Igloo Games already wowed us twice with Dizzy Bee and Dizzy Bee 2. The third time is another charm thanks to Bed Bugs, which applies Dizzy Bee’s super-slick style to a much crazier kind of gameplay. Its refreshing intensity will snap anyone out of a stupor.
Bed Bugs’ focus is a cartoony little dude sleepwalking across each of the game’s levels. As he obliviously dreams on his feet, all kinds of nasty nightmares flow into the screen to assault him.
If one of these “bed bugs” is left unattended for too long, the sleeper will lose a Z off of his sleep meter. Once all the Zs are gone, he’s in for a rude awakening… and a rough day at the office, we assume. You have to use multitouch to pop the dream beasties fast and hang the Zs back up on that meter.
Plenty of other shooting gallery, Whack-A-Mole, and bubble popping games have players tapping away at the screen like idiot pigeons. However, Bed Bugs demands far more from the player than simple reflexes. There are dozens of different kinds of targets, and they each take a different kind of timing trick or touch input to beat.
For instance, basic bugs are defeated with a touch, but before long, some will periodically armor up. If you touch an armored bug, you lose a Z instead of gaining one. Then there are fairies that are like the hostages in shooting gallery games–don’t hit them, or else–followed by bubble and flower bugs that take multiple taps to beat.
And then things start to get really wild. Balloon bugs take an extended touch and hold to pop; paired bugs must be touched simultaneously; cows have to be touched and shaken; and queen bugs take an upward flip to beat.
On and on it goes. The further you travel, the tougher the game gets in terms of sheer volume and speed. The levels also start to throw combinations at you to tie up your fingers. Plus, every time an unfamiliar bug pops up, you only have a limited amount of time to figure out how to get rid of it.
Bed Bugs has a really charming presentation, too. The googly-eyed bugs are extremely squishable, and they make wonderful noises whenever you dispose of them.
Eventually, Bed Bugs does start to falter a little bit. The multitouch controls are good, but they don’t always hold up under pressure, particularly when you have to start dragging and tossing multiple objects around. The game’s bag of tricks gradually empties.
Even so, this game is a lot more fun than most other bubble-poppers. It’s a great two-dollar ride.