Bugsnax is categorized as “Psychological Horror,” and it’s no mistake

Bugsnax has the Psychological Horror category on Steam, despite seemingly like a cute game for kids.
Image: Young Horses

Anyone who’s seen Bugsnax on Steam’s store page was probably met with the same impression I was. Bugsnax, to anyone with a sane perspective, appears to be an incredibly adorable little puzzle game probably aimed at kids. Because of this, the huge “Psychological Horror” category on the Steam page had me confused, but it’s obvious now that this is no mistake and Bugsnax might be one of the most horrifying concepts I’ve seen in a game recently.

For those who don’t want spoilers for the Bugsnax story and experience, read no further. However, spoiling yourself a little just might make you interested in a game that does a good job of hiding its true colors on the surface.

Bugsnax Psychological Horror
Image: Valve / Try Hard Guides

Bugsnax is a game about discovering, trapping, and eating the titular Bugsnax, who are bug-snack hybrids that come in a wide variety of snackable forms. Throughout the game, you help the cast of puppet-like grumps solve problems both internal and external, and at points they go into surprisingly deep concepts such as loss, body image, self-doubt, and relationship difficulties among plenty of other things.

When the twist of the game is finally revealed, so much becomes obvious. See, Bugsnax aren’t simply bug-snacks, but they’re parasites that consume the host from the inside out. As you reach the game’s ending, you discover that the island itself is nothing but a giant horde of Bugsnax that seeks to assimilate the cast into itself.

The Bugsnax parasite warps both your body and your mind, making you crave more and more while bringing out your fears and insecurities so you try to drown them with more snax. That’s why every quest line for the game’s cast of side characters is you feeding them more and bigger snax until they are forced to realize it isn’t working. Luckily enough the player character is allergic to them, otherwise no one would have survived.

The sheer level of muppet-centric horror in Bugsnax’s story is amazing, and it is shocking how well they manage to hide it from unsuspecting players looking to get into it. Themes like body horror, cosmic horror and the human experience are delivered brutally well in this game that otherwise seems to just be about bugs and snacks.

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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