There couldn’t be a much more somber opening to a game than in Little Bug. If there was a way to open an article with a black room and a night light-lit narrative, the stage would be set. The demo begins with a blurred camera shot overlooking the scene of a car accident. There is no prompt to begin, so the player is left to navigate Nyah out of the wreck on their own accord. This is a side-scroller with 2D and 3D elements, so the player movement is simplified. After running out of the flames and into the night, Nyah calls out to her mother, who is nowhere to be found. Shortly after, a wisp appears as a spiritual guide for Nyah. The player may control the wisp with the arrow keys or right control stick on a controller, and usher Nyah to and fro with WASD or the left stick. It’s recommended to try out the controls on a keyboard and controller first to see what works best for you, because once you’re deep into the game’s puzzles, precision is key. Nyah can only move back and forth, while the wisp may float in any direction to a certain extent from Nyah’s body. In order to get through the game’s levels, both Nyah and the wisp must survive the obstacles in place. Since Nyah can’t jump, the wisp must be moved near a position the player wishes to move her to, then use the beam with Spacebar or RMB to spiritually rappel Nyah toward the wisp.
The pacing in Little Bug is noticeably that of a crescendo wave, gradually growing from a small point to something much more difficult and emotionally impacting. There are small barriers that may be broken if either Nyah stands on them, or running the beam through them. Other obstacles may be dissipated with the beam as well, which may become an essential trick in surviving more rigorous challenges later on. In between swinging through dangerous obstacles, there are checkpoints scattered which are marked by various items. Flowers, bones and even fungi may be collected in Nyah’s jar as she marks her way through this unforseen adventure. Should Nyah or the wisp meet an untimely end at the hands of the spirits, the player will start right back at the last marked point. The wisp may be terminated as well, so watch where you place it. Moving the wisp about to launch Nyah through the map will become an easy task, but the real trials set in once the player encounters the restless spirits. Deep in mourning and desperately grasping at any life force they detect, the spirits will become Nyah’s ultimate adversaries. Little Bug is developed by Buddy System, and is currently being crowdfunded here on Fig. The team has a wealth of content that will expand upon the gorgeous world that has already been established in the demo, and many features to add to the exciting gameplay such as Co-op and interactions with spirits. Between searching for her mother and collecting artifacts of a surreal world, Nyah will lead you on a quest of danger, intrigue and potential heartache.
Download the proof-of-concept demo here.
Played it? We’d love to know what you thought about it.
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