Review – Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch)

While we have officially received news of a new Paper Mario game that looks more true to the original, which is great news for fans who have been bummed too many times to get their hopes up ever again. With that in mind, why not take a look at a completely overshadowed game that actually does embody the ideas of the original Paper Mario games? Said game is Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling.

This is a game that uses paper models for everything and pop-up story book type areas. As you progress through the game, you’ll make friends with a variety of different bugs. From bees, to ants, to moths, this is a story of friendship at its heart. This only becomes more obvious as your team starts to come together. Throughout the story of Bug Fables, the player will become highly acquainted with their team of three. A wasp with a boomerang, a brute beetle, and a magical moth. A ragtag group of bugs on the search for treasures and immortality.


It certainly looks like treasure.

When exploring the overworld, the player can choose to either fight or flee from enemies, as they are visible while walking around. When in a fight, it is very similar to the original Paper Mario games. Pick an action and play what is essentially a minigame (press the right button at the right time) to deal more damage, or press the right button to take less damage. There is also a medal (Bug Fables version of badges) for hard mode. Enemies deal more damage, but you get more experience.

Bug Fables

Hard mode certainly makes it harder.

The platforming in Bug Fables isn’t exactly anything spectacular. There aren’t any significant sections in the overworld that take too much skill or effort to succeed. Not that the game prides itself in being a platformer though, but as your time in the overworld is a significant, it is worth noting.

Bug Fables

I wish I could use magic to deal with spiders.

The music in Bug Fables is effective as well. While most of the music isn’t overly notable, really just matching the area nicely, certain songs do stand out. For instance, when coming up against the first boss, a large spider, the music is great. A catchy song, that helps to understand the situation of coming up against the first big enemy of the game.

Bug Fables

Followed by something along the lines of *thump* ,as your not flying friends hit the ground below you.

While Paper Mario may boast a larger selection of allies, Bug Fables still holds its own as an unofficial sequel of sorts. This is a game that matches the style, feel, and humour right down to the even the smallest things that made the Paper Mario games so iconic to begin with. Since there hasn’t been another game in the style of the first two, Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling feels like a proper spiritual successor to The Thousand Year Door. Plus, now that it’s at home on Switch, this is the best time and console for you to give this game a go. 


Graphics: 8.0

A very smooth looking game that runs beautifully and looks right at home on Switch.

Gameplay: 7.0

While the platforming isn’t anything out of this world, the nostalgia of the Paper Mario battle system is always welcome.

Sound: 6.5

Some songs are great, most though are fitting but forgettable.

Fun Factor: 9.0

A real spiritual successor to the original Paper Mario games, a game that runs and works perfectly at home or on the go.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling was provided by the publisher.