Bear with Me: The Complete Collection is a point and click detective adventure with a film noir visual style and theme. Developed by Exordium Games and published by Modus Games, Bear with Me has you following the detective Ted E. Bear (no, I’m not kidding) and his friends, Amber and Flint as they look into the crisis in the animal-populated Paper City. The result is an enjoyable experience that will have you guessing right until the very end.
The first part of the collection deals with Amber’s brother, Flint, who is found to be missing after she awakens from an unsettling nightmare. She enlists the help of her old friend and private detective, Ted E. Bear, who just so happens to also have an office set up in her closet. Reluctantly, the grizzled detective agrees to take on the case as they set off in search of Flint in addition to investigating the panic that seems to be gripping Paper City.
The Lost Robots, which is a prequel to the original episodes, sees Amber’s brother Flint working with Ted E. Bear. It also shows off some new characters and events that lead up to the first three episodes.
The narrative that plays out over the episodes is great and it just becomes more compelling as you find more clues to help you progress. The more clues you find, the more questions it poses. It’s actually so well written and mysterious, that you’ll be wondering how things turn out right up until the very end. While it’s mostly a story that focuses on crime and deals with some seedy characters, they’ve been presented in a more humorous way and it complements the overall presentation quite well. The humour is also everywhere, from bad puns to some hilarious pop culture references. Some of it works really well and others can be a little cringeworthy, however, even some of the bad puns had me snorting out loud now and then. The episodes are pretty short though, taking just over an hour or so to finish each one. It’s unfortunate, because it’s such a good ride, that you’ll be wanting more. It should also be mentioned that the first episode is a little slow compared to the second and third and is ultimately the weakest entry. However, it’s worth sticking it through as the latter episodes are excellent.
The gameplay is fairly standard when compared to other point and click titles. It translates quite well to the PS4, for the most part. It can be a bit sluggish when navigating the cursor across each environment, but this can be made a little more tolerable by using the PS4 controller’s touchpad, since it’s almost as fast as using an actual mouse, just not as accurate. Bear with Me’s puzzles tend to be a little simple here and there, but others require you to think out of the box, so there’s a nice balance. Additionally, the puzzles fit the game’s overall theme.
Visually, Bear with Me looks good and has a fantastic art style. It follows the film noir aesthetic here, featuring a monochromatic presentation that is pleasing to the eye. The audio suits the visual style perfectly, sporting an incredible jazz soundtrack befitting of the film noir genre. The voice acting is pretty well done across the board, with Ted E. Bear’s performance being particularly good. Most of the humour comes from his character and the lines are executed excellently.
Bear with Me: The Complete Collection is incredibly enjoyable, despite a few hiccups. The narrative is brilliant and the characters supporting it, just as much. There’s an awesome story being told here, I only wish the experience would have lasted a bit longer. Having all the episode plus a prequel one included makes for a decent package. If you’re looking for a point and click game with a great story and art style, Bear with Me: The Complete Collection might just be for you.