Back in May 2016 I covered a rather polished proof-of-concept demo for a puzzle platformer called Little Bug. I’m now glad to see that it’s up on crowdfunding site Fig and very close to reaching its funding goal of $35,000 with 17 days still left to go. It certainly showed a lot of potential and deserves to be made into a full game.
Little Bug follows the story of Nyah and her companion firefly. The little girl becomes separated from her mother and lost in a mysterious forest landscape full of wonder and terror. Or as the official backstory puts it:
Nyah is lost and the sun is quickly setting. A massive presence materializes in the darkness, its eyes barely visible through trembling branches. Nyah runs, terrified of what might have happened to her mom, but then she falls… she’s woken by a light zipping through the air, and it beckons her, feeling strangely familiar, warming her mind – but the world around her has changed. Lost spirits roam the horizon while remains of the dead dance in dark canyons. Nyah finds the warmth of the light isn’t just in her head – when she focuses on it, a wildly powerful beam connects them, but she has a whole lot to learn if she’s ever going to find her mom in this strange land.
Mechanically, it’s a game that requires some skill and precision, but it’s a rewarding experience once you get the hang of it. Using a twin-stick system, you control both characters simultaneously. The firefly can go places Nyah can’t, and using their telekinetic connection they can create a short-lived swing with the fly as the fulcrum. Working together like this the girl is able to surmount obstacles, solve puzzles, and avoid nasties.
The demo of Little Bug also proved to be rather enchanting – a gloomy spirit world of gorgeous low-poly 3D environments, magnificent starry backdrops, creepy hand-drawn apparitions (I have nightmares about those grasping neon hands), and an ethereal and melodic soundscape. It’s like being trapped inside a dark fairytale. And what is the nature of that huge monster thingy observing you from a distance? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
The full release, slated for summer 2018 (for PC, Mac and Linux), will be completely rebuilt from the ground up, including expanded visuals and new features such as local co-op, new abilities and obstacles, dialogue options, controllable friendly spirits, secret areas and alternate routes, and unlockable cosmetics for Nyah. The stretch goal is for porting to Xbox One and PS4. Developer Buddy System also reckon they’ve been taking on board feedback from the demo, which boasts over 20,000 downloads.