Review: Bear With Me Episode 1

Aug
08

Review: Bear With Me Episode 1

  • Gameplay
  • Graphics
  • Sound
  • Control
  • Technical

A missing person, an arsonist on the loose, and an entire city fleeing for safety. All of these events have one thing in common: they’re all part of a little girl’s imagination. Bear With Me is the adventure of a little girl caught in a noir missing person mystery, spread across five episodes. While the first episode is short in length, its gritty environment and imaginative storytelling spin quite a tale.

A string of fires has plagued Paper City, and a mysterious person known as the “Red Man” looks to be behind it. What’s even worse is you are woken to the news that your brother has gone missing. To get to the bottom of your brother’s disappearance and the identity of the “Red Man”, you’ll need some help. Lucky for you, there’s a private investigator nearby… who happens to be a teddy bear that lives in your closet.

Bear With Me is a noir-style point and click mystery adventure game, played out in the perspective of 10-year-old Amber Ashworth. As Amber you’ll navigate the upper floor of her family home, scouring for clues to her brother Flint’s whereabouts, accompanied by the private investigator, Ted E. Bear.

Ted's Offics

While there are only a handful of rooms to search throughout the first episode, there are plenty of items to find in order to progress throughout the game. Most items you come across during the game need to be combined with other items to solve puzzles, which requires some major thought at certain points of the game. Each puzzle has only one solution, and often times you’ll be grasping at straws, desperately trying to combine items in your inventory in hopes of coming up with the answer. Many times, especially on the last puzzle, it may seem like you’ve got the right item or combination to solve a puzzle, only to have Amber or Ted mock you and ask if you’re even trying.

The most charming quality of Bear With Me is how perfectly it captures the imagination of a child. Walking throughout the house, conversing with stuffed animals and toys to solve a mystery reminds you of all the similar silly things you spent hours doing as a child. Combining all of that with the gritty noir atmosphere similar to Sin City really makes Bear With Me a unique experience.

The cast of characters in Bear With Me, especially Ted E. Bear, all have that 1940’s feel you’d see on old time television shows, with stuffed animals dressed like mobsters and newsies, using lingo such as “doll”. Ted E. Bear is very much your cliche detective, coming out of retirement to take this particular case after previously calling it quits and hitting the bottle hard (bottles of carrot juice in this case). Ted narrates throughout the episode, giving a much darker and more serious pictorial of the events that have taken place.

Brian

The character art is extremely well done, and there’s a nice contrast between the shadowy, black and white backgrounds and occasional vibrant reds. This combined with the ambient noise of an ongoing storm throughout the episode really sets the tone for a mystery adventure.

The biggest criticism of the first episode of Bear With Me is the length of the episode is quite short. Barring any major roadblocks with some of the puzzles, the first episode can be completed in roughly an hour. Depending on how frequent the episodes are released, players who want a more lengthy experience may be best to wait until a few of the episodes have been released.

Overall Bear With Me‘s first episode is a short but sweet introduction into the adventure of Amber Ashworth and her teddy bear detective. The first episode introduces an interesting cast of stuffed characters, and sets the groundwork for what should be an exciting second episode.

 

Bear With Me Steam code was provided by Exordium Games.

 

About Josh Gilbert

Josh is the Co-founder and a Senior Writer for Controller Crusade, and loves all things related to video games. He is a retro games collector trying to recapture his childhood one game at a time, and he also has a major dude crush on Nathan Drake. You can contact him via email at jgilbert@controllercrusade.com or on Twitter @joshgilbert11.

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