Since Glu Mobile made a shift to primarily releasing freemium games, their games have been primarily action-oriented games, like Gun Bros., Contract Killer, and the recently released Men vs. Machines. Bug Village is something else entirely – a family-friendly freemium game from Glu that is a more familiar farming-type game.
The game has you building and curating a tiny village for bug people. Your goal is to try to increase your population as high as possible by leveling up to increase your population cap of bugs and bees. You do this by building more houses, but to build more, you have to use the game’s primary currency, acorns. You acquire acorns by sending ants to harvest resources from piles and sending bees to harvest nectar, both of which go towards your total acorn count. You’ll occasionally have to help ladybugs who have fallen on their back and can’t get up by tapping on them, and ward off stink bugs by tapping on them 3 times until they disappear; both activities will net you experience points. Your bugs will get hungry over time, so you have to buy them food to replenish the village’s collective hunger bar.
Otherwise, the game follows the standard mechanics we’ve seen from other Glu games. It consists of a 2-tiered currency system, consisting of Acorns that can be earned through in-game tasks, and Coins that you can only acquire by paying for them or by completing offers like downloading free apps. Most items are bought with acorns, but some items can only be bought with coins. Coins are also used to speed up building and resource collection. The game engine is entirely 3D, and supports the Retina Display. The game is a universal app, but there’s no cross-device save synchronization yet, so you can’t play across multiple devices. The launch of Bug Village, being more focused on family-friendly audiences, is coincidentally interesting considering the recent lawsuit alleging that Apple was out to defraud parents of money through in-app purchases by allowing other family-friendly freemium titles like Smurfs Village on the App Store. Bug Village includes a warning that buying additional coins or acorns will cost you real money on the screen where you can purchase them. Parents worried that their kids might spend their money by buying acorns and coins can disable in-app purchases can be restricted from the Settings app, under General -> Restrictions. Bug Village is available as a free download from the App Store.