Bug Village is a free game available for the windows phone via the marketplace. The game is played via XboxLive on the windows phone and as such has achievements. What is rare for a free game on windows phone is one that comes with 200 achievement points vs 50, and this one comes with 200. The game itself fills a gap that exists in the xbox live windows phone market, but it does it poorly. Potential is high, but what it delivers is low. In any case, there is no point arguing against a free game.
The game-play takes after that of popular real-time social games on Facebook like farmville. However, this one is about you tending to a village of bugs. The variety is slim in the bugs though (you will only ever encounter 5 types of bugs). The premise is that you can build decorations, ant mounds, beehives, piles and flowers to make a village. Decorations are just as you would think, nothing but decorative. Ant mounds and beehives bring in new ants and bees respectively (you can upgrade these further to bring in more ants and bees as well). Then the piles and flowers are farm-able for acorns via ants and bees respectively. It is a concept that is much like that of farmville and other games made popular via zynga and various others. To complete tasks, and build houses takes a lot of time in real time (many hours at a time). The idea is that you load the game often but you only spend a few minutes in it at a time. These types of games tend to be very addictive, so be careful.
One problem with this game is the variety, and the lack of upgrades. You really can’t do a whole lot unless you plan on spending human money in the game to buy coins. If you do not plan on buying coins, the game can become quite tedious (which is the route I have gone). Regardless the options you get when buying coins are not that greater (can build a few more structures, decorations and upgrade your houses further). Likely not worth it, but you can be the judge. Like I said, it has little variety. You put your ants and bees on piles and flowers and just wait. Occasionally there’s a lady bug you can hit, a stink bug you can hit 3 times (he moves each time), and an ant lion that you have to tap a bunch to remove. Each one of those guys gives you a little xp and some acorns. This helps out to begin with, but the benefit is miniscule later on.
As you go up in levels you are able to build more ant houses, bee hives, piles and flowers. That’s right, there are limits. So, hoarding acorns does almost nothing. The leveling system almost ruins it as in later levels you have to wait days just so you can build 1 more item. This is an example of leveling done wrong in a video game.
Then this brings us to the graphics, those are terrible. I only say terrible due to the screen tearing and blacking out of the screen from time to time. The actual drawing of the game is quite nice (and what you would expect). The problem is that once you have a certain number of items on the screen your screen will go blank depending on where you are or how zoomed in you are. This becomes incredibly annoying. These bugs alone, make the game a good reason not to invest real money into the in game currency.
Speaking of the in game currency. When you check out the cost for the items, it’s quite atrocious how expensive it is. You can buy acorns which you can collect normally in the game, or you can buy coins. For instance, it’s 10 coins for 5 bucks. 10 coins will let you upgrade 1 build one time, or speed up 5 tasks. That doesn’t seem worth it to me, does it to you?
Achievements might be the only reason one will play this game (this is the case for myself). The game is free, and the achievements are all attainable without any skill. 200G for achievement’s is also quite a nice pile of score to your name for free, not to mention another 100 percent to add to the list. There are only a few achievements here. Let me talk them out real quick.
- Air Freshener: get rid of 100 stink bugs
- A quick tip here. These are annoying to get, so to help maintain sanity just keep a tally of how many you have hit. I thought I had had 100 well before I did so it was making me more upset. The amount of time you spend peering through the bushes in the game looking for the silly guys is atrocious.
- Lady helper: help 100 ladybugs
- A quick tip here, this is mega easy. Just keep clicking them (one click does it). Plus, it’s 50 acorns a pop!
- Great Decorator: Placed 50 decorations
- This is as simple as it sounds, buy decorations and place 50 of them. Tip though: buy the single grass fence piece. It is the cheapest and allows you to get the 50 pieces quicker. When you finish placing 50, you can delete the pieces by opening the decoration window and clicking a decoration on the map (choose the weird box shape in the middle of the 3 choices that come up, this will remove it). Removing the decorations is a must, as later in the game having less items on the map reduces the issue of the screen going black.
- Bug Breeder: Have 20 bugs in the village
- Play the game, you’ll get 20 bugs eventually.
- Bug tapper: tapped 25 bugs
- Just tap a bug, and it will do some silly animation. The bee does a loopy loop and the ant looks like he gets a bit annoyed. I’m sure you can get this by accident, or you can just tap 25 different bugs.
- Acorn ace: collect 300,000 acorns
- Collecting acorns is the point of the game, so this should come naturally well before you hit level 25. One note here, use the bigger flowers and bigger piles and run for the longer periods of time. This gives the biggest return on investment.
- Ding!: Reach level 25
- Play the game, you shall get there. It will take a very long time though.
Well that is a quick summary of the achievements, quite attainable. I’m sure the reward of farming a few achievements may feel worth it despite the flaws? Well, you know what they say though: you can’t argue with free.