It's not often that you fall in love with a bug. For every cute cockroach like the one from WALL-E there are a billion creepy crawlies that you wouldn't hesitate to squish under the heel of your shoe.

But Volty - a golden-shelled, bug-eyed beetle with some kind of tiny electrified backpack - is definitely one of the good guys.

He's been trapped inside some cryptic puzzle box, and you've got to help him get through a handful of single-screen rooms. These are essentially simplified 'escape the room'-style adventures, but viewed from a bird's-eye perspective.

Bug's Life

The puzzles on offer are generally creative and imaginative. Volty might have to play a ditty on a series of bells, fire tiny cannonballs from a peashooter cannon, ride a clockwork choo choo train to bypass a laser, escape a mechanical bug, or recruit an even tinier insect to help him escape.

Help Volty isn't especially hard, but it can be one of those games - like The Tiny Bang Story or The Room - that are fun to solve in a communal fashion, with friends all offering their harebrained solutions.

But implementing those solutions is never so easy. Puzzles can be frustrating - Volty moves extremely slowly, for example, so any level where you need to outrun a whirring beetle-like automaton is more frustrating than it needs be.


That's all compounded by a needlessly complicated lives system. You get about three goes at any puzzle, and if you mess up you have to replay the level before it.

Seeing as Volty's charms are almost exclusively about coming up with solutions rather than implementing them, having to redo a solved stage is a real chore.

Help Volty is also not a long game. You'll probably take about an hour to finish it all off. There's not much incentive to ever play it again, either.

Despite its faults, I can't help but admire Help Volty. This is a charming little game with a tremendous art style and a haunting, atmospheric score. It's got clever puzzles, and - by the end - it somehow makes you care about the fate of a creepy crawly.

But it's a little too easy to answer puzzles, a little too tough to implement the solutions, and the end comes far too soon.