Hello PlayStation fans! I’m Kevin Zuhn, creative director at Young Horses. If you haven’t heard, Bugsnax is getting a free update soon called Isle of Bigsnax, and the release is tantalizingly close. Given that, I thought I’d take some time to dive into the delicious details of the five new features coming to Bugsnax.
exploring a new island
Bigsnax’s titular island is a whole new biome to play on, twice the size of any other. Bugsnax are similarly large (but more on that later). You and your fellow grumps are shocked when this new landmass emerges from the ocean off the coast of Snaktooth Island. You’ll quickly gather a group of volunteers, including Chandlo, Floofty, Triffany, and Shelda, and work your way up to investigate their mysteries.
With this area, we put a greater emphasis on environmental puzzles that put your tools to the test. You will come across vertical mazes that can only be navigated with your buggy ball, and they increase in complexity; some are even inhabited by mischievous snakes. There are also mechanical ruins that can be opened with clever use of your shot and its ability to spread fires. Fun fact: a temple door opening from a burning fire might sound fantastic, but we took inspiration from the real-life works of Archimedes.
Like I said, the new island is home to an absolutely massive collection of Bugsnax. They are so big that they can ignore your usual traps and tools. So how do you catch them? Well, there is a useful substance on the island called Shrink Spice. Throwing it at a Bigsnak will shrink it down to a much more manageable size, giving you a chance to catch it. Unfortunately, the spice is extremely volatile, and once you pick it up, you have 30 seconds to use it before it explodes.
Even with Shrink Spice, Bigsnax won’t be a piece of cake; they have many other defenses. The Clawbsteroni (a lobster made from macaroni and cheese), for example, uses a giant trampoline to bounce spice away from its head. In addition to the familiar Bunger Royale, all of the snax on the island are brand new, so there’s a lot to discover about their behaviors and abilities. We had a lot of fun coming up with skins for them, and this update gave us the opportunity to include both bugs and food that we didn’t have room for the first time.
decorate your shack
Of course, the island itself isn’t the only thing worth seeing in this update. Back in Snaxburg, Filbo introduces you to your very own cabin. We had always wanted to give the player a home among his grumpy friends, but he was sadly left on the cutting room floor. Still, we left a half-finished cabin in Snaxburg in the hope that one day it might become something more.
In fact, your cabin starts out as a humble pile of wood, but over time it can grow into a luxurious two-story abode. You can decorate and customize the cabin with all sorts of unique furniture, wallpaper, and lawn decorations (my favorite is a grumpy twenty-foot-tall skeleton). There are about 180 decorations to collect. How do you find yourself with all these decorations? Good…
check your mail
Your cabin is also linked to a new set of activities sent through the mailbox. The town grumps will send you requests and challenges, and every time you complete one you’ll receive a thank you letter with some goodies attached. You’ll also receive cards and gifts to mark various milestones throughout the game (so returning players will have quite a few jackpots to start with).
We have created these letter challenges to encourage players to explore the game in new ways. You could be tasked with observing a unique Bugsnak behavior, solving a puzzle, or climbing to the top of a level. One of my favorites is putting up ads for the Cromdo Mart in Snaxburg. The letters are also full of jokes, anecdotes, and secrets from your favorite grumps, so we hope you enjoy reading them.
collect bug hats
Last but not least, we have added Bug Hats! As you feed the grumps in Snaxburg, eventually the transformations cause their hats to fall off, never to be worn again. You may have wondered at some point; What happened to those hats?
Well, the Bugsnax have them! In the wild, you may come across a Bugsnak with a hat. If you catch it, the hat is yours and now you can proudly put it on the head of any Snax in the Gramble stable. Once you’ve found your first hat, the hat board in Snaxburg will appear, giving you clues as to where to find the next one. We think it’s fun to have a weird little event like this to shake up your bug hunting.
That’s it for our tastiest new features, but there are plenty more stories and secrets to find throughout the update. Isle of Bigsnax will be free on April 28 for all Bugsnax owners on PS4 and PS5.
I hope you all enjoy diving into a second bowl of Bugsnax!