As you might know, aside from my occasional anime watching, I also like to play a lot. Unfortunately, I can no longer afford to spend 12 hours a day in front of the computer (not mine, at least) but that doesn’t mean I gave up gaming entirely.
I know a lot of people here are head over heels with visual novels/otome games. And I need to come clean now: I am totally obsessed with point and click adventures. And nothing provides better stories quite like Steam’s indie tag.
Bear with Me is such a point and click adventure where you play Amber, a 10 years old girl whose brother goes missing. She needs to team up with her trusted, rusty, carrot-juice infused partner detective, Mr. Ted E. Bear in order to find Flint and to save all the plushies in Paper Town.
- Top notch dialogue
- Cool characters
- Really nice graphics and overall aesthetically pleasing
- Smart replacement of the old school cinematics
- Awesome pop culture reference that will definitely make you giggle
- Pretty cool puzzles
The less cool
- Episodic release
- Ted’s voice
- First episode ended before the game began
- Half of the game is just you trying to get from one room to the other
Everything starts when Millie the Giraffe tells 10 y/o Amber that her brother went missing and that the entire Paper Town (where all the stuffed animals live) is on a lock down because of this misterious evil creature. Amber needs to convince Mr. Bear (something like a less-witty-but-witty-enough Dr. House) to help her find her brother and to find out what’s happening in the city, mostly because the evil creature would just burn everything down. Oooof course Ted helps her and this is the beginning. They throw you into this weird and fascinating story filled with cheeky stuffed animals, always ready to throw some shade.
Out of all the tags on steam, I think horror is the only one not in place. The game does have a goth and dark touch to it, but it is, by no means, horror. The fact that it is in black and white contributes enormously to the noir feeling and the only pop of colour is the occasional red whenever the villain plays his games around. This is a fantastic way of creating that dark and chilly atmosphere, especially when there’s rarely any music in the background, but you can constantly hear the thunder and the storm lights up the house more than all the lamps.
Imagine a bit of Emily the Strange combined with CSI and Winnie the Pooh. This is basically the game.
The really cool part of Bear with Me must be the dialogue. I’m crazy about well written lines, pop culture references, memes and breaking the 4th wall jokes. And this game has them all. Even if you get bored walking from room to room just because you forgot to take something, you will clearly be rewarded with a smart-ass reply from either Amber or Ted. I was tempted to quote few of them here, but I realized that they would just sound pretty dumb taken out of the context.
Although the dialogue is on point, I’m not really a fan of the voice acting. Amber’s voice is too old, Millie’s was not old enough, Rusty’s is not rusty enough, Ted’s is just annoying. I’m not denying the fact that it sounds, indeed, just like a character from a noire film, but it gets monotone, boring and annoying. The part where he interrogates the Mugshot Brothers must be the cringiest because his tone is literally the same as always. All in all, it is not that unpleasant and it sure as hell doesn’t make the game less enjoyable, but it is something worth mentioning.
The puzzles are a thing, of course, we’re talking about a point and click. However, they’re not nearly as challenging as I wanted them to be. Next to the fact that they’s only a few of them, most of them are just…rational. You basically know what you have to do because you are alive and human beings do that. I’m a fan of big puzzles (I’m thinking Syberia) so I decided not to even think about these ones as they would just distract me from the story.
After all, point and clicks are about the stories they tell and Bear with Me looks promising since Amber’s first snarky comment about her bed. Too bad the first episode ended after what felt like an intro or demo. You can finish it in one hour or even less than that if you don’t like listening to the same jokes over and over again. BUT WHERE’S THE BEAUTY IF YOU DON’T ENJOY EVERY MOMENT?
The first episode clearly left me waiting for some more, exactly when I was getting excited over the change in scenery. I even went ahead and PM’d the guys on facebook, asked them when the next episode will be available on Steam. As expected, they gave me the evil seen and I was left clueless.
Bear with Me is clearly not one of those games who make history. I’m not even sure it will become someone’s favourite game. However, it has the potential to tell a great story and entertain a fair amount of people.I just hope they will not take 6 months between each episode. I’ve done that with Dreamfall Chapters but only because I love it since I was a child.
As per my conversation with whoever’s running the game’s official facebook page, episode 2 will be released in December.
Also, you know what I forgot to do? I forgot to include the trailer in here. Please bear with me and I promise I will get better at writing reviews. (hehe, get, it? Bear with Me? hehe)