Robot cop Patricia Wagon (get it?) has to round up a bunch of blonde escapees on "Planet Land," in self-contained side-view levels. At first, that's a matter of simple platforming and shooting obstacles, but new elements are introduced at a rapid clip. Primarily, that means the "Helmet Siren," which causes certain on-screen blocks to move in or out of the screen, in essence turning them "on" or "off." This allows you to, say, jump up in the air through a block, then "switch" and land on that block.
Later levels introduce more quirks, like launcher blocks that you put yourself (or an enemy) into, then "switch" to activate, and walking-bomb enemies that you have to launch into breakable blocks with these launchers. You frequently have to switch with split-second timing to activate a series of launchers, or clear a path of alternating blocks in the way of a launcher. Even the act of jumping onto a block becomes a difficult task when you have to switch it on mid-jump, making sure you don't accidentally squish yourself on another block. The level designs quickly grow devious.
Here's the real trick: while the level selection is pretty small, each level has a "par" time that is, as far as I can tell, pretty much impossible to achieve. So your first time through a level is merely reconaissance -- you learn how the level works, so you can go back through it as quickly as possible.
Though I hardly feel the need to mention this for a WayForward game, the 2D art is beautiful, with vibrant, bright colors and adorable, well-animated sprites of chibi girls, robots and otherwise.
Bug Princess is available for $6.99 on the 3DS eShop. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.