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Bugs!

Type of program: Screen Saver
Supported platforms: Win 95/98
Company name: Zeatraks Software
Authors e-mail address: jdegoes@prodigy.net
Version: 1.0
Cost: $14.95
Installed size: 2 MB

Download/Homepage

Bugs is a simulation of digital life. This screen saver will place a bunch of bugs into an environment filled with plant life, some of which is lethal. As the bugs run around eating, mating and sleeping, the ones that are more able to survive thrive and past these traits on to their young, while the unlucky ones die out. By the same token, the plants that are not being eaten, will grow better than the ones used as lunch. This gives each generation the chance to better itself. 

Each plant has a scent, which is known by the color. If a plant is very disliked by some bugs and they eat it, [why would they do that] it will actually kill them.

The bugs are bigger when they are more energetic, when they get too small they will die. The have preferences for certain scents, usually represented by their color. When they mate they will randomly pass on their traits in a combination of both parents.

You are told that when you first run the screen saver the bugs might be stupid, and die quickly, but after a half an hour or so, they will smarten up. This brings me to the part about registering. If you run the shareware version, it is free, but you can't save the environment when you exit the screen saver unless you register. Also, if you register you will get 2 additional themes.

You can configure Bugs! by changing the mutation rate, the number of plants and bugs, the rate time passes, the output resolution, and the filtering.

Unfortunately, While I tried every setting I could find, and changed my pixel rate as they recommended, I couldn't see the color matches between the bugs and the plants as they said. The plants are solid green, and the bugs looked like little lady bugs, red with yellow spots. They were so small that I couldn't see any difference in traits between them.

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Reviewed by Stormy Strock


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