Let's get one thing straight before we begin: I loathe creepy crawlies of any kind. I only use half of my garden shed, having surrendered the rest to an army of enormous spiders that have made it their home, in some sort of fragile peace treaty.
I was once held captive in a Spanish apartment for an hour by an angry cockroach who wouldn't stop clawing at the doors to get at me. Even when finally plucking up the courage to leave, it was via the back door. In short, bugs make my skin crawl. With this in mind, I should be the ideal person to get to grips with Insectonator - FlyAnvil's top-down shooter where house flies are the bad guys.
Thankfully for variety's sake, they're joined by 19 other crawling, jumping, slithering 'enemies' for you to exterminate using a succession of ever more extravagant means.
Beginning the game armed simply with a rock, it's your grim task to keep an eye out for an assortment of bugs as they scurry and scuttle across the sparsely lit screen, dispatching them until your quota for that particular level is fulfilled. This could be a simple case of killing anything that moves, eradicating a particular species, or picking off specific creatures in a designated order.
As the game progresses, your targets get quicker, jumpier and altogether more troublesome to zap - you're really going to have to concentrate to keep your kill-streak going. However, as the mangled bodies began to pile up, I have to admit even I started to feel a tad guilty at the bloodbath I was responsible for. Pleasant Insectonator is not.
Completing levels unlocks an increasingly OTT range of weaponry to test out, from knives and boots, through machine-guns and sniper rifles, all the way to napalm and nukes.
The fun of experimenting with each of these is the main pull of the game. Killing creatures and utilising the different weapons will earn you the obligatory achievements of a modern game, but don't expect to find any hidden depths in Insectonator - it's a relatively brainless shooter, best enjoyed as a stress-reliever after a difficult morning in the office.
The game looks good, with a large variety of creatures dashing smoothly back and forth from the darkness into the torchlight, exploding satisfactorily where required. This is accompanied by some tension-laden music and a multitude of suitably sinister slithering and scurrying sounds that certainly succeed in putting the 'creepy' in creepy crawlies.
Insectonator is essentially a bog-standard blaster, made interesting by its curious choice of adversary and some creative ways to deal with them. It's not a game I can imagine rushing back to, though thrills are intentionally of the short-term variety (the 'Still here?' achievement, unlocked after just 4 minutes of play, is testament to that).
Some players will hang around to experience the destructive potential of the unlockable weapons, but for others the repetitive nature of the gameplay won't appeal - ploughing through a 97 caterpillar massacre isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea. If you've a spare five minutes, and have a particular axe to grind with the insect world, give it a blast, but if you're searching for a more profound experience you might be best looking elsewhere - here for example.