Bear With Me: The Lost Robots

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Title: Bear With Me: The Lost Robots
Series: Bear With Me
Genre: Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Mystery
Developer: Exordium Games

System: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: August 8, 2016

Bear With Me is a point-and-click adventure developed by Exordium Games, an Croatian indie studio founded in 2014.  The original was released in three episodes in August 2016 with this particular part, a prequel, The Lost Robots dropping in July of 2016.  All of the iterations are best described as “episodic noir adventure games,” drawing obvious inspiration from the genre of film noir (per Wikipedia).

This was one of those games where I absolutely loved the demo, immediately bought it, and then instantly forgot about it.  Since I’m nearly always in the middle of playing something (often more than one something), I won’t start another game right away, but I want to be able to as soon as a “slot” opens up.  The main issue is I only have so much energy, including emotional energy, to dedicate to something, and once I’m in I’m all in.  Granted Bear With Me was more relaxing than taxing, but you don’t necessarily know that beforehand.

The aesthetic of the game is perfect for the film noir mien with everything in black and white,

and the voice acting is excellent.  Ted, or Ted E. Bear, the one referenced in the title, has the hardboiled detective persona down pat.  His voice has a bit of a flat effect, but it fits the character of the jaded PI.

While I felt unceremoniously thrown into this world, it’s possible the original games make a more thorough introduction, but it’s not a terrible narrative choice.  Sentient robots exist alongside humans and anthropomorphic animals.  I’ll have more to say on the latter later, and for the robots, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen one with an Irish accent.

Fixy is just one example of the excellent voice acting the game boasts, though I did see some comments to the inverse about how Ted’s VA seemed a bit lackluster.  I disagree wholeheartedly because the monotone and gritty delivery is perfect for the character.  The soundtrack is also great, and probably most importantly, the puzzles are intuitive.  One of the biggest issues with point-and-click puzzle games is the moon logic some of them employ.  As much as I loved Thimbleweed Parkit was guilty of this, and using the excuse that the solution was in a demo or ad that not everyone might have seen (I surely didn’t) doesn’t really cut it.  Bear With Me didn’t have this issue.  While I might have been stumped for a bit on a solution, once figured it out it made perfect sense.

Since I entered this series in the middle (well…prequel), there were a few things I had to figure out along the way.  Ted’s companion in this installment is actually the brother of his regular one, and Ted himself is recently recovered/recovering from an injury far more painful in who caused it as opposed to the damage sustained.  While those who played the original episodes would be privy to this information, it was pretty easy to pick up and didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the game.

The plot revolves around a robot serial “murderer” i.e. someone who is dismantling robots and stealing their parts (not a robot serial killer *shudders*).  Ted has been hired by the robot editor-in-chief of a popular newspaper (for ostensibly obvious reasons) to find out what’s going on.  The main mission is to locate the last robot victim, who worked for the paper, in order to “piece” together both him and the mystery.

Even the ending credits offer a potential “mystery solution” of their own with the non-human characters depicted as toys on a train, which suggests a meta reading of the game’s story as make believe between Flint (this game’s sidekick) and Amber (the previous deuteragonist) with Flint “keeping Ted company” (aka playing with him) while Amber is away.

Between the intriguing narrative and interesting integrated world of robots, humans, animals (stuffed and possibly anthropomorphic), Bear With Me: The Lost Robots is more than worth the $4.99 I paid at the Nintendo eShop, and I had no issue dropping an additional $9.99 for the rest of the series.  It’s also available on Steam for what I’m sure is just as reasonable a price.  If you like point-and-click adventure/puzzle games, I’d highly recommend this one.

One thought on “Bear With Me: The Lost Robots

  1. Pingback: The State of the Writer: 3/19/23 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

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