Shadow Bug

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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

The mobile gaming experience is a vastly different one from traditional consoles or PCs. Games have to be easy to pick up and play in small bursts while not being too shallow to hold a gamer’s attention. Alternatively, console and PC gamers tend to prefer deeper experiences. It’s rare for a game to be able to exist in both ecosystems. Today’s game is one of the few to try. Today’s game is Shadow Bug. Developed by Muro Studios, Shadow Bug originally released on iOS in 2016 and is now also available on Steam and Switch.

Shadow Bug is an action-platformer with some puzzle elements. The game has you take control of the titular Shadow Bug, a ninja bug out to destroy the evil factory that’s polluting the forest. Most ninja games tend to put a large focus on running and jumping but Shadow Bug has a unique take on movement. Players can move left or right but cannot jump, at least not on their own. However, by simply tapping on enemies, Shadow Bug jumps straight to them, killing them with a single slash, and making a small hop while doing so. By using this attack, Shadow Bug can jump over obstacles, traverse maps and even go through solid walls.

This doesn’t mean Shadow Bug is invincible, touching an enemy without an attack is an instant death and the levels are littered with spike traps, projectiles, and other deadly tricks. At the end of each level, the game uses a 3-star system for ranking players, or, in this case, a 3-shuriken system. Completing the level gets one shuriken, then players get one shuriken for beating a level under the target time and one for breaking the target score. This system will be immediately familiar to those who’ve played mobile games for any period of time.

Shadow Bug has received positive reviews on all platforms. It holds a 4.6/5 on the App Store but also maintains a Positive rating on Steam and a 74 on Metacritic for the Switch release. While the mobile version requires tapping, Steam allows for a mouse click on enemies or even a controller, although this method was criticised for feeling too slow. The Switch version also includes motion controls, along with tapping on the screen in handheld mode. Muro Studios has gone on to create a sequel to Shadow Bug called Shadow Bug Rush, currently exclusive to mobile devices, and is now working on their third game Doomblade.

Thank you so much for listening and a special thanks to First Press Games for a review code for the Switch version of Shadow Bug. For more trivia about Shadow Bug and the other games we talk about on this show, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday. Archives and transcripts are available on videogameoftheday.com. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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Devin "Katosepe" Sloane is a long time gamer and host of the show Video Game of the Day. He firmly believes Darklands is the pinnacle of gaming achievement and this is a hill he will die upon. Where his nickname came from is a secret to everybody.