Bugsnax was the type of launch game that every console needs.
While it didn’t absolutely push the boundaries of what the PS5 could do, it was a game that showed more heart, more humour, and more joy than pretty much anything else in the launch lineup.
Now, two years and several adorable plush incarnations of the Bugsnax later, the gang returns for their next adventure, The Isle of BigSnax.
As the name suggests, The Isle of Bigsnax is a separate location from the original game, which according to the developers, can be accessed around halfway through the game after completing a certain questline.
The expansion looks to expand on mechanics that the developers thought were underused in the original game. For example, one of the first puzzles you’ll encounter uses the buggy ball, a mechanic that is mainly used in the main game to lure certain Bugsnax out of holes, but this time appears to be a much more versatile tool.
Like the main game, The Isle of Bigsnax is essentially a puzzle game. Encountering the new Bugsnax is easy, like the Supersized Bunger Royale, but working out how to catch them is the hard part.
In the case of the Bunger Royale, you’ll need to use a new item that causes the massive Bugsnax to shrink down, making them easily catchable by normal means.
Over the course of the original game, there were a huge number of Bugsnax to catch, and with The Isle of Bugsnax expansion that number grows to over 100. We were only shown a few of the new creatures, such as the Clawbsteroni, which is a lobster made of lobster ravioli.
We were assured that the interpersonal drama that made Bugsnax so unique is alive and well in The Isle of Bigsnax, and while the vents of the expansion won’t completely change the main game, the developers said during our preview that they believe it actually enhances the events of the game’s finale.
Doing everything in The Isle of Bigsnax is said to take a player 4-5 hours, which is pretty significant when compared to the original game’s 8-9 hour running time. It’ll be interesting to see in the final game just how many new techniques there are to catch new creatures, as the main game occasionally suffered from some repetition, but from what we’ve seen so far, we can’t wait.
The Isle of Bigsnax is exactly the excuse we needed to revisit one of the most charming games in years. While the expansion doesn’t revolutionise the Bugsnax formula, the new catching mechanics, and crucially, the new narrative elements, which were also Bugsnax’s secret sauce, have us excited to dig in when the expansion is served up at the end of April.