Bugsnax is surprisingly satisfying on Switch

When Bugsnax launch, it serves as a PS5 launch title. Yes, it wasn’t its only home at the time. It appeared on PS4 and also PC through the Epic Games Store. Now more than a year and a half later, Young Horses has announced new homes for the title and a free add-on. Perhaps the most ambitious of the new platforms is a Switch port of Bugsnax. Given the nature of the system, one may wonder how it handles. While it’s not as visually impressive or fast as other versions, it handles it well.

The first thing that surprised me about Bugsnax The switch port is its load time. Honestly, it doesn’t take long to get into an area. This will vary, depending on the size of the space. For example, loading the Flavor Falls region when the game starts takes about 30 seconds. Traveling from Flavor Falls to the smaller Garden Grove takes about 15 seconds. From Garden Grove to Snaxburg, again, about 30 seconds. Although the wait varies, it is never too demanding. This works pretty well, as you may find yourself needing to re-visit areas to catch certain Bugsnax at different times of the day or under certain weather conditions.

Bugsnax is surprisingly satisfying on Switch

I also found that using the new fast travel system did not change the load times. Right in the Switch version of Bugsnax, it’s there. As long as you visit a place once, you can go there. Just open your map, move the lever similarly so that the right spot is marked in blue and you’re good to go. It’s a huge help, honestly, as you might need to be available at a certain time to complete someone’s request or fill out Bugapedia.

Visual fidelity and performance are also quite good, given the nature of the game. Bugsnax has a rather caricature approach. Since there is no need for realism and precision in some other games, a slight loss of fidelity may go unnoticed. I mainly play in Handheld mode on my Switch OLED. It maintains a consistent 30fps. Even when it rains or there are some fiery situations, it tends to hold up pretty well. While it also only comes out at 720p, the nature of the characters and environments still means it looks pretty good. The personalities of the characters are most important, and it remains colorful and lively.

I wish there were more Switch-specific features to Bugsnax However. For example, there are no touchscreen controls in Handheld mode. That is understandable. After all, on PS5, it just uses the trackpad to open menus. There are also no gyro controls. With how these can work in games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2, a game which also has a sweep element, feels like it might fit. While the tools are available, staples like the Sauce Slinger and the Snakgrapler don’t really need it. Using the standard controls for targeting works well.

Bugsnax is surprisingly satisfying on Switch

But I guess what I appreciate the most is Bugsnax adapt to being a picker and play a kind of game. It’s not a very long adventure. The base game sets a goal to complete in about 10 hours. The Isle of Bigsnax expansion has four more. Given the way character quests work, you can go ahead and spend a session just working on a field or helping a Grumpus. Given how well it tracks your current targets and the new fast-travel system, it’s pretty easy to pick up and play.

Bugsnax works better than I expected on Switch. You won’t see load times or PS5 level images here. But the load times I found are not too severe and seem consistent with the experiences on the PS4 version. The theme and nature of the game mean that lower resolutions and frame rates are fine too. Its structure and pacing also adapt well to the handheld format, which is another point in its favor. It is an admirable port and will benefit those who have been waiting to visit Snaktooth Island.

Bugsnax available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series Xand PC.

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