Bear With Me is an episodic point and click adventure game created and published by Exordium Games. Originally appearing on Steam Greenlight in October 2014 Bear With Me Episode 1 was released on the 8th August 2016, with Episode 2 being released on the 15th February 2017. The game has a strong noir setting being a sort of twist between an old detective film and a horror. Nominated for for Best Narrative by Casual Connect (2015) and winner of Best Indie Game of Reboot Infogamer (2014) it’s not hard to see that Bear With Me is a great game.
Bear With Me as a whole is a very heavily narrative driven game, as with a lot of modern point and click adventures the game is focused on story and immersive world building and has certainly delivered on this. However, don’t take my use of the word immersive as meaning that you start to believe the game as realistic as Bear With Me is far from reality. With constant hilarious 4th wall breaks and every character you meet being one of your stuffed animals brought to life through what I can only describe as some slightly twisted version of childhood innocence and imagination, Bear With Me is a very welcome change from Telltale’s standardised formula. A simple yet effective hint system allows you to prevent pixel hunting by giving you a paw print icon over objects you can interact with in the world, and if you find yourself being irreversibly stuck you can always ask your companion bear for a cheeky hint to get your mind heading in the right direction.
Bear With Me’s two main characters are Amber and Ted E. Bear. Amber is a bright girl who likes crime novels and mystery movies.Ted E. Bear is Amber’s teddy bear, who just so happens to be a washed up alcoholic private eye. The two have a very binary relationship. Amber is sarcastic and spunky whereas Ted is cynical and down to Earth. This pairing makes for huge comedic potential. And I mean HUGE. If I had a penny for every time I laughed or smirked during this game I would have enough to feed my Steam Sale addiction for probably a week. One Easter Egg in particular will have you rocking in your chair, you’ll know it when you see it.
Episode 1 starts with you, Amber R. Ashworth, waking up in the middle of the night by Millie, an elderly giraffe. She says that your brother Flint has gone missing and Paper City is under lockdown as a mysterious Red Man roams the streets. Enlisting the help of your old friend and “retired” P.I, Ted E. Bear you seek to uncover hidden clues as to where your brother has gone and why he is missing…
Episode 2 has a slightly different tone to it’s predecessor. While still maintaining that constant stream of laugh after laugh it also has a slightly darker undertone than the first. You find yourself in Paper City at a diner down on the docks, desperately searching for any leads or clues that will lead you to the location of your brother or this Red Man. Episode 2 also adds in a map of Paper City giving you more locations to visit than before all across the city, adding another layer of depth and immersion to this eery noir world.
If I had one thing to ask of the developers, I would ask PLEASE release a longer version of the main menu song, by Slava Pogorelsky onto youtube or something because it is just simply amazing. Not just that but the whole of the original soundtrack is pretty extraordinary. I’ve also grown to become quite fond of the noir cartoon aesthetic, when you first hear it it’s not two things I would think to put together but the game has pulled it off so well that I can’t imagine it being anything else.
Overall, this is a really solid game. To it’s credit I also have to add that it’s pretty damn cheap too. For only £3.99 (at the time of writing) on the steam store that’s about the price of a 4-pack of pot noodles. I’ll tell you that you’ll definitely enjoy this game a lot more than you’ll enjoy eating 4 pot noodles. It’s a great point and click adventure game with comedy all the way through, an interesting enigma, a gripping story and some quirky lovable characters from the dark imagination of a little girl. I gladly give Bear With Me an 8/10 score for such an inspiring independent game.