Overview

Something mysterious is happening in the insect kingdom, and as Reco, it’s your job to bring order back to Shinju Forest. Cave Co.’s new dual stick shooter, based off a legendary arcade game, will have you frantically eliminating enemies and collecting gold pieces in a whirlwind of purple metal.

Features

The heart of Mushihimesama Bug Panic lies in its adventure mode, in which you travel through several worlds in hopes of defeating the evil that occupies them. After completing a certain level, you also unlock the 2 score trial modes for that world. Your goal in the timed and endless socre trials is to rack up as many points as possible while staying alive. The game has Game Center integration with leaderboards and plenty of achievements to earn.

Mushihimesama Bug Panic is only compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 3G, and iPad. In order to sync the game, iPad users need to have the iOS 4.2 update installed on their device. The game also functions much better with the latest iOS regardless of what device you have.

The Good

If you’re played Espgaluda or Dodonpachi Resurrection, you’re probably already familiar with the challenging nature of Cave’s games. This one is no different, and you’ll have to move around the map cautiously and avoid getting hit by anything in order to survive. The different worlds are really fun, and each of them has its own monsters and graphics. High scores for each level are dependent largely on the hit combos that can be earned by killing many monsters in a short period of time. 38 Game Center achievements should be more than enough to keep you busy, as it’ll take some effort and patience to unlock them all.

Mushihimesama Bug Panic has unique controls that are more fun to use than those of most dual stick shooters. The left stick is still used for character movement, but the right stick lets you move an aim reticle around on your screen to fire a burst seed instead of simply shooting in a direction. This and a lock-on option allow for you to utilize your weapons more accurately. 3 control options let you choose whether or not you want your control sticks to remain in one spot on the screen.

The game has some great anime artwork, including cutscenes at the start of each world. The most impressive graphical moments are those in which there are hundreds of bullets flying around on the screen that will kill you upon impact. Hectic storms of death brew quite frequently, especially during boss fights, and provide an amazing experience on any device. Aside from the sound that Reco makes when she loses a life, the audio is good with some intense background music.

The Bad

There are times when the game glitches, most of them occurring when there are many sprites on the screen. Sometimes, a single bullet or bump with an enemy will kill Reco. Other times, the bullet will pass right through her as if it were nonexistent and a collision with a boss will leave your character in perfect health. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s extremely unpredictable and quite confusing.

The game is very demanding when it comes to hardware, and can only be installed on newer devices with the latest iOS. Be sure to close all running background apps before launching Mushihimesama, as otherwise some undesired lag could be experienced. Even then, there are periodic times where the game will freeze up for a split second or so. Make sure you know whether or not your iDevice is compatible with the game before you hit the blue button. A lite version should be released soon so that you can confirm that the game will run before purchasing.

The Verdict

If you’ve had an iPhone for some time, then you probably already have a collection of dual stick shooters and are wondering if you really need another one. As long as you meet the heavy hardware requirements, this game should feel very challenging and will provide you with a decent amount of play time. Mushihimesama Bug Panic is a must buy for $4.99 and a fantastic overall experience with all the action you could ask for.