Developer: WKode
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The fastest way to ruin a picnic is bug infestation. Whether it be ants crawling on your sandwiches or bees trying to steal a sip of your soda, nothing mucks up a nice day outside quicker than insects. Thus along comes Squashbug in an effort to provide you some measure of revenge. While the game lets you squish and smush to your heart’s content, the rather shallow and punishing experience isn’t likely to hold your interest for long.

Gameplay in Squashbug is as simple as it gets, all the player needs to do is tap on each bug which appears onscreen before it makes it all the way across to ruin your day. Each stage consists of five increasingly quick and nasty waves of enemies, and after all that squishing there’s a boss level to cap things off. In an effort to spice things up players can earn bonuses for smashing multiple bugs at once or waiting until the absolute last second to make their move. There’s little more to it than that though, so the core mechanics start to wear thin rather quickly.

The game tries to spice things up with a few unlockable mini-games along the way, but none of them really stand out as such memorable experiences that you simply must play them. Of course, that’s assuming you even manage to unlock all the content, as the game’s difficulty can be incredibly unforgiving. If a single bug makes it past then it’s game over, and players must then restart from the beginning. Boss stages are slightly more forgiving, granting three lives, but fail out on those attempts and it’s back to the start with you. If you want to annoy and infuriate gamers then there’s no better way to do so than lead them all the way to the end of a stage, only to send them right back to start. It’s the same reason no one plays Chutes and Ladders after about seven years old, it’s too frustrating.

This app is entertaining for a short time but doesn’t stand up to repeated play. In a world filled with “tap the enemy to win” apps there’s really not much that makes Squashbug special. It’s a pedestrian, sometimes irritating game that never really manages to impress.

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