[Review] Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kevin Orme
  • Developer: Moonsprout Games
  • Publisher: DANGEN Entertainment
  • Price: $24.99 / £26.99
  • Release Date: 28/05/2020
  • Code provided by DANGEN Entertainment

Introducing: Bug Fables Switch Review

Nostalgia is a heck of a drug, friends. That is especially true in this day and age where it feels like every week or so we hear about another remake, sequel, spiritual successor, or remaster. Now, with all of these things happening as often as they do, it make you worry that people aren’t focusing on making anything good with these remakes. Sure we have great instances of success with this whole movement with the Crash Bandicoot remasters, Trials of Mana, and Streets of Rage 4, but for every polished gem there’s a Mighty No. 9 or Duke Nukem Forever. It’s difficult to be excited about these kinds of things.

Then, sometimes, there comes a game that not only embraces its roots but exceeds them, rising! to an entirely new level. Something transcendent! Out of the depths of the enormous chasm that can be Kickstarter, a magnificent game that tells the story of three valiant bugs crawls from the pit of crushed dreams and unfulfilled promises to bring light to a weary world.

Folks? Let’s talk about Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling. I HOPE YOU LIKE BUG PUNS!

Meet the Ant-agonists

Bug Fables tells the story of an adventuring pair of bugs, Kabu and Vi, as they quest for ancient relics hidden throughout their insectoid world. Along the way they meet a moth named Leif and continue their quest to find these items and discover some mysteries along the way. You and your party of friends will have to battle opposing species, violent beasts and mystical opponents in order to complete your mission!

The big hook for this game is not only a charming premise, but the fact that it looks like something you might recognize if you are a Nintendo fan by any means: Paper Mario. We’ll burrow into that in a bit, but rest assured that this game wears its love on its sleeve. This is not a game you should miss if you love the series it pays tribute to.

Man-Tis Is So Much Better

As I just said, this game is almost literally Paper Mario, but with bugs. I mean, that’s what it looks like from a simple glance, but I can tell you now that it is so much better than that. Fans of the Paper Mario series know how it works: You take your turn, you smack your enemies, you try to block your opponent’s attack and you do some flashy stuff along the way. The great team over at Moonsprout games decided to take this original concept and, through some voodoo-witchcraft, make it significantly better than it already was. Here are a few examples of just how much better this game’s mechanics are than its predecessors.

  • Remember how frustrating it was to constantly have to switch out partners to scan an enemy? Now every character in your party can use that ability.
  • Your team has increased from two members to three, giving the player more chances to strategize combos and attacks against the enemies.
  • Don’t need any of the attacks that a team member has? You can pass your turn to any member of your team at any time so they can attack twice, at the cost of slightly less attack power.
  • If you land an attack on an enemy in the overworld, instead of bonking them when you start the fight you get a second attack!
  • There’s an optional hard mode that you can turn on and off whenever you feel like and it will DESTROY you if you don’t take it seriously.
  • At any time, you can push a button and have your party make unique conversations about literally anybody and anywhere in the game.

There are tons of small things like this that end up making an entire universe of difference as you play. This game is almost literally the Paper Mario 3 we always hoped had come out.

A Bee-utiful Web They Weave

This game really feels like Paper Mario 64 in terms of how it all looks. I mean, it’s not quite as paper-y as Thousand Year Door, but the charms of the paper thin characters as they spin still make me smile every time I see it. There’s a lot to love everywhere you go. Every new area you visit has a different energy to it and it keeps things interesting and fun to explore. This experience is a joy in just about every way you can imagine. This game is lovely.

The controls are smooth as well! The attack commands that each member of the team has are almost carbon copies of Paper Mario ones, but I rarely felt like I mis-pressed a button or like something I did wasn’t responsive. This game is smooth in every aspect of the word. I’m not sure I had a single bad experience in this game. This rarely happens to me!

All the Joy, None of the Bugs

I don’t know if you’ve been reading this review so far, but this game runs really well! I spent about ten hours split fairly even between both handheld and docked mode and it felt like nothing huge, if anything, changed. Everything in this game is polished to near perfection.

The music is lively and lovely, the characters are a joy to watch and grow with, and the fights are intense and deep. This is just built to peak performance! HOW IS THIS GAME SO GOOD?!? The development team in charge spent so much time making this beautiful game an even more gorgeous experience. You can literally feel the love this game has been given everywhere you go.

Final thoughts

If you, like me, want more Paper Mario in your life, you absolutely cannot miss this game. This is everything you wanted Sticker Star and Color Splash to be: a great game with tight controls and charming characters. A game like this shouldn’t exist and it feels like we don’t deserve its kindness and charm in this dreary world. Buy this game. Tell your friends. It’s just too good.

Pros

  • This game took everything Paper Mario did and made it better
  • Delightful characters in a wonderful world
  • Charming conversations between lovable characters

Cons

  • Not suitable for people who hate nostalgia and hate being happy.

Verdict

I literally cannot stop playing Bug Fables – send help.

5/5

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