Slug Bugs Review

By , on May 31, 2011

Slug Bugs
  • Publisher: Ghost LLC
  • Genre: Family
  • Released: 22 May, 2011
  • Size: 18.0 MB
  • Price: $1.99
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Fun cartoonish style; backgrounds shift and change as levels progress.
  • 3D audio allows you to go beyond your visual reaction speed.
  • Broad device support (only those with first gen iPhone/iPod and iPhone 3G devices miss out).


  • Repetitive challenge; a common pitfall for whack-a-mole titles.


3D audio in a whack-a-mole style game? Yup, Slug Bugs manages to turn a childhood game in to something far more engaging through its natural sounding audio, making you feel like a speed demon as you tap cars almost as soon as they appear.

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I'd be surprised if you haven't played 'Punch Buggy' at least once in your life, be it seriously as a kid or for a laugh as a teen or an adult. If you're not familiar with the children's game, the basic idea is to punch someone's arm on sighting a VW Beetle while saying 'Punch Buggy!'. There are variants, but it's a fun (if painful) way to pass time on long road trips. Slug Bugs by 'Action = Reaction Labs' converts the kid's classic in to a whack-a-mole style game, but with an interesting twist - it uses binaural audio.

Recently 'Papa Sangre' showed off one of the potential uses of 3D audio, creating a first-person adventure without the use of graphics (almost like a text-parsed adventure game, but taking place inside your head instead). It's an exciting tool, but a resource intensive one too, making it hard to encorporate in most titles.

As such it's no surprise that Slug Bugs is such a simple game, with players taking stabs at Volkswagon vehicles while avoiding the police. Bonuses are awarded for chains and hitting multiple cars at the same time, but you'll need to be careful as you only get three 'misses' before getting a game over. Keeping track of incoming cars is a snap thanks to the use of the developers 'Ghost 3D Audio' system and despite the game speeding up considerably you should be able to react with speed and accuracy.

While it may be odd to include '3D audio' in such a basic title, the result is something far more engaging than merely tapping over and over, making this a great pick up for casual and younger gamers after something out of the ordinary.


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