Bear With Me is a humorous point and click adventure starring a smart teenager named Amber and her partner in crime – a retired detective who also happens to be a teddy bear. Exordium studio delivers a well written story wrapped in a classy noir art style. And what is even better? The game is released in episodes and our review covers just the first episode so there is a lot to look forward to.
Amber wakes up in the middle of the night just to find out that her brother Flint is missing. She has no choice but to turn to her old friend and persuade him to help her solve this case. Ted E. Bear is an old grumpy detective who has seen a lot. Unlike Teddy from Among the Sleep whom some of us found a little bit creepy, this plush has a distinct character and we believe that most players will relate to him much easier. The best way of describing him would be through comparison: Ted E. Bear is a perfect mix of Bruce Wayne and John Hartigan. His voice is serene and captivating, he has his ways of making people (or toy rabbits and dogs) talk and is also smart and funny.
One thing that particularly stands out about Bear with me is the flawless script and voice acting. Dialogues are witty, sometimes the writers made us chuckle with hints of sarcasm and pop culture references. Apart from dialogues, the player can click on pretty much anything and Amber or Ted will promptly come up with an imaginative and humorous description of the given object. Yes, you will probably go crazy clicking on curtains, stools, bathtubs and other meaningless objects just to hear what the detective duo has to say about them. Then there are the stylish and well executed cut scenes. While Amber is obviously the protagonist, the cut scenes leave more space to Ted so that he can give us his perspective on the story. And so from time to time you can just lay back and let him walk you through a dashboard of comic strips which reveal some aspects from the past as well as his current concerns. All of this combined with the point and click adventure genre and a vintage vibe to it makes Bear with me feel like an interactive graphic novel. A very good one.
Some players might object about the lack of choices and action but honestly, one cannot expect to punch their way through a good story. Of course there is the option to skip cut scenes and dialogues but it is these features which make Bear with me stand out so much. The first episode mostly sets up the mood for the upcoming adventure and we cannot wait to see the story unfold further. The objective is clear, Amber has to find out where her brother has gone to and rescue him if necessary. Looking for a lost relative might not strike you exactly as an original theme but the setting and events of the first episode indicate that this game will be unique.
When it comes to gameplay, Bear with me is a classical linear point and click adventure. It is mostly about meeting oddly charming characters and solving puzzles which are quite well balanced. The only flaw we came across was the visibility of some small objects which are quite easy to miss in the greyish colour spectrum. However once you find everything, it is not that hard to figure out how the object should be combined or where to use them. You will have to find keys to locked doors, develop a film and even falsify a document. One thing which could make Bear With Me even slightly better would be some information or quest logs. It is not a really big issue since there are not many overlapping tasks. But for example when all the episodes come out and the player does not have time to play the whole game at once, it would be nice to see what the next objective is once you jump back into the game after a break.
If everything mentioned above is still not enough to play this game, we also have to mention that the price is quite fair. Each episode costs €3,99 which is not bad at all regarding the quality and length, especially compared to other indie titles. The first episode took us almost 90 minutes to finish and for example Gone Home is about the same length but costs five times as much. We can highly recommend playing Bear With Me, it is guaranteed that every gamer who has a heart and appreciates a well written story will love it. Well done Exordium Games, we have not been this excited for a next episode of anything since Life is Strange.