Way before I started playing Bear With Me, I knew I was going to like it. A story about a 10 year old girl looking for her brother with the help of her Teddy Bear who also happens to be a detective, through an imaginary city struck a cord with the child in me somewhere. It felt like the made-up missions that I used to go on with my brother and my imaginary toys. Incidentally, Bear With Me does not disappoint.
Bear With Me
(+) Child’s Play
The first episode in a series, this point and click adventure game, is a throwback both to the Noir movies cliches and to the Point and Click genre tropes. The 10 year old girl Amber is juxtaposed alongside the gruffy Ted E. Bear as they try to work the case of ‘The Missing Brother’ (Name totally made up by me) through Paper City, a town that is full of Amber and her brother’s toys located in the attic of their house. The main mechanics of the game are puzzles and dialogues.
The puzzles for the most part are logical and do not require a lot of pixel hunting, especially since Amber is keen to pick up everything, even when she does not immediately need it. There are some times though when you are experimenting your way through a puzzle and Amber keeps on repeating “Why would you even try that.”. That condescending tone got to me a bit, especially coming from a girl who is sweet to every other character in the game. But that’s just me.
(+) Words maketh the game
The second big part of Bear With Me is the dialogues, and this is where the game truly shines. While Amber is cheery, Ted E. is your typical pulp Noir fiction detective and acts like it, giving out lines like “I am too old for this” and, “I walk my own beat”. Not only the banter between the two is amusing, its heartening to see such a cute little teddy bear trying to be serious, and it holds up pretty well. And the quality doesn’t end there, the Mugshot Boys a couple of Rabbits who are the assigned gangsters of Paper City, are possibly the most fun to talk to, full with old-school gangster quips and ending every line with ‘SEE’. The game breaks the fourth wall a few times, and makes references to games like Adventure on Monkey Island and Day of The Tentacle. Also Amber has something to say about almost everything that you can click in a room, and almost all of it is pretty funny.
(-) Bear With Me for the rest of the episodes…
With this being just the first part in a series, I won’t be able to comment on how good the story really is. There are some times when the game sheds its noir+humor cloak and goes all out creepy, which makes it all the more interesting in my books. I did feel the game was a little short. Indeed the game has an achievement which is awarded if you finish the game in 1 hour straight and one for finishing the game without any save. But you can extend that time by the age old method of pixel hunting, by clicking on everything that you can and see what Amber and Bear has to say about it.