Scuttle Buggery

  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 4/5 (70 votes)
Comments (7) | Views (4,086)

PsychotronicScuttle Buggery(Warning: This game features adult language, gothic imagery, and bittersweet lyrical content. You may well find something here that will offend you.)

Your role in Scuttle Buggery is that of of a lowly beetle, trudging through a grimy, moth-infested world stitched together from burnt paper and rusty typewriter parts. Your burden is to find drops of oil and liquor near the discarded musty bottles from which they spew, and push them into the appropriate drains. Steer your filth-ridden insect avatar with the arrow keys. Hold [space] for a burst of speed and tap [space] to shove a nearby droplet into the distance. You win when you've deposited enough of the right substances into the right drains. You lose when you run out of time, or when you've accidentally filled a drain with too much of the wrong kind of liquid. And that is when a clockwork skeleton wearing a top hat comes out to mock you.

Scuttle Buggery is a depressing game, not least because of the melancholy and vengeful soundtrack. But also because of the other beetles who, like the callous grinning back-stabbers who make up your real-life social circle, make it their mission to interfere with you at every turn. Too often, once you've finally stuck together a satisfactory bubble of absinthe and lined up a straight shot to the absinthe drain, a dumbly enthusiastic ladybug will mug you and knock your loot into a corner. It's a shame there's no "murder" button.

So in this fashion, you make tidy your own insignificant corner of a forgotten and decrepit place. Like your everlasting tears, you wipe away the poisons, though you can never truly erase the stains they left. Are you making a difference? Does the slow morphine drip of incremental achievement justify the loss of a few precious moments of your time upon this earth? The answer, of course, is "no."

Analysis: Scuttle Buggery is an advergame for the newest album from gothic rock band Johnny Hollow, and most likely another creation from one of its band members, Vincent Marcone (A Murder of Scarecrows). Though he's done such a wonderful job of blending game, music, and visual design, it's hard to tell where the game ends and the promotional website begins. Even the tutorial is baked right into the home page, and beating levels in the game unlocks tracks from the song list for you to sample.

The artwork is sumptuously detailed, perfectly matched to the music, full of decadent textures and decay. The liquid transparency effects are especially noteworthy, but everything, right down to the creepy flutter of a moth's wings, has been rendered with sickly beauty and realism. If your beetle's controls are a little stiff, it can be excused due to the convincing bug-like way in which he moves.

The actual gameplay is pretty decent, with a few caveats. The liquids you must push around can be very close in color, to the point where you can't tell whether you're looking at a tan droplet or a black one, if they're both sitting on a dark surface. Drops get hung up too easily on corners. And some levels are difficult to the point of agony. If you get stuck on a particular challenge, you'll have to hear the same lyrics every time you restart, which can get annoying no matter how darkly poignant the poetry is. I hope you like track 6, "boogeyman", because you'll be hearing it a lot. Finally, the initial load time is excessive, even for this level of audio/visual polish.

But in the end, this is how an advergame should be — uniquely tailored to the mood and intention of its product, and entertaining in its own right. Let it soothe your wretched soul, if only for a moment.

Play Scuttle Buggery

Cheers to Toby for submitting the link to this one! =)


On the one hand, the mood and music are all decidedly gloomy; on the other, I haven't heard a phrase all week that's more hilarious than "Scuttle Buggery".


I had trouble with this one when it was reviewed last year. Do you think it was the fact that you can't see the entire playing field at once? I don't know. But the graphics are unbelievably beautiful...feeding my reason for camping out here at jayisgames: game as art/art as game.


This game is tricky! If you're prone to motion sickness though, this may not be the game for you (I started getting a little dizzy myself.) The soundtrack is pretty cool though and the graphics are amazing, worthy to be played as a video on MTV or something!


Eh. All those pretty graphics come at the cost of excessive loading... it's not as bad as it could be, but it annoys me. And the game design itself - what I think truly makes games become art, rather than just have art - is lacking.

You're given many small globs - often by a bottle which slowly supplies an infinite number - and the best way to win is to merge exactly as many as you need, then push them directly to the goal. Large globs are no harder to direct than small globs. End up with a glob a bit smaller than you needed and you probably won't have enough time to make another trip. There's no room to do anything interesting, so it comes off as more drudgery than fun.

The controls contribute to this, being likewise uninteresting. If you had more agility, or perhaps some sort of ability to pull and/or carry globs, or anything that would add some sort of depth... more abilities may not be enough by themselves, but they could give you something more to do along the way to the goal.

I do rather like the music! Fortunately I can listen to all the songs on the main page instead of having to go through the game. ^_^


Really hard game, but the music and imagery were nice. I had to play it through since it was such a challenge :P

Here are the passwords to all the levels. Level 10 is horrid! If you insert these all to the start screen, you get some gifts like remixed songs and a bug collection (desktop).






















Alice--I think you nailed it!


How sad; If you lose, you get squished. The Boogeyman level SUCKS. Be warned.


^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

    Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)
Aquatic Rescue> Dora Also available on mobile devices, OZDY takes you under da sea for an adorable physics puzzle game where you need to reunite baby sea creatures with their parents, though with moving platforms, wrecking balls, switches, buttons that make you shrink or grow and more, it's trickier than you think!  ...
1 Comment
Monkey GO Happy Turkeys> Dora It's Thanksgiving day! But how can you celebrate without a feast! Help the monkeys look all over town in this point-and-click puzzle game from Pencil Kids to find everything they need, including a whole lot of apples, and the bird of honor!  ...
Hoverboard> Dora Webcomic xkcd has been around for over a decade, and to celebrate the release of his new book, creator Randall Munroe has created a very simple piece of platforming interactive art. But venture beyond the small playing field, and you'll find a much bigger world than you thought that's full of surprises.  ...
Rock 'n' Roll Escape> Dora Pine Studio serves up a short but rock-worthy escape in your browser or free on iOS and Android as you try to find your way out of a cozy, abandoned little concert venue. But with a soundtrack this catchy, will you be able to resist air-guitaring long enough to escape?  ...

Support Us

Jayisgames is on Patreon

Recent Comments


Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Casual game of the week

Mystery Trackers: Paxton Creek Avenger

Your Favorite Games edit

Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Monthly Archives

Legal notice

All games mentioned or hosted and images appearing on JayIsGames are Copyright their respective owner(s).

All other content is Copyright ©2003-2016 All Rights Reserved.

Visit our great partner: maxcdn!