Bugdom – Review

Company: Pangea Software
Estimated Price: $37.95


I had seen the preview screen shots of Bugdom for weeks before I actually played the game, so I had some clue that this would be a unique and fun game. I was right, but simply saying this is a fun game will not do it justice. This is a great game! Which really should come as no surprise as Brian Greenstone at Pangea is one of the people who helped create QuickDraw 3D for Apple Computer Inc.

In Bugdom, you are Rollie McFly, a Rollie Pollie bug. It seems all of Bugdom is in trouble, as the head ant, King Thorax, has kidnapped the rightful rulers, the Ladybugs. As Rollie, your job is to save the ladybugs, and so become the new ruler of Bugdom!

Sounds simple, right? It’s not. Bugdom offers players some very challenging challenges to solve in your quest. From swimming through water, battling other bugs, and finding keys to unlock parts of the map, Bugdom offers just enough unique and fun action to keep the game fresh.

Bugdom offers some of the most stunningly beautiful graphics I have seen in a long time. The screen shots here will only give you a small clue as to how good it actually looks on your own screen. Relying heavily on QuickDraw 3D, the visual effects from the tree-sized blades of grass to the white puffy clouds in the sky make Bugdom a visual masterpiece. But like special effects in a movie, great graphics do not a great game make. Fortunately, Bugdom has more going for it than pretty scenery.

Using a behind the action, third-party view of the game (which you can zoom in and out) you control Rollie past mazes of tall grass, over puddles of water (which look like lakes to bugs) up steep embankments, and over flat ground to rescue the ladybugs and do battle with the ants and other meanies. Like any hero (bug or human) you do have some skills which will aid you in your quest. Kicking the bad guys is your first line of defense, but your best weapon is to roll up in a ball and blast the bad guys. As with any good offensive weapon in a video game, though, you can only roll up and knock the bad guys on their butts so many times. Thank goodness for power-ups to renew your rolling power! Power-ups come in the form of walnuts, which you must kick to open. Inside each walnut you will find different things such as health power-ups and Buddy Bugs (little bug friends which you can use to blast the bad guys).


Bugdom Picture 2Users control Rollie using a combination of the mouse and keyboard. Movement is easily controlled via the mouse, and it feels very natural. You use the keyboard for everything else, such as kicking or launching a Buddy Bug.

The sounds in Bugdom are great! The soundtrack is pleasant and the sound quality is above par. The graphics are top notch, as I said, but the third part “over and behind” view does tend to get confusing at times. For instance, I would lose track of which way Rollie was pointing in very tall grass. When a bunch of ants had surrounded me, I couldn’t see Rollie well enough to plan or fight back.

While I have no trouble playing it on my own system, Bugdom will leave users with older Mac out in the cold: the game requires a G3 with ATI 3D Acceleration. But as Pangea Software states on their website, Bugdom is cutting-edge stuff. If you wanna play the new games, you need a new Mac. While I would like to see perhaps a scaled-down version of Bugdom for older Macs, for now the price to get this high caliber game is high performance computing hardware.

With over 10 large levels, a plethora of bad guys, and stunning graphics and sound, Bugdom has a high replay factor. You will be coming back to this game over and over to get to that next level. Better still, Bugdom is a Mac-only game, so the next time you have a PC user over to your house, let him see you having a blast–and then tell them they’re going to have to buy a Mac if they want to play it!


Bugdom Picture 3System Requirements
Minimum Requirements: iMac or G3 Macintosh with ATI 3D Acceleration, 32MB of RAM, OS 8.0 or newer.
Recommended Requirements: 64 MB of RAM for best performance and appearance, ATI Rage Pro or Rage 128 for the full visual effect with 4MB of VRAM if running on an ATI Rage II for the biggest possible image.

MacMice Rating: 4.5

Tim Robertson

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