Welcome back to Paper City for the third and final installment of the Bear With Me trilogy of games. There is a lot I’m not going to say about this game, but that is only to keep from revealing the spoilers (and spoil they would).
Before we get going here, if you’re not familiar with Bear With Me, read my review of episodes 1 and 2 for more details on the story and gameplay. This episode is more narration-heavy than its predecessors, living up to the noir genre in which the events are placed. There are some puzzles which will make you think, some dialogue which will make you laugh, and some story elements which will leave you scratching your head…until the wrap-up at the end which will take about 40 minutes to get through. There is no “skip” option in a large part of the dialogue, but you really don’t want to miss any of it anyway.
Speaking of skipping dialogue, this is about the only gripe I have about the game—there is no scroll back for the dialogue. If you accidentally touch a key or your mouse pad (I did this at least twice playing ep. 3) there is no way to look back at what was just said other than to restart from your last save point. You usually don’t miss much, but you could miss a plot point or an instruction. Besides, you wouldn’t want to miss another lesson in how to be snarky from professor emeritus Ted E. Bear (he does so love to display his snarkological skills).
As with the previous episodes, the game is almost entirely grayscale with the occasional bit of red (again, until the end). Some color starts to creep in, and it’s just another one of those “what’s going on” things.
Another point of appreciation with this game is the writers’ sense of humor and the little things they include in the artwork for those of us who know what to look for. For instance, I must say the pawn shop has more interesting selections than any pawn shop I have been in. I’ll point out one little thing for you so get the gist; in the image below, look at the counter on the left and you may notice the Enterprise insignia form ST – TOS. Keep looking and you may get a few more chuckles as well; there are plenty of TV/movie reference items here.
As with the first two episodes, you’ll doing plenty of pointing and clicking. The puzzles aren’t too hard, but there is only one way to solve each puzzle. Even if you have a nifty idea on how to handle a situation, it’s a no-go unless it matches the game solution. If you’re having trouble finding the answer, just let yourself relax don’t over-think things.
Bear With Me has a slow pace, but it fits the narrative of the story. The only thing which was slightly disappointing this time around is that ep. 3 is a bit shorter than the first two episodes, as the point seems to be to wrap things up. At the end of episode 2, you’ll recall that Ted and Amber had a falling out and separated. It’s not a spoiler to reveal they do get things together again (you knew it couldn’t happen any other way, right?). It’s still Amber and Ted against the…world? The Red Man? Don’t worry; it’ll make sense before it’s over. You do get to play our two heroes separately for a while so be ready to shift your paradigm a bit.
So Here It Is
Bear With Me is a good story-driven puzzle game with a dark, yet innocent, feel (forget the theories you might have formulated with ep. 1 or 2; it’s worse than that). This is a good game with a strong, episodic story that is worth your time. There is no real re-play value once you get to the end, but it’s still good entertainment.
Genre: Point-and-click Adventure
Developer: Exordium Games
Minimum Requirements: OS X v10.7, 2 GB RAM, 2,300MB hard drive…”generally everything made since 2004 should work.”
Price: $4.99 per episode
Availability: Now on Steam