I’m a nut for point and click adventures. I grew up on the the old LucasArts library with the Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion games among others. So seeing the Bear With Me series was already up my alley. Mix that with old school film noir black and white animation and an anthropomorphized teddy bear detective, Exordium Games definitely had my attention.
Episode 2 of Bear With Me picks ups where the first episode left off, following the adventures of Ted E. Bear and Amber. It expands the cast of colorful characters of Paper City we already knew and loved (yes, I know its in black and white) from the first installment. It also thankfully also amps up the feel and attitude of the first game – a humorously dark and adult tone and script (especially from our stuffed detective), which belies the fact that the game itself runs from a kid’s point of view.
The story keeps on with the threat of the mysterious Red Man as a dark cloud over Paper City while Amber and Ted keep investigating what happened to the missing Flint. Over the course dealing with arsonists and spies, we also deal with the increasing strain on the relationship between Amber and Ted – that tension leads to arguments throughout the game as to how to proceed with clues, which adds to the dark nature of the plot. This eventually leads to more questions and mysteries to unravel, and I think serves as a great setup to the coming episode 3.
There are definitely fewer hints in episode 2, which follows the pattern of the delightfully recent trend of episodic games becoming more popular. Episode 1 was a primer, like most first episodes are, and episode 2 follows with tougher puzzles – the player really has to pay closer attention to the environments and interactive elements to solve them and get to where they need to go. This pairs great though with the new expanded universe of the game. Instead of being stuck only in Amber’s house, there are many more locations and places to explore.
I talked about that amped up dark humor and tone of the second installment just above, and that’s what kept me engaged with the story and wanting to play on. The dialogue and script is chock full of smart and sarcastic banter, paired with Ted’s numerous fourth wall breaks talking directly to the player, which to me at least were wildly fun elements that enhanced my experience with the game.
And for the detail oriented, let’s not forget the pop culture references to Star Wars, The X-Files, and many more properties nerd culture holds near and dear.
In all this goodness I did have one teeny little complaint though – after much clicking back and forth between different sides of the screen for looking at clues or moving, I wish we could turn up the character movement speed. I mean I know it’s a teddy bear and a kid, but I think they can move just a bit more quickly.
All in all, the second installment to Bear With Me is a great follow up to the first – with great dialogue, style, and a rapidly unraveling story that makes me look forward to the next piece. And with only a few hours of gameplay, you might find yourself finishing in just one or two sittings before waiting for part 3. Do yourself a favor and give this series a start on Steam here.
I for one call it a bear necessity.