-ridden (in a good way) action-adventure title, is now available from the app store. With a more polished graphical presentation, multiple game modes, and a wealth of varied heroes and enemies, Bug Heroes 2 continues Foursaken’s tradition of fantastic releases that meld multiple genres with deep strategic gameplay.
Bug Heroes 2 Pros:
- Smoother character models, improved animations, and fun environments
- Enjoyable militaristic soundtrack and a variety of sound effects and voices bring the game to life
- Controls are responsive and easy to use; activating abilities and directing secondary character are
- Huge variety of heroes and enemies with cool abilities and unique attributes
- Single-player missions, Endless mode, Skirmish mode, Co-op Multiplayer, and Competitive Multiplayer
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards and multiplayer matchmaking
Bug Heroes 2 Cons:
- Major framerate drops and chugging from time to time
- No GameCenter achievements
- Some missions require certain character or minimum number of stars; difficulty can leave some gamers frustrated
Bug Heroes 2 offers a third-insect perspective as you utilize two heroes at once to fend off attacks from other bugs while protecting your food stash from being pillaged. Each of the heroes is unique with respect to species, attack style, and abilities. To start, you select two bugs at random from the 19 available. You can unlock or purchase access to additional bugs, including 6 legendary bugs, as you progress through the game and earn stars and diamonds. You’ll be taken through a quick tutorial, teaching you how to control the bugs, how to alter your viewpoint, how to replenish your food stash, etc. After that, you’re unleashed to engage in missions, which often require you to survive for a period of time, capture strategic points, use specific turret types, etc. Each mission is rated on a difficulty scale of 1-5 stars, for which you’ll earn the corresponding number for completing the mission. Stars will unlock access to new bugs at predetermined intervals, as well as allow you to improve the persistent abilities of your bugs. You’ll also receive a certain number of diamonds, which can be traded for scrolls that alter the abilities of your hero or allow you to buy legendary bugs. Coins are earned at a quick clip as time passes so that you can upgrade your attack prowess for the current run, while experience earned for killing bugs will award you points to apply to your active abilities to improve your chances of survival. You can also choose to engage in an Endless mode or Skirmish mode that will also allow you to earn the in-game currency for protecting your stash or destroying the enemy’s, respectively.
Gameplay is similar to the original Bug Heroes in that you are venturing into a few everyday environments (kitchen, living room, backyard) and fighting tons of enemies who will attack you and try to steal food from your home base. You’ll need to balance seeking out your enemies with staying close to your base. You have access to turrets that will auto-attack enemies that get within range and the sequel allows you to capture strategic points and set up turrets at those locations, as well. The first two bugs we unlocked were the Bumblebee brawler and the Worm grenadier, giving us a nice balanced attack of both melee and ranged bugs. Your two heroes will travel together or you can choose to send the non-active bug to another locale with a double-tap. He’ll hold his ground at that spot and fight off other bugs until told to rejoin you with the tap of a button. Switching between bugs is as easy as tapping on the bug’s image along the screen bottom. Earned experience will allow you to increase the power of your skills, while upgraded offense, defense, utility, and turret attributes can allow you to stave off death for longer and longer intervals. You can heal your bugs by eating some of your food stash, though this obviously weakens the structure that you are defending, so you’ll want to venture out and find more food scraps to fortify your base. We advise getting to know your enemy, and the bug encyclopedia gives you the option to read up on your foes to learn of their strengths/weaknesses for an advantage in battle. It’s a ton of fun and it feels like a nice improvement over the original.
Graphically, the bug models appear to have been smoothed out, and animations are more fluid than before. There are considerably more heroes and enemies than in the original. The miniaturized nature of familiar environments opens the doors for a lot of novel uses of common objects, and taking cover behind pencils and the like could mean the difference between life and death. Countertop ledges, for example, can be useful in dispatching enemies, so consider your surroundings and how they can aid you in your goal. We did experience some significant slowdown and major framerate chugging when things got crazy, so there’s definitely room for improvement and optimization. The soundtrack has an upbeat militaristic feel, while sound effects and tinny bug voices add character and flavor to the battles. An invisible joypad on the left will control your active bug, while dragging your thumb around the right side of the screen adjusts your viewpoint. Buttons in the lower portion of the screen will alter your view and call your comrade back to your side. Ability icons line the right side of the screen, a simple tap away from activation or upgrade. Bugs will attack automatically when in range. The controls seemed to work quite well, though lining up the grenadier with his range/sight line can be a little tricky. If you miss a charging enemy with your grenade, it may harmlessly explode behind him and cause you to be attacked until you reload and line up with the enemy bug.
Replay value is fantastic, as you’re also provided competitive and co-op multiplayer modes in addition to the previously-mentioned single-player modes. GameCenter is used to set up these matches. GameCenter also provides leaderboards for Endless, Co-op, 1v1, and 2v2 multiplayer battles, but no achievements at this time. A robust universal app for a measly $0.99, Bug Heroes 2 racks up a solid 4.5-Dimple score.