[Editor’s Note: This review covers the first two episodes of Bear With Me, focusing mainly on episode two. We will update the review as new episodes are released.]
From the people who brought your Bear With Me – Episode 1 comes a surprising new title: Bear With Me -Episode 2.
Amber and Ted continue to search for her brother and try to figure out who the Red Man is and how to stop him from destroying Paper City. Just in case you have not played (or seen) Episode 1, be careful with this review as there are some spoilers coming up. Here, why not grab a bite to eat while the rest of us proceed.
As Amber, in Ep. 1 you get together with your old pal and private investigator, Ted E. Bear, to look into the disappearance of your brother. You may be a 10 year old girl, but you worry about him. Anyway, you miss old Ted, even with his snarky wit and substance abuse issues. Besides, his office is in the armoire in your bedroom, so he’s handy.
Bear With Me comes with all the shades of grey your computer can muster, plus the occasional dash of red (the bad guy is the Red Man, after all). Gameplay can be handled with either the mouse or a track pad; there is no advantage either way since most of the game is simple point-and-click; story-based puzzle games need fancy WASD controls or other new fangled gadgets, and boy is there plenty of story-telling. The actual “doing things” part of Bear With Me takes a back seat to the plot, but don’t be put off by that; the writing is funny and contains plenty of pop culture references, even some throwbacks to the 1980s.
Now, in Bear With Me – Episode 2 you finally get to Paper City, hit the streets, and start digging into what’s going on. The further you go, the more tangled the mess becomes. As in Ep. 1, the Red Man does make an appearance, and in an interesting twist you will have to play the villain to advance the story.
There are some decent characters in the city and you get a map to help make running around a bit easier. Don’t forget to look (click) around at everything, as you never know what might be a clue or something you need to use. I tried using the Swiss army knife on some stuff, but Ted keeps saying someone might get hurt (bummer, because I like my Swiss army knife and it is really handy). On the upside, there is no OSHA telling you to wear a hard hat or safety glasses in the burned out building you have to check, so fair ‘nuf.
There are a few points in the game where you are offered a choice in how you respond, so choose wisely. It won’t really change the way the game plays out, but you can unlock some achievements. Most of the dialogue situations which provide multiple response options are there to make sure you have as much information as you need.
Plot advancement uses plenty of side channels to introduce more characters. Ted still grumbles a bit about how he’s supposed to be retired, and Amber shows some disturbing signs of growing up (this leads to certain theories I have about the game, but I don’t want to get ahead of things too much). Half of the fun of the game is watching the clever interaction between Ted and Amber and The finding a few surprises and fun pop culture references.
So Here It Is
While Bear With Me – Episode 1 laid some groundwork and provided a few good puzzles and turns (not to mention the nagging question, “Where are her parents anyway?”), Episode 2 picks up the ball and walks briskly through Paper City. The puzzles are decent, the dialogue is fun, and the story is engaging enough that I’m looking forward to the next episode.
Genre: Point-and-click Adventure
Developer: Exordium Games
Minimum Requirements: OS X v10.7, 2 GB RAM, 2,300MB hard drive…”generally everything made since 2004 should work.”
Price: $4.99 per episode
Availability: Now on Steam