Bear With Me: Episode One is an intriguing point and click adventure game – intriguing because despite the 10 year old heroine and sentient cuddly toys that inhabit this world, it’s often quite dark and menacing. (It’s not really appropriate for young children despite appearances.) It offers a nice mix of child-like innocence and hard-bitten detective nous, with a plot that has yet to fully get going in the first episode, but promises to