Bugsnax, the new adventure game from Young Horses, draws from titles like Ape Escape, Dark Cloud, Pokémon Snap, and Viva Piñata (via DualShockers).

Before scoring a deal with Sony, Young Horses also developed Octodad: Dadliest Catch, so the strangeness of Bugsnax isn’t outside of its remit. The game is set on Snaktooth Island, which is the habitat of the legendary half-bug half-snack creatures, Bugsnax. When the player arrives, it’s clear that something has gone wrong, with the explorer Elizabert Megafig and her team scattered to the winds. “It’s up to you to solve the mysteries of Snaktooth Island: What happened to Lizbert? What are Bugsnax and where do they come from? But most of all, why do they taste SO GOOD?” said the developer in a press release. 

The premise is whimsical, and to me, a little unsettling. Though Bugsnax looks like it’s treading new ground, players will in fact find familiar elements derived from cult-classic titles. Young Horses programmer and producer Kevin Geisler posted a collection of games which informed his own personal input to the upcoming adventure game. These included Dark Cloud, Ape Escape, Pokémon Snap, and Viva Piñata.

That’s a heady variety of games there, and it’s impossible to say at this stage which of these was the most influential, and in what way. However, all four of these games debuted something interesting or original in their mechanics, when compared to other games that were released at the same time or other games in their series. As a result, we could expect some rather exciting things from Bugsnax, particularly on the souped up specs of the PlayStation 5.

Bugsnax will launch this holiday for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC.
 

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