Last month, CAVE released Mushihimesama Bug Panic [$4.99/Lite] to the App Store. Like their previous offerings Espgaluda II [$8.99/Lite] and Dodonpachi Resurrection [$8.99/Lite], Bug Panic offered frantic bullet-hell style gameplay, intense explosions, and attractive pixel graphics. But instead of their trademark vertically scrolling shooter, Bug Panic was a dual-stick affair. We really enjoyed the game in our review, noting that it was a satisfying and unique take on the typical dual-stick shooter formula. However, Bug Panic contained a high level of difficulty, and many players felt frustrated as they got stuck at the harder levels later in the game.
CAVE has addressed this pretty effectively with the latest 1.0.1 update for Bug Panic that hit a few days ago. They have tweaked the difficulty across the board to make things more balanced, and added an auto-bomb mechanic to help prevent cheap deaths. If you have at least one explosion seed saved up (the red seeds above the charging meter that build up as you collect sap bottles), upon getting hit by an enemy or stray bullet the explosion seed will automatically detonate, creating a large blast around your character that destroys any enemies or bullets within its radius. The tradeoff is that this will wipe away any explosion seeds or collected sap bottles, but it does prevent you from losing a life and is a welcome change. The auto-bomb only works in Adventure mode, and isn't a part of the survival-like Score Trials modes.
This video explains the new auto-bomb feature, as well as gives some hints for finding the hidden Kabutans in the game:
Also worth mentioning is that since our original review a free version of Bug Panic has been made available for those who want to give the game a spin before plunking down the cash for the full version. Mushihimesama Bug Panic Lite [Free] only features the first two stages from the first world, and no Score Trial modes, but should give players an adequate taste of what to expect from the full version. In related but significantly stranger news, CAVE has also released Mushihimesama Bug Timer [Free], a kitchen timer app featuring Reco from Bug Panic. It seems like an odd thing to come from CAVE, but it's free to download and useful if you need a timer for whatever reason.
If you thought Bug Panic was a bit too hard before, check out this newest update and give the game another try. It's still a difficult game, but it feels a lot more fair with the changes that have been made. Also, make sure to give the lite version a try as Mushihimesama Bug Panic is still one of my favorite takes on the dual-stick shooter.