Bugdom is a third-person, action, platform computer game developed by Pangea Software for the Macintosh and was included with the iMac DV 2000 and later iBook models, as well as the PC by Gathering of Developers, and later Ideas From the Deep following the acquiring of Gathering via Take-Two Interactive in 2002. However, Take-Two apparently continued publishing illegal copies of Bugdom, prompting Ideas From the Deep to contact the FBI's crime division. Despite this, Take-Two continued to publish copies following the debate. It was released in North America on December 1, 1999.
Bugdom's story centers on the Bugdom, a kingdom inhabited by insects that appears as an outdoors bug environment. Originally, the kingdom was peacefully ruled by the rollie pollies and ladybugs, but not long ago, the kingdom was overthrown by the tyrannic and pompous King Thorax, leader of an evil clan of fire ants, as well as their evil follower bugs recruited prior to the kingdom's downfall. Thorax now rules the kingdom with an iron fist, and the ladybugs have been imprisoned in spider web cages scattered across the environment. The player assumes the role of main protagonist Rollie McFly, who has survived the ambush of the kingdom by taking refuge in the lawn area. Rollie must travel to Thorax's anthill on the distant reaches of the Bugdom, while freeing various trapped ladybugs along the way.
It was generally well received by critics, being praised for its graphics, gameplay and soundtrack but criticized for certain technical glitches as well as gameplay repetition, and sold fairly well, enough to warrant a sequel, Bugdom 2, which was released on December 30, 2002, and starred a grasshopper named Skip who attempts to retrieve his stolen knapsack from a large Bully Bee as opposed to Rollie McFly. As of March 1, 2002, it has sold over 30,000 copies worldwide, prompting Pangea to rerelease the game as a shareware release.
Players navigate through ten different stages as Rollie. Rollie has the ability to jump, kick, and roll, the latter two of which can be used to attack most hostile enemies. Nuts are scattered throughout the level which, upon being opened, have power-ups, keys, clovers, or enemies. Gates can only be opened when Rollie has the appropriate colored key. Lady bugs are trapped at several points of each level and can be freed by kicking their web cages. When Rollie reaches the level exit, a hollow log to be exact, the players score is tallied based on the number of ladybugs freed, the number of clovers found, and if all four pieces of the blue clover has been found. In Level 9, if you found all 4 gold clovers in the entire game, which are levels 2, 6, 8, and 9, they will be tallied in that level. Here are the levels:
- Level 1: Training - The level is short and easy. It is designed to get you familiar with the game.
- Level 2: The Lawn - The level is very large, so it's very helpful to be on the ball. The boxer flies are all over the level, so being on the ball can eliminate tons of them. The keys in the level are far away to their gates, so you will have to do a lot of exploring in this level. You will be able to swim in this level, but hopping in patches of water instead is much faster.
- Level 3: The Pond - You will need to ride the water taxi to get across the pond without being eaten by killer fish. Be careful jumping on lily pads.
- Level 4: The Forest (sometimes known as "The Garden") - This level contains many new things: spiders, bees, stomping feet, etc. One fun part of this level is riding dragonflies. Riding dragonflies is like riding the water taxi except you are in the air and you can shoot fireballs with the mouse button or kick key. But fly too high and you're bat bait.
- Level 5: Hive Attack - You're in a small forest area with a tree stump that has a beehive swarming with flying bees. Your job is to destroy the hive using the dragonfly's fireballs.
- Level 6: The Beehive - You'll have to jump on detonator plungers to burst doors in this level and battle bees and grub. Avoid falling into honey - you'll sink automatically and die.
- Level 7: Queen Bee - Here the bad thing is the queen bee. She is difficult to kill, but once you see her pattern, you'll form a strategy.
- Level 8: Night Attack - This is the most intense level in the entire game. The main goal here is simply to survive and not go in circles. All over this level are spear-throwing and rock-throwing ants along with large groups of fire-breathing ants and toxic gas roaches, bundles of slugs and caterpillars, rock boulders falling from cliffs, pits of dangerous slime, intense hills, and terrible glowing bugs that carry you far away to dangerous areas in the level.
- Level 9: The Anthill - You have entered the dark and deadly anthill. You will have to make it across walls of fire and pools of lava. You will also encounter many fire-breathing ants along with a group of ghost ants and toxic gas roaches. Be sure not to go on hidden paths in the level. This level is pretty straightforward, so just follow the beaten path and you'll eventually find the hollow log and exit the level.
- Level 10: King Thorax - This is it. If you can defeat King Thorax, you will become ruler of Bugdom. You'll need to lure King Thorax to the pipes, then kick them to render him vulnerable.
The game is set in an outdoors bug environment, in the Bugdom, a kingdom once ruled by insects, namely the rollie pollies and ladybugs that was overthrown by a clan of fire ants who captured all of the Lady Bugs and held them as prisoners, leaving their leader, King Thorax, to rule the land. The player visits several colorful locations throughout the kingdom, namely a lawn (levels 1 and 2), a pond (level 3), a forest which resembles a bug's interpretation of a garden (levels 4 and 5), a beehive (levels 6 and 7), a nighttime-themed level (level 8), and an anthill (levels 9 and 10).
There are lots of insects out to kill Rollie so he must survive and save the Bugdom. Some bugs help though.
- Ladybugs - They once ruled the Bugdom with Rollie McFly until trapped in webs by the terrible minions of the anthill led by a giant ant in the name of Thorax. Now Rollie has to rescue them by kicking the web trap, making the beautiful bugs fly to safety. They appear in every level except level 7 and 10, the last two bosses.
