Point-and-click adventures have made a resurgence in recent years, and it’s no surprise why; they offer storytelling opportunities and the ability to use humour like few other genres can.
Bear With Me is one such adventure title with plenty of humour. For starters, there’s a delightful juxtaposition with one of the lead characters being a gruff talking experienced private eye who happens to be a teddy bear. This in itself lends itself to some amusing exchanges, drawing upon classic tropes associated with private eyes and noir.
Ted E. Bear is the sidekick of Amber, a ten year-old-girl, who is trying to find her brother. But there’s the added threat of a mysterious character called Red who has been starting fires in Paper City and asking questions about Amber. The duo pair up on the case, hoping to find Amber’s brother and learn more about this mysterious threat.
Throughout the story, and it should be noted that this is the first episode, the pair look for clues and question other toys in the house, including an elderly giraffe, a helpful robot who does security, and The Mugshot Brothers, a pair of criminals who will help others if it benefits them.
The Mugshot Brothers are standout support characters, speaking like classic mobsters and filling you in on details from their past. Ted’s approach to dealing with them is particularly amusing, a threatening detective in a teddy’s body, and he speaks of them with disdain.
Bear With Me is packed full of puns, pop culture references, amusing dialogue, and silly humour, so you’re rewarded for investigating any possible item rather than doing so in the hope that it’s the key to unlock the puzzle that you’re stuck on. Achievements for examining all the paintings and lamps you can indicate that the developer has put work into all these extras and wants you to investigate the world at large rather than just charging through the story.
There’s also an achievement for completing the game in under an hour and without saving, both of which are more than doable once you know where certain items are. While it’s not that difficult an instalment, I will admit that I ran aground at one point because I wasn’t being observant enough.
This did cause some frustration, in part because of some repeating dialogue. Amber’s “Are you even trying?” line is quite grating. Ted, thankfully, utters a simple “No” when he won’t do what you ask of him. There was also a confusing moment in which dialogue that had been used for a prior inventory crafting puzzle was used again at a later point. This sparked doubt over the puzzle itself, leading to a restart, rather than my observational skills.
There’s an intriguing story to be found here, and the first chapter offers just enough to lure you in and start wondering about what is to come. There’s also a segment where you get to control Red, which may shape what is to come, or it could simply enable the player to project some characteristics onto this mysterious figure.
Bear With Me oozes style and humour, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it will unfold and which other characters we’ll meet along the way.
4/5 – Mark O’Beirne