Game is availble here!
Bear with Me was made by Exordium Games – an indie developer studio located at Croatia. Beside Bear with Me they have many other games of different genres than you surely can enjoy. This also proves skills of the developers and their wish to reach wider public, as amongst their few games you surely can find something you’ll like.
I was gifted access to the first episode of Bear With Me quite a while ago, and I felt this issue needed a game like this. I haven’t been able to check the other two episodes yet, but the first one is more than promising – and I expect both second and third be even more exciting than what I played through.
You follow Amber, a ten year old heroine that – apparently – has solved many more cases in the past. Bad guys come back to town, and Amber has to protect the world of her toys, a world so very dear to her. On her new adventure, an old friend joins her, and seems like they both have many mysteries a player would love to learn….
Although the main theme here is quite obvious from the beginning, the game takes the noir, mystery, detective part truly seriously. Yes, we play as a ten year old accompanied by her trusted Ted E. Bear, however you still feel like you’re in the middle of a proper mystery game.
That is exactly what excited me in this game, the grayscale (and yet, Amber describing paintings using a full palette of colors – so surreal when you can’t see it!), the deep voice of Ted E. Bear. Cutscenes in which you really feel that the duo is out of a retro detective movie of some sort.
What the developers came up with, and how they made their story work, for me was very unique. Thinking if I played similarly created games before, I have to admit that I don’t think I have. However, believing there’s no such game as Bear with Me at all would be naive. I imagine there are, but this one gave me some motivation to look for similar “genre” of a game – mixing cute and “scary” or mysterious.
But Bear with Me is more than just an interesting concept – it is a point-and-click game with every aspect of that. With pointless objects that you click to get sassy or intriguing descriptions from Amber, many puzzles and conversations with other characters. I would say conversations – at least in the first episode – are the lowest point. Felt too straightforward too often, and when you got to have choices, they were the choices that change nothing to be fair.
I also have to admit that game did have some flaws that made me squint a little, however it’s been mostly graphic-related and we can forgive an indie team that. Every time you play an indie game you need to remember that there are not hundreds of people working on making those game perfect – it’s a much smaller team, and I remind myself how much easier it is to miss some things.
Achievements. This game actually has quite a nice collection of them! Some of them are a bit ridiculous, but at least they do show a little bit of a challenge. Or at least they don’t focus only on progress in game but also on how you play the game. Besides the story, they are there to let you enjoy Bear with Me for a couple more minutes than you expected. And also, the game does have a bit of replay value – but if I told you what I know, I would spoil such a great surprise that awaits you in the very first episode! So rather than listen to me, go see what the game developers have got for you there.
Is Bear with Me perfect? Well, of course not, I doubt any game is, and I would say Bear with Me could be polished a little bit more. But for me, my love for indie games came from the love for unique, original, and surprising stories, and that is something Bear with Me surely delivers. I’m truly happy I got to experience the first episode – and will try to experience the other two in near future! If you’re looking for a nice point-and-click game with a story that will keep you wanting to know more and more, Bear with Me is a perfect choice for some cold, winter evenings, with a nice hot of your favorite hot beverage.
Written for Indie Arcade january 2018