Little Bug is a puzzle platformer developed by Buddy System and published by RedDeerGames. It’s a unique take on platformers where you control both the protagonist and her little ball of light. But does it stand out among others in this genre?
First, Little Bug throws you right into the gameplay. You play as Nyah, an eight-year-old girl walking home late from school. There isn’t much to do as you walk through the streets, only being able to move horizontally. However, she finds items on the way, such as a cat’s collar, rocks, flowers, and the like. She picks them up, putting them into her lunchbox.
When she makes it home, it’s clear she and her mother don’t get along well. The two argue about Nyah being late and carrying weird things in her lunchbox. This is when the gameplay begins.
Suddenly, the apartment is gone, as is Nyah’s mother. She’s in a different world, seemingly within her imagination (or nightmare), and she needs to find her way home.
Now you control Nyah with the left analog stick and her ball of light with the right one. Nyah can’t do anything except walk. She can’t even jump without the help of her spirit friend. With that said, the controls take some getting used to. It’s not often that I’ve played games using both analog sticks. I often found myself focusing too much on Nyah or too much on the ball of light, not watching where the other was going or what they were doing. So, one would hit an obstacle, killing both of them.
I’m not saying the controls in Little Bug are bad or that this was a poor mechanic choice. On the contrary; it’s a good mechanic and is executed well. They are responsive too. I just wasn’t good at it.
As mentioned earlier, Nyah walks forward while the ball of light aids her with jumping over obstacles, ledges, and the like. Hands come at you from the ground and sky, along with stomping feet that you need to avoid. Shadowy figures, if they see you, will chase you as well. So, not only do you need to figure out how to keep moving forward, but you also need to avoid things that will kill you.
Little Bug isn’t unforgiving, though. There are candles placed frequently about the area, which act as checkpoints. If you die, you’ll respawn immediately at the last candle. It’s one of those games where you’ll die a lot and spend hours telling yourself, “one more try.”
Little Bug doesn’t have any difficulty settings, so the gameplay might be easier for some than it is for others. For me, it was a great challenge. The story was being told uniquely as Nyah and her ball of light make it through icy caverns and vast desert areas in one continuous motion. There are no levels, no timers, no health bars, or anything of that kind. You can go at your own pace and stop when you find a candle.
Finally, Little Bug immerses you into the atmosphere with its dark scenery and almost horror-ish music. The music goes from pleasant to creepy within an instant once you get to certain parts of the game. As you go on this journey with Nyah, you’ll find things in her nightmare that help you piece together the story, but you still don’t quite know what’s going on until the end.
Overall, Little Big is a short game, but it will keep you occupied for a few hours. This is a solid platforming game with unique puzzles and a unique story thrown into the mix.