We are huge fans of the Bugs game series from Little Bit Studio. Camila has reviewed a couple of them in the past: Bugs and Numbers, and Bugs and Bubbles. Even though we haven’t had the chance to review Bugs and Buttons yet, both my sons have had a lot of fun playing all three games in the series.
The developer duo have just recently released the sequel to Bugs and Buttons. It uses the same format of 18 mini games, but adds a couple of excellent features, such as support for multiple user profiles, and the quest to find Monty as you play the games.
The mini games are suitable for juniors ages 2-5. But as a parent, you may be wondering which games fit which age range. Based on my experience playing all 18 games with my sons, here is a guide that you can use to get the most out of Bugs and Buttons 2.
Six Games for Ages 2+
Juniors ages 2+ are still training their fine motor skills and their visual memory. Games that are suitable for them are simple tapping games with few objects on the screen or require few movements, and ones that don’t require juniors to navigate through different screens.
Button Count is a simple game that lets juniors practice their counting skills. The game will throw a few colorful buttons on the screen, and ask players to count them. It also provides four rows of five boxes that can be use to hold the buttons as players count them.
Letter Tank is a letter game. You will find a vertical column of five letter bubbles which are organized in a sequence, with one of them is missing. For example, VW_YZ or _qrst. Players are asked to find what the missing letter is.
Music Match is a musical memory game where players are asked to repeat the sequence of musical notes played on a piano. The game starts with a sequence of one note, and gradually increases in length. Players can also play the piano without following the instructions, by tapping on the Free Play button next to the piano icon on the main menu.
Oddball is a game where players are asked to find one object that has a unique characteristic compared to the other objects. It may have a different color, shape, or pattern.
Picnic Invader is a fun survival game where the main task is to protect five slices of bread from a bug invasion. Players need to shoo the incoming bugs that come from all directions, and at different speeds too.
Puppet Show is an anatomy game where players are asked to touch the body parts of Simon the Puppet according to the instructions. These include elbow, ankle, thumb, and pinky finger. You need to pay attention to the instructions, because sometimes you may be asked to not touch the body parts.
Six Games for Ages 3+
Juniors ages 3+ have better fine motor skills, faster reaction, and good tactical movements. They also can tolerate more objects and movements on the screen. Games that are suitable for them may require them to read sight words, holding their fingers for a long time on the screen, and being able to recognise patterns in any orientation.
There are three games in this category that require players to match objects based on their colors and patterns. In Button Repair, players are required to match pieces of broken buttons. In Sort Factory, players are required to sort the buttons into their respective buckets. And in Button Match, players are required to use the visual hints to identify the button that matches them. For example, players may be required to find a blue triangle button when given a blue word that reads TRIANGLE.
There are two racing-like games that juniors ages 3+ can already enjoy: Ant Herd and Bug Crossing. In Ant Herd, players are required to clear the way for a herd of ants as they march through the screen. Be careful, though, as they may change their directions after a certain time period. In Bug Crossing, players are required to set the path for a small bug to cross a busy street, avoiding all the bigger bugs and cars that may pass through its path.
The last game in this category is an Arkanoid-style game. In this game called Pond Jumper, players are required to drag the leaf pod to give the jumping buttons a bouncing pad that would let them to cross the pond.
Six Games for Ages 4+
Most juniors ages 4+ already have fine motor skills and good visual memory. They’re ready to navigate multiple screens, quickly respond to moving targets, and memorize many items on the screen at one time.
Number Garden is a game where players are required to hop from one numbered flower to the next in a sequence. The numbers are spread across a large garden that spans multiple screens. Players need to have a good visual memory to be able to find all 20 flowers in sequence.
Guess What? is a game where players are required to guess what the mosquito is tracing on the surface of a pond. In addition to numbers and letters, the mosquito may also trace various shapes. Players need to have a good visual memory and the ability to visualize what the tracing path would form.
Flashlight Find is a game where players need to catch buttons that are moving in the dark, and hiding behind flowers. With the help of a flashlight, players have to navigate the dark environment without scaring away the buttons.
There are also two racing games in this category: Bubble Float and RC Racer. In Bubble Float, players are required to hold the iPad with both their hands and tilt the device to steer the bubble clear from the obstacles that may pop it up. In RC Racer, players are required to play with both thumbs, as they would steer a remote-controlled toy car. Players are required to steer the car from one lap to the next, avoiding all the obstacles, before the time runs out.
The final game in this category is another Arkanoid-style game, called Defender. Players are required to use their thumbs and index fingers in a pinching move. The pinch will generate a virtual rubber-band that can be used to bounce the falling buttons, in an effort to protect the bugs that are passing through underneath it.
Things I Like
Bugs and Buttons 2 have an improved parental lock system, where it uses a multiplication problem as the gateway quiz for entering the parent zone. This is a nice upgrade from the widely-used convention of addition problems and swipe up/down/left/right with two/three fingers. Many juniors ages 4+ are now able to answer simple addition problems and/or read sight words such as “up”, “two”, and “fingers”.
Two games that I really like are Puppet Show and Ant Herd. Puppet Show is a great learning tool for my two-year-old Noah to learn about his own body parts, whereas the Ant Herd is really fun to play with. Its premise, background music, sound effects, narration, and direction changes make an enjoyable playing experience.
Bugs and Buttons 2 is an excellent sequel to Bugs and Buttons, and a long-awaited addition to the Bugs series. It has all the great things that you can expect from games in this series, such as beautiful illustration, interactivity, animation, sound effects, and plenty of educational values. Judging from my sons’ interests in playing the games in this series, they really enjoy the learning experience they get from playing the games, and they embrace the challenges. All four games in this series are worth purchasing and collecting.
App was purchased by us.