The problem with reviewing episodic games is the fact that by the time the last episode comes out everything of interest has already been said. That’s the case here. If you’ve kept up with my reviews you already know everything I have to say about Bear With Me: the writing and voice acting are top notch, movement speed is a little too slow, puzzles make up for the lack of classic point and click “moon logic” by making key items needlessly hard to find through environmental obstruction. All of that is as true here as it was back in episode one, so what is there to talk about?
For those who haven’t kept up with everything I’ve written…the fuck bro? I work hard on this shit (You can Find those reviews HERE and HERE, by the way). Okay, okay, once more for the people in the back: the story centers on a young girl named Amber Ashworth and her hard-drinking, privet detective teddy bear, ted. The two of them are investigating a series of arson’s in Paper City, a sprawling metropolis of paper and cardboard located in Amber’s attic. The only thing the two know for sure is that The Red Man, the person responsible for the fires, has a vendetta against Ms Ashworth.
As this is the conclusion it’s hard to say anything more about the story in fear of spoilers. What I can say is this: while the ultimate reveal lands pretty firmly in predictable territory, the presentation makes that a non-issue. Voice actors Mia Sable and Miles Rand sell the hell out of their roles, so even when you know exactly what’s coming there’s still a punch and weight to the games heavier moments.
The only thing unique to talk about for this last episode is the fact that it has one of the worst puzzles I’ve ever had to sit through. Again, I do love the hell out of this game, but I have no idea what the devs were thinking here. Near the end you have to make your way through a maze using a poem of sorts, but none of it makes any since. Nothing said in the poem helped make a decision on where I was supposed to go, nor did the quips Amber said when investigating things mentioned in it. The opening line talks about letting “butterfly’s, mushrooms and firefly’s guide you”, but then when those things are present they are literally by every path you can take. Every other puzzle in the game I figured out with a little bit of work, but here I had to resort to going down random paths and using the process of elimination to figure out where to go. For comparison sake, look at the piano puzzle from Silent Hill. Yeah it might have taken some brain power to figure it out, but everything you need to know is right there. I’m seriously hoping someone from the dev team sees this review and explains to me what the fuck was going on here. But then again, with my luck once someone does explain it it’ll be super obvious in hindsight and I’ll feel like a complete idiot.
Now I really do want to stress this: that level pissed me off greatly and is definitely a low point for the series, but I still loved my time with Bear With Me. Now that it’s possible to play the game in its entirety I can recommend it just as strongly as I did on day one. The minor issues I had never got cleaned up, and that’s a bummer, but they never raised above being minor issues. If you don’t like point-and-click games, I doubt this will change your mind. But if you can just…bear with it….i think there is a lot to like in Bear With Me.
A Review Code for Bear With me Episode Two was provided by Exordium
William Shelton has awarded Bear With Me Episode Two the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.