Bug Village : a real pest of a game

Bug Village Windows Phone

Bug Village Windows Phone

Bug Village Windows Phone

It’s a free Live game!

Only it isn’t, not really. It’s a ‘free’ game in the same way that Farmville and countless other Facebook titles are ‘free’ – that is to say that you don’t have to pay to play the game, but you won’t get very far without doing so. For anyone familiar with the types of game I’m talking about, what I’m about to describe won’t come as a surprise, but this is how the game works:

You’re given a small amount of materials for constructing items – buildings for your ‘bug village’. You’re also given a tiny amount of coins. These coins are used to pay for special objects, and to hurry actions up. Something you’ll want to do a lot, as even the most basic action takes a long time – the average building takes an hour to construct. A bug can collect a small amount of materials from a pile (which you have to pay materials to construct) in fifteen minutes, while more significant quantities take either two or six hours. Presented with activity times of this length you’ll quickly find yourself reaching for the ‘hurry’ button in order to get anything done.

This is further encouraged by the fact that your bugs operate on a consistently depleting energy bar, replenished only by feeding them – which, of course, costs you materials. Let them run out of energy and they stop working – and worse, any materials they’d collected (which you have to click on to add to your stores) immediately disappear. As such, it can be necessary to speed up actions in order to get your materials in time to feed your bugs so they can continue to harvest materials – it’s a never-ending slog, and one fuelled by coins.

Coins which can only be replenished by paying money – real money, through the Marketplace. Developer Glu’s scheme for making money is plain to see, and far from new – this is, as I already mentioned, a system commonly seen in many of the games cluttering Facebook. And it is, quite frankly, a cynical, insidious system of monetization, relying on a simple feedback loop to ensure people keep playing and, more importantly, paying. The aim isn’t so much to create a game that you want to do your best to succeed, but rather one where it feels like you’re a failure if you don’t pay it regular enough attention. It’s a case of carrot and stick, only the carrot has been removed from the equation, replaced simply by an absence of stick.

Even the simple pleasure of seeing your ‘village’ grow is neutered by the simple fact that this is an ugly game. In the place of the simple, attractive 2D imagery that helped make Farmville an appealing title, Bug Village has a collection of bland polygonal constructs: the eponymous bugs lack any character or charm, furnished with only the most basic animation routines, and just seem to clutter the place up, while the buildings you can place somehow manage to be even less attractive. Perhaps insects aren’t the easiest creatures to make charming, but then 1994′s Battle Bugs managed to do much more with far less technology behind it, so…

In short, Bug Village isn’t just an example of an unpleasant, cynical genre designed to drag people in and extract money from them through our natural desire to succeed and nurture our creations; it is a poor example of that genre. It may ostensibly be free, but I find nothing to recommend here. A waste of your time and bandwidth.

Bug Village xBox Live Achievements

  • Acorn Ace (20 points): Collect 300,000 acorns.
  • Bug Breeder (15 points): Attract 20 bugs in the village.
  • Ding! (20 points): Reach level 25.
  • Lady Helper (10 points): Help 100 Ladybugs.
  • Bug Tapper (5 points): Tap 25 bugs.
  • Air Freshener (10 points): Get rid of 100 Stinky Bugs.
  • Great Decorator (20 points): Place 50 decorations.

Bug Village Gameplay Video

Bug Village Screenshots

Version Under Review : 1.0.0.0

Bug Village is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7

Our Rating for Bug Village

Rating


Scan this QRcode with Bing vision ( Hit the hardware Search button and click on the small icon that looks like an eye ) on your Phone to download the App to your phone.

Price : Free
Marketplace Download   OR Code

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  • BenRayCzar

    I’m on level 16. I wanna see how far i can go without spending a single cent.

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  • F Blanchard

    Why can I not collect acorns from my beetles
    Plus I paid for two white roses and they disappeared

  • Sayonical

    I think those Achievements are hard to get unless you have a lot of patience or willing to buy coins. I’m on level 15 now lets see how far I can go spending $0.

    On a side note galaxy guy is impossible to beat unless you buy the slow downs. -__- [Posted from the 1800PocketPC app]

  • SilverWheel

    I can get past the Freemium nature of this title, but this game is seriously glitchy, especially as you level up. Once you get the Great Decorator achievement (or just have a lot of decorations in your village) the screen starts to go black randomly as you swipe and pinch in and out. Putting items in “storage” — which there is no way to access once you decide to put something there, by the way — will fix this issue, but it shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

    Also, around level 13 or so, everyone in the WP7 market place (including me) have been complaining about how events like the Stinkbugs, Lady Bugs, and Ant Lions stop spawning all together, which makes it impossible to get two of the achievements for the game as well as multiple quests in the game. The Leaderboards don’t work and there are a lot of social aspects that are available in Android and iOS versions of the game that aren’t in the WP7 release.

