App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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"War. War never changes." - Fallout
Evocative and more than a little depressing, these words do well to sum up human-kind at its worst. Oddly enough, it also seems to sum up bug-kind as well. At least the bugs in Bug Heroes Quest anyway. Players jump right into the thick of things as the Scorpions are steam-rolling over all of bugdom, only contested by a rag-tag group of rebels. Things are most certainly not looking good.
Bug Heroes Quest puts players in the role of a handful of heroes and tasks them with completing lots and lots of missions. There are some RPG elements at play here, such as character leveling and stat point distribution, but the emphasis is much more on the action. There are no over-worlds to explore or side-quests to complete, but rather a vast assortment of levels spread across the garage, kitchen, backyard, etc... Special equipment or skill trainers (indicated by handy icons on the select screen) are hidden in a lot of them, some of which can't be accessed until they're replayed later on. It's always worth the effort to go back and look for them. Trust me.
The heroes are by far the best part of Bug Heroes Quest, which stands to reason. I was a little unsure about using Spider at first because she's pretty frail (think Rogue class), but after a few levels she's become something of a beast. Likewise with the gun-toting ant, who can toss down stationary turrets and mines. Beetle, on the other hand, is a total damage sponge who's slow as dirt but his attacks can hit multiple targets. Each one is fun to use and finding their special gear is downright habit-forming.
My initial thought was to talk about the visuals as a negative point, but the style's really grown on me. It's not photo-realistic, but the design of the world and the characters (especially what they use for armor and weapons) is top-notch. I do think it's annoying to trigger NPC conversations automatically by walking near them, because they're usually in a combat zone and I end up talking to them while I'm trying to fight. It hasn't gotten me killed, but the sudden break tends to throw me off. I'm also a little bummed that the loot isn't randomly dropped, but this isn't really that kind of RPG so I'll let it slide. I will, however, pout about it on the inside.
At first I was kind of on the fence about Bug Heroes Quest, but after a leveling-up my heroes a bit and playing a few stages that are a bit more involved than the early ones I've done a complete 180. I love this game. A lot. It's more than worth the $0.99 introductory price, and it will be more than worth whatever it jumps up to once the new release sale ends. I recommend buying it either way.