Back in September, developer CAVE announced they were creating an original iPhone game based on their Mushihimesama series titled Mushihimesama Bug Panic. The next month they released a video showing gameplay in Bug Panic, and we've been anxious to get our hands on the game ever since. Tonight, Mushihimesama Bug Panic [$3.99] went live in the US App Store. With CAVE's previous releases Espgaluda II [$8.99/Lite] and Dodonpachi Resurrection [$8.99/Lite] setting the bar rather high for iOS games, I was curious to see how Bug Panic would stack up considering it was out of their typical comfort zone of bullet hell shmups. I'm happy to report that Bug Panic meets the high expectations of a CAVE title, offering a fun and unique adventure that's perfectly suited to the platform.

Mushihimesama Bug Panic would be considered a dual-stick shooter, but not exactly like the ones we've previously seen flood the App Store. Your main character, the adorable “Insect Princess” Reco, moves around the environment with a left analog stick that can either be fixed in the corner or appear wherever you place your thumb. The right stick controls a cursor that represents where you will toss your Burst Seeds, the ammunition in the game that function similarly to grenades. Placing your thumb on the right stick allows you to move the cursor around and releasing your thumb actually fires. As your thumb is held down, a meter at the bottom fills up allowing you to charge your Burst Seed shots for extra damage and splash range.

Adding to this interesting offensive mechanic is the ability to lock your targeting reticule on up to three enemies. This effectively lets you toss your Burst Seeds in three completely different directions if you want, or target three enemies in the same group to deliver a wider area of damage. This lock-on feature can be disabled at any time, giving you full manual control of where your shots land, but I actually found that it added tremendously to the strategy of the game. Choosing which enemies to lock onto and when to charge up your shots is what really sets Bug Panic apart from other dual-stick shooters, and it will be hard to go back to one where the right stick just mindlessly fires bullets in a single direction.

The bulk of Bug Panic is the Adventure mode that follows the story of Reco as she battles against the bugs in her world that have seemingly gone wild. There are five different worlds to play through, each with four levels and a boss level. Each level is fairly large, with multiple pathways and hidden secrets to find. As with any good CAVE game, a multiplier system lets you chase crazy high scores by killing multiple enemies in succession. After you complete a world by defeating its boss, that world is then unlocked in a Score Trials mode. As fun as playing through the Adventure mode is, Score Trials mode is what will bring you back to Bug Panic for a long time to come. Here you can play against the enemies of each unlocked world in a 2 minute timed trial or an endless survival trial, with scores for each being tracked with Game Center leaderboards.

There are many other nuances to Bug Panic as well, like specific goals to achieve for each level and hidden puzzle pieces that are part of a bonus mini-game. It features the same wonderful pixel art and massive amounts of onscreen sprites that the developer is known for, and offers a unique take on dual-stick shooting that controls like a charm and mixes beautifully with the bullet hell style action. There's a tremendous amount of replayability with the different modes and unlockables as well. Like other CAVE games, Bug Panic will only run on 3rd generation devices and higher. The game is currently on sale for $3.99 for the first four days before returning to the regular price of $4.99, and a lite version should be launching in the very near future. Our forums are full of positive impressions of the game, and I'd have to agree that Mushihimesama Bug Panic is another excellent entry from the folks at CAVE.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Paulmcraelind

    Doesn't seem to work on the iPad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cat-Astrophy/100000838113704 Cat Astrophy

    Could do w/o the nonstop weeaboo squeal from the heroine :) Otherwise pretty fun

  • Kamblad

    Excellent review, awesome game. Hate those small flying critters though.

  • Veritas Delite

    Really wanted to love this game, but I cannot even purchase it because Cave screwed up and required 4.2 (and I will not be upgrading even when it does come out).

    Plenty of other GameCenter games run on older iOS versions, Cave really needs to fix this, and until they do this should unfortunately count as a large negative in any review.

    • squarezero

      "this should unfortunately count as a large negative in any review."

      No, it shouldn't. But it should be made clear so that hold outs don't buy it by mistake.

      • Veritas Delite

        Yes, it should.

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Veritas Delite

        The device restrictions are fine, because there is a reason for it.
        The iOS restrictions are arbitrary, there are plenty of games which support GameCenter yet don't require the very latest iOS.

      • Jared Nelson

        I'm not disagreeing with you about that, but that's an issue you need to bring up with CAVE, and I don't know if there's a good reason for them doing that or not. I just think that specifically pointing out the OS requirements in a review isn't necessary, especially when it's the required OS for an iPad when it's an iPhone game being reviewed.

      • Veritas Delite

        Cave reads pages like these, so commenting here is a way of bringing it up to them, not to mention bringing it to the attention of others who may do the same.

      • CyberData4

        If you're not going to keep your firmware current, then don't buy current games.

      • malrock

        The problem is it's not "current" IOS 4.2 isn't even available for the iPad and won't be for another few weeks.

      • Veritas Delite

        An idiotic comment.

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

      • Jared Nelson

        But why? It explicitly states the device and iOS requirements on the very first line of the app description. We don't normally go into specifics like this in reviews, why is this any different?

  • Anonymous

    I can't stand the music personally. 30 seconds of the trailer is enough of a put off for me.

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    I grabbed this the moment it came out and I'm glad I did. While it's not as flashy as Dodonpachi or Espgaluda, it's deeper as a game, and still turns into something of a bullet hell shooter after a few worlds. The mechanics really set this apart from other dual stick shooters, and for me it's easily the best one out there.

    Plus as it's a Cave game it's 60 frames per second and has great old school visuals and fantastic music. If you like old school Japanese arcade shooters, you will love this game.

  • Sentientdead

    I am sooo pumped. I love CAVE, even though I traditionally suck at their games!

  • EastsideStompers

    The only thing holding me back was I had precisely no idea what was going on in Espgaluda, from the bare-bones and unexplained story tagged onto it (why even bother?) to the convoluted points system.

  • Simon

    Got this last night and loving it. Well worth the money. Tempted to try one of their vertical shooters now..

    • Simon

      Update I really like playing this with my boyfreind in bed

      • Real_Simon

        Boyfriend*

  • Anonymous

    Only played for a little so far, but this game is SO much better then your typical dual stick shooter. Really I don't think it's fair to compare them. Aiming your bombs is way more strategic and fun then just pointing and shooting contantly. I can't wait to get more time to sink into this at lunch today and tonight.

  • Grunthilda

    It's boring, annoying garbage.

    • Guest

      Trollpost.

      • cottr

        Didn't need to state the obvious but ok

Mushihimesama BUG PANIC Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4.5