- Buddy bugs (bees) - These small striped bugs behind Rollie are like smart bombs that can immediately be shot on enemies, killing them. They come from nuts and are in handy when Rollie is being attacked by lots of enemies. They appear in all of the levels.
- Termites - These are minor enemies in the Bugdom that come from nuts. They appear in probably all of the levels.
- Slugs - These large fat creatures are invincible, so they must be avoided. They appear in levels 1, 2, 3, and 8.
- Boxer flies - These green flies have boxing gloves. The player needs to kick or roll into them quickly, or Rollie's in for some pain. They appear in levels 1 and 2.
- Spear throwing ants - These minions of King Thorax have ugly faces and spears. They must be attacked three times before they die. They also hate water. There's also a variety that throws rocks in levels 2 and 8. They appear in levels 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9.
- Mosquitoes - These female flies attack Rollie from above and drain both his life and rolling energy, swelling their heads. Rollie must attack them when their noses are impaled in the ground. They appear in level 3.
- Water hoppers - These buggers are invincible like the slugs and must be avoided at all costs. They appear in level 3.
- Water spider - He is an aquatic taxi. If Rollie gives him a coin, the water spider will offer him a ride, making Rollie avoid the killer fish. He appears in level 3.
- Killer fish - These fish eat Rollie, resulting in an instant kill. They can be avoided by riding the water spider. They appear in level 3.
- Human feet - These pounding feet do big damage to Rollie, even if he runs into them from the side. They appear in level 4.
- Spiders - These eight legged monsters drop down in front of Rollie. They attack by shooting web. They've made webs that King Thorax's minion fire ants have trapped ladybugs in. One of them appears on the main menu. They appear in level 4 and 5.
- Dragonflies - These green insects will offer Rollie a flight and can shoot fireballs (a spoof on actual dragons). They appear in level 4 and 5.
- Bats - These mammals are a danger of riding the dragonfly. If the player flies over the wooden fence, a bat eats Rollie, resulting in an instant kill. They appear in level 4 and 5.
- Caterpillars - These spiky creatures are like the slugs but bigger. They appear in level 4, 5 and 8.
- Bees - These striped monsters follow Rollie wherever he goes. When they sting him, they die. They can be painlessly dispatched by rolling into them. They appear in level 4, 5, 6 and 7.
- Bee grubs - These small white grubs with bee faces can be killed either by being kicked or being jumped on. They appear in level 6 and 7.
- Drone bees - These muscular bees can fire their stingers but they die if they fire them. If Rollie is on the ball, they will pound try to pound their fists instead. They appear in level 6 and 7.
- Queen bee - This giant bee can spew blobs of honey that generate lots of bees. When fighting her, avoid the shadows as they have spikes. Roll into her face to defeat her. Also, you can shoot buddy bugs at this female giant. She appears in level 7.
- Fire ants - These elite soldiers of King thorax can fly and shoot fire. They can be defeated by using a buddy bug. They appear in level 8, 9 and 10.
- Fireflies - If they see you in their flashing glow, these annoying creatures can carry Rollie off to somewhere that could kill him. They will explode if shot by a buddy bug. They appear in level 8.
- Toxic gas roaches - These cockroaches have green gas masks that protect them from the toxic slime. In level 8, the slime they leave behind explodes, so they die without Rollie having to fight them. He will have to fight them himself in level 9 though.
- Ghost ants - If you kill a spear throwing ant in level 9, he will rise again as a ghost ant. He cannot be kicked but he will die if he is in lava or water. If you hide for a while, he will dissipate.
- King Thorax - The game's final boss. The king of the fire ants can shoot sparks from his staff and to defeat him, Rollie will have to kick the water pipes so they quench the fire on his head, then kick him. After he repeats this process, King Thorax will fall and the game will be completed.
The Mac OS version of Bugdom received generally positive reviews, according to a 70% on GameRankings. Dziga Robilev of IGN rated Bugdom a 7/10, calling it "one of the best crafted platform games available for the Mac." However, Robilev also stated "The only thing holding this baby back is that the levels themselves don't offer enough variety. There is a lot of the same activity being performed over and over again. Still, the game is a fun play and younger gamers will definitely have a good time with it." MacMagazin rated the game a 6/6 Mac score, saying "We are sure: Bugdom will be the summer hit this year among the Mac games." iMacSidian rated the game a 5/5, saying "Bugdom really fills the huge gap of platform games for the Mac... The graphics are absolutely top notch - you have to see it to believe it." Mac Gamer's Ledge rated the game a 4.5 out of 5 score, calling it "a feast for the eyes and ears." AppleLinks called the game's musical score "fantastic" and called the game "one of the first games that really can be enjoyed by both children and adults." Inside Mac Games rated the game a 4/5, saying "Bugdom is certainly a great game... and it is good enough to rival many of the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation titles that it is similar to. Its easy-to-grasp controls and interface are almost totally transparent, even to new users, and the feel of the game is just plush and polished - as is the look."
There is also a sequel to Bugdom, which is called Bugdom 2. It featured a similar style of gameplay, but with a grasshopper who has to get his knapsack back by going in and around a house.
- Bugdom - Description. Pangea Software. 1999-12-01.
- "IGN: Bugdom II". IGN. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- Deniz, Tuncer (2002-03-01). "Bugdom Goes Shareware". Inside Mac Games. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- "GameRankings: Bugdom". GameRankings. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- Robilev, Dziga (2002-06-07). "IGN: Bugdom Review". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
- "Pangea Software: Bugdom Reviews". Pangea Software. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-19.[dead link]