Escape from Bug Island seriously bugged me

escape from bug island cover

This is one cheesy horror survival game with dated graphics and some really annoying use of the Wii controls…yet, I had to finish it. Simply put, a bunch of young people end up on an island and immediately split up (doh!). You set off on your own—which quickly leads you to battle hoards of big mutated bugs. If you hate insects, this game will definitely make your skin crawl, especially when they latch on to you. Big maggots, ants, spiders, crickets, and flies swarming you are the least of your problem. There are flying fish that jump out of the water, giant frogs that spit at you, big nasty mantises, huge caterpillars that roll over you, lizard women (who jump on you and seem to hump you) and man dogs that gave me flashbacks to that awful scene in Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 when a man and his dog share the same pod. Eek!


The island is really dark, but if you keep your flashlight on, you attract way more bugs. So, if you’re a chicken shit like me, you’re going to be fighting loads of bugs in the light of your flashlight beam. The game is sort of mission based. You enter a new area, find a bunch of stuff, usually run into another character or two for a cut scene, work your way over to the blinking areas on your map that are telling you THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO GO, and try to accomplish certain bonuses like killing 20 spiders before leaving the area. Only problem is, unless you have a walkthrough, you don’t know what the bonus requirements are! Your success in accomplishing the bonus tasks gets tallied up when you leave the section, so now that you are told on screen what those tasks actually are, you can go BACK to the section and try to meet the requirements. Yawn. Another annoying bonus is the side explorations into seemingly endless caves, each of which holds two really good weapons if you can fight past loads of nasties without running out of health. To me, these are just time wasters to make the game feel longer. And it DOES. It took me weeks and weeks to finish this game (mostly because I got bored after one mission and would stop playing for the night). I finally decided to just screw all the bonus opportunities and simply run through the game just to get to the end!

escape from bug island mantis

For most of the game, you don’t have a gun, so you have to use melee weapons. This requires swinging your Wiimote like crazy. You also have throwing items like rocks, but using them requires holding a button on the Wiimote to bring up a first-person target on screen that you then aim at an enemy with your Wiimote. Unfortunately, at this point, the enemy and his big bug eyes are most likely right in front of your new first person view and beating you senseless!!! But fear not, because there are dodge features. Swing the controller in your left hand to roll left, swing the controller in your right hand to roll right. At times, I was doing the Wii version of button mashing, swinging my controllers wildly to try to get away from dangers, only to be quickly reminded that the Nunchuck is connected to the Wiimote by a fairly short cord! Argh!!!! The last annoying controller issue is the times you have to “balance” across a log or rock bridge. This requires steering your character with the annoying Nunchuck stick while using your Wiimote to keep a clock hand in the middle of a “balance bar” at the bottom of the screen. Unfortunately, as you focus on keeping that clock hand centered, you kind of forget to steer your character on the twists and turns of the bridges!

The best part of the control system is going into the inventory menus so you can take a pause from the nightmare!

escape from bug island bug woman

The main story of why there are all these mutant insects on the island isn’t really anything new, but there’s a very cheesy subplot to keep you entertained. Seems your character and another male character are both after the same girl (left in the screenshot below). Personally, I thought my nemesis, a dark haired, kinda gay looking hunk (center) was much cuter than me (the boyish blond, right)  and I would have chose him if I were the girl.


During cutscenes, there’s this really melodramatic and melancholy violin track playing. The cutscenes themselves make no sense. Sometimes you have full cutscenes with the characters interacting, but most times, you get these annoying still shots of the characters staring directly at the “camera” to the accompaniment of that annoying violin music. Read the subtitled dialog then press the A button, which gives you a still shot of the other character. Read then press A all over again to advance to the next subtitle. I don’t understand why they didn’t just make all this dialogue into short movies! It would have brought some life to this rather lonely experience. I mean, I REALLY felt alone with only mutated bugs to talk to and splatter to pieces. At least in Resident Evil the zombies are sort of human!

escape from bug island flyer

Granted, this was one of the earliest horror survival games on the Wii. But it really isn’t much more than a hack ‘n slash game. The only thing that keeps you going is the smart introduction of new enemies as the game progresses. Even so, there does come a point where, like me, you’ll have seen all there is to see  and you’ll be running past bugs just in an effort to get to the end of the game as quickly as possible. I just wish those pesky bird-sized flies wouldn’t constantly buzz in front of your face, which makes your character AUTOMATICALLY stop to shoo them away with one hand—as a giant Praying Mantis has an opportunity to catch up to you. Sigh….

DScaler stillTaken with DScaler Version 4.1.15Input was ComponentDeinterlace mode was Video (TomsMoComp)Sharpness Filter was onGradual Noise Filter was on

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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  1. Pingback: Cursed Mountain: Emphasis on the Curse…LOTS of them | The DAN ZONE

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