    I don’t care about waiting for things to “harvest” or that there is a pay-to-play aspect to the game — although I wouldn’t suggest it as a game for kids who might be likely to purchase Microsoft Points off their parent’s gamertag without understanding that that means — because it’s easy enough to level up without having to purchase coins or acorns at all. I check in maybe three times a day, spend two minutes doing what I can, then exit and move on with my life.

  • Bill

    When starting the missions, come out of the game and set your clock forward on the phone. Go back to the game ;o)

  • Tyler

    How on Earth does a game that is “a waste of your time and bandwidth” get a 3/5 AVERAGE score?

    • wiper

      BestWP7Games’s style guide reserves 2/5 and 1/5 for games that are glitchy (in the former) and utterly broken (in the latter) – for all its flaws I literally couldn’t give Bug Village a lower score due to it, well, actually working. I just have to hope that people read more than just the number!

      • Tyler

        Interesting scoring system, thanks for responding.

        And I do agree the Bug Village is really bad.

  • theOriginalFu

    I have no interest in even trying these stupid freemium games. The only thing that caught my attention for this article was the title and I wanted to see just had disappointing the experience was.

  • Jimbo Bear

    wiper you got a new fan.

    An excellent review my friend. Unlike some of the review sites where all xbox live games are always 5/5 stars

  • http://wp-games.pl Puszaty

    - Coin info is saved inside the game file, which allows to add an arbitrary amount of money on an unlocked phone.
    - Game time relies on the system time. Therefore it’s possible to adjust time and instead of waiting 48h, we wait 2 minutes.
    - Game save -If I’m not mistaken, for Microsoft Points you buy things that become the player’s property. Games, avatar extras, are buoght forever. Here, no matter how many coins I buy, how many items I unlock, how much I spend on accelerating time, it’s sufficient to uninstall the game (phone change, system change, hard reset, misbehaving game) and everything will be lost, that is, real money paid on Microsoft Points.

    Yep this is “cynical” games.

    Regards,
    Paweł (xbl Puszaty)

  • TheKillFloor

    Is anyone else having the black screen issue? I can see menu items, but the entire board is black! Maybe I have too many piles and ant houses? I’ve contacted GLU but haven’t heard a word…

  • MagooChris

    Oh man! I really really hope they have a way to block those in game purchases or this game will have to go… My 7 yr old cousin gets my phone every now and again and plays games and I don’t want him accidentally buying the in game items… [Posted from the 1800PocketPC app]

    • http://www.1800pocketpc.com Saijo George

      I think this will just be the start of freemium titles on Windows Phone. Many games adopt this model over the paid model these days

  • Tick-Tick-Boom

    Its freemium and that my friends is crap

  • Willen

    One note. This is not free, it is freemium. It has in app purchases (using xbox points)

    willen

  • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

    DANG!!! £1.10 per gold coin, 11p per acorn!!!

    10 gold = 160mp
    30 gold = 400mp
    65 gold = 800mp
    100 gold = 1200mp
    140 gold = 1600mp

    1000 acorns = 160mp
    3000 acorns = 400mp
    6500 acorns = 800mp
    10000 acorns = 1200mp
    14000 acorns = 1600mp

    hidden charges to play this… or zap your battery while you play the 36hour FIRST mission…

  • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

    Wot, No trial!?!

    • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

      OIC!!! its a FREE game :D

      thanx m$/glu

  • BF3God

    Does anyone know if i can start a job then leave the game on and come back to have the work completed ?

    • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

      the work will not complete whilst the game is not in the foreground.

      only whilst the game is onscreen can the timers count down.

      • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

        If you close the game the timer does in fact continue.

        If you setup a 6hour job and leave the app closed, time still ticks on.

  • TheBug

    Does the time keep running when I close the game ?

    • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

      no, it does not.

      to test yourself, turn on screensaver, then wait a few minutes, return and the time on the clock remains the same

      • http://hd-wmv.com bAN01TgAZ

        correction: time does in fact continue, as long as the game is closed.

        if its in the background the timer freezes.

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  • TheUnbeatable

    FREE XBOX Live game .. Woo hoo!