Attack of the Buggles, the newest game from Paul Preece and David Scott (the Casual Collective), is not like the rest. You control a lonely grey buggle (an imaginary creature from another game in the Collective, Buggle) just trying to make it in Buggle-Land. Or whatever. I just made that up. It is a fast-paced, single-player mouse avoidance game where your only goal is to survive as long as possible. There is no story. There is no thinking. There is only doing. And you'd better do your best to avoid the deadly red buggles flying haphazardly around the plain, white purgatory you're stuck in.
To make matters worse, you not only have to dodge these angry red fiends, but you must collect mysterious blue boxes to keep you from growing out of control. The boxes pop up, one at a time, on alternating sides of the room. As soon as you get one, another appears and begins to count down from ten. You get a number of points for each box you touch, equal to the amount of time left on the box. You also add one red buggle to the room for each box you touch and incrementally speed up all of them.
It would seem as though the difficulty would ramp up quickly. And it does. But the kind people at the CC have put in a couple of measures to extend your game time a bit. One is a slow motion meter. Every box you grab fills up one of the twenty slots in the meter, and once you have ten (at least) you can click your mouse to activate bullet time for a few seconds. This helps you get out of tight spots, which are abundant later in the game.
The second boon is a little green buggle that comes flying from the left of the screen every twenty boxes you collect. He (I say "he" because it is okay to arbitrarily assign genders to buggles—they don't mind) gracefully traces out a serene sinusoidal path to the right of the screen. If you manage to catch him (which isn't a hard thing to do, generally) you became the mighty devourer, destroyer of red buggles! Watch as they cower before your divine retribution—eat them, eat them all! In this enraged state the innocent and, prior to being eaten, happy, green buggle puts you in, you may eat as many red buggles as you can catch in the few seconds your anger lasts. You get a congratulations for every multiple of ten red buggles you manage to swallow in one go, but no real boost to your score—just your confidence. Paul has promised awards for the game soon: you can bet this will be at least one of them. Aside from relieving stress, it also clears up the screen, giving you a little breathing room as the game gets more hectic.
To the right of the playing field, a scoreboard updates live showing the five newest scores, the top six scores among the people on your friends list, and the top twenty overall scores. I do recommend registering for a free account: aside from allowing you to create a buddy list and post on the forums and in groups, you can save your high score for all to see.
A highly enjoyable little game, the first of many mini-games promised from the Collective, Attack of the Buggles quickly eats up all productivity. Check it out, if only for a few minutes... you'll be hooked into playing even longer.