A Return to Papery Pleasures
When Paper Mario and A Bug’s Life collide.
Disgruntled with dumpster fire games such as Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Colour Splash? Fed up with Nintendo, Intelligent Systems and Shigeru Miyamoto betraying their Paper Mario fandom and alienating its dedicated, devoted fans? Here comes Moonsprout Games to the rescue as it aims to rekindle what is lost by releasing a spiritual successor in the form of Bug Fables.
Bug Fables promises to fulfil the wishes of the Paper Mario community that are clamouring for a true game in the same vein as Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for years since Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door or Super Paper Mario (it may did away with the traditional turn-based combat but the charm and the witty writing still remained intact).
After more than a year of development, Moonsprout Games made a decision to launch Bug Fables on Indiegogo. It raised $24,690 (123%) out of its $20,000 goal and it gained 627 backers.
The game is a turn-based RPG and it follows the budding adventurers named Vi (a female bee), Kabbu (a male beetle) and Leif (a male moth who specialises in ice magic) as they embark on a quest to search for The Everlasting Sapling, a fabled treasure capable of granting its user immortality. Just a taste of its leaves will bestow its power upon its user/users. During their escapade, they journey through the lands of Bugaria (an obvious insect pun on the European country, Bulgaria) which are known as The Ant Kingdom, Snakemouth Den, Golden Hills, The Lost Sands and the Bee Kingdom.
Concerning the game, it contains six chapters (instead of the usual eight chapters from Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door), an old-school turn-based combat, action commands (if the buttons are inputted correctly, the attacks will deal more damage to the enemies), a cooking system (if asked, the NPC can turn the ingredients into items to aid players in battle) and a tattle system (it lets players to discover information about their foes, their HP, their strengths and their weaknesses).
Unlike its predecessors, it improved upon the turn-based battle system with brand-new, never-before-seen twists such as Turn Relay (team members can pass their turns amongst themselves to uncover their enemies’ weaknesses) and Front Bonus (the insect who is in front of the pack will receive +1 attack but the foes will target the frontrunning character). Alongside the team based, turn-based combat is the weakness system (each of the party members’ strengths are more potent against adversaries. A well thought out strategy is key in order to defeat their opponents in a short period of time).
On that note, the medal system (identical to the badge system) allows the players to customise their play style. While exploring the locales, equipments can be acquired to unlock extra skills and new abilities, change their stats and alter the difficulty level of the game.
Additionally, there are puzzles to solve within the locations and side-quests (which the inhabitants of each area send the main protagonists on).
According to the latest trailer, Bug Fables is slated to be released for PlayStation 4, Steam and Nintendo Switch and it’s published by Dangen Entertainment (of Joakim Sandberg’s Iconoclasts fame) this year. An official launch date is yet to be confirmed.
Alternatively, Scrap Story is another spiritual successor akin to the first two Paper Mario games. As of writing, there is little in the way of describing its storyline and gameplay seeing as there isn’t much information at the moment.
In order to keep up to date with Bug Fables’ game development, follow the members of the Moonsprout Games team on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, follow the game’s official Twitter account or join its Discord server.
Regarding the developing team members, the team composes of Márcio Cleiton (programmer and animator), José Fernando Gracia (writer, designer and concept artist), Tristan Alric (game soundtrack composer), Allison (character design artist), Poppy De Raad (she provides the game with a polished coat of paint, working on the icons for the items, recipes and badges. She also assists in creating the props for the 3D maps) and Stefan Moser (he is behind making the in-game sound effects).
Hopefully Moonsprout Games will achieve what Playtonic Games and Toys For Bob failed to set out to do with Yooka-Laylee and Spyro Reignited Trilogy respectively. In other words, Playtonic Games and Team 17 and Toys For Bob and Activision dashed people’s hopes, dreams and wishes, which in effectively (in a negative manner), their efforts of pleasing their consumers and fanbase were in vain.
Follow Bug Fables and the Moonsprout Games’ team members on social media!
Márcio Cleiton’s Facebook page/account
José Fernando Gracia’s Twitter page/account
Tristan Alric’s website
Alison’s Twitter page/account
Poppy De Raad’s Twitter page/account
Stefan Moser’s Soundcloud page/account