• Bugdom


  • Platformer


  • Pangea Software


  • Pangea Software

Release Date:

  • 1999

On Wikipedia:


  • Mac

This review is based after the one from this page, but expanded and updated. I have also written about this game's sequel, here.

Power Pete wasn't the only Jorio port I found in 2021. Bugdom, an old favorite of mine from our family iMac back in 2000, was ported too, and unlike the "official" Windows port works well without needing extra software AND has better textures more like the Mac version. I can wax nostalgic about the year 2000, and getting our pet cat around the same time, and all that, but as I found with Marble Blast Gold (except in that case, 2005), no game can really turn back the clock, no matter how "authentic" the experience is. Mostly, does Bugdom hold up?

Obviously, the 3D is a little lacking. In the year 2000 the graphics were great, a level well above what any game console on the market could manage (maybe except for the Dreamcast), and while I don't have any big problems with the camera as implemented in the original version of the game (until you start rolling at least), the distance texture is mapped out with a blurry grass photo, but it's only until you get practically right near it if you find out if it's clear space or an insurmountable wall of grass, and while the levels are somewhat linear, they tend to be a bit confusing, especially if you were trying to 100% it.

The world of Bugdom is bright and colorful, and has a good soundtrack.

At some points, Bugdom is a 3D adaptation of Power Pete but with different levels, theme, etc., with one difference being that in Power Pete you need to collect all the bunnies to beat the level, whereas Bugdom the ladybugs don't really NEED to be rescued, and if you weren't concerned with score, you can just dash for the exit. Of course, in Bugdom's case, you don't get extra points for killing baddies nor able to collect any power-ups from killing them. All health upgrades and ways to get points are hidden in walnuts spread across the level, creating a finite number of points to be earned.

While there are only 10 levels (including the boss levels, so realistically seven) and the final boss is a complete pushover, the game isn't particularly easy to complete. The third level features fish that can take out an entire life, and the fourth level has stomping feet that take out a good quarter of your HP. Mostly this is from a bad difficulty curve, which is what Inside Mac Games noted back in 1999.

Taking to the skies on the back of a dragonfly!

Despite that, there's a lot of things to like about the game and not just from nostalgia, so definitely at least give it a try. Pangea did release an online "strategy guide" that has sketches of every (non-boss) level, though it doesn't show ladybug locations or which key does what. I started a project where I attempted to fix this shortcoming (see example), but petered out on Level 4 due to some mismatching between the map given and in-game.