PS4 Review: Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling

Does Paper Mario have some competition?

Follow Vi, Kabbu, and Leif as they uncover the secrets of the Land of Bugaria. Explore and combine your team’s abilities to solve puzzles, defeat powerful enemies and find ancient treasures.

Bug Fables is clearly inspired by the first two Paper Mario games, before Nintendo changed the formula in Super Paper Mario, then muddling it further with Sticker Star and Color Splash. Fingers crossed that the upcoming Origami King will let the Paper RPG go back to its roots, but for now let’s look at what The Everlasting Sapling can deliver…

Everything from the visuals to how the game plays is taken from the first two Paper Mario games, combat is also identical with turn-based fights that do more damage or take less damage if you time it right. What sets Bug Fables apart though is that instead of just playing as a single character, you actually can switch between all 3 either in combat or in the game world to solve puzzles like hitting switches, freezing water into climbable blocks and stunning enemies for an advantage in-battle.

Granted it’s not that different from Paper Mario’s companions where you could swap them out to do something like blow a hole in the wall or swim across a pond, but you don’t have to go in a menu to do it, it’s a simple tap of a button. The game also includes their versions of Paper Mario’s badges which give you perks if you have enough points to equip them, as well as a Hard Mode badge that will give you extra money and XP but naturally makes combat tougher.

Save points are crystals that have to be hit to be activated, much like the Save Blocks from Paper Mario but these actually heal you, which can be very helpful. It’s not the hardest RPG out there, but it can still be challenging and it’s a decent sized game overall.
Visually, the game looks superb and a great homage to the Paper Mario games. It runs smoothly and the game has the same sort of humour, which is also a huge plus. The soundtrack isn’t too bad either.

The Verdict

Paper Mario may be the inspiration, but Bug Fables definitely stands on its own merits with a decent story, great humour and solid gameplay. Let’s hope that The Everlasting Sapling is just the first game in this series…

Score: 8.5