When we were young, many of us had an imaginary friend that would help us make sense of life’s scary challenges. Maybe the friend was someone only we could see, or maybe the friend looked like a stuffed animal.
In Exordium Games’ new episodic point and click adventure Bear With Me, a 10 year old girl named Amber has a friend named Ted E. Bear. He lives in her closet and is a gruff, burned out detective ready to retire. Awakened by a nightmare of a mysterious Red Man, Amber discovers her brother Flint is missing. Enlisting the reluctant help of the detective teddy bear, she searches for clues in her parent’s house for her missing brother.
I love the presentation of this point and click adventure. It is 2D, in black and white with a few startling bits of color. The characters are all animated and drawn fantastically, from the wide eyed Amber to the gruff Ted E. Bear. Best of all, the extensive dialog is all voice acted, and acted well. Ted E. Bear’s actor perfectly captures a grumpy detective that happens to be a stuffed bear, and even the smaller parts are acted well. The dialog is snappy, plenty of playful banter, pop culture jokes, and even jokes at the expense of the developers. I never laughed out loud, but I cracked a smile many times.
Navigation is smart and intuitive in this point and click adventure. There aren’t a lot of extraneous items, and solutions to puzzles are common sense, not aggravating processes of trial and error. The artwork is crisp enough that you will almost always find what you need instead of hunting pixel by pixel, and if you do get stumped, there is a built in hint system by chatting with Ted. Best of all, the item menu is small and easily accessible, and there are only one or two options to interact with any given item in the environment, which reduces the aggravation older P&C adventures would inflict on the player.
For the low price of $4.99 on Steam, it is easy to recommend the first episode of Bear With Me. The 2-3 hour adventure isn’t filled with fluff, or backtracking, just humorous dialog and perfectly challenging puzzles. A childlike imagination transforms mundane domestic surroundings into a rich noir setting for this promising first episode. The credits rolled just as the game opened up into uncharted territory, so I for one am looking forward to further episodes in the series.
Bear With Me: Episode 1 is available on Steam. A code was provided for the purpose of this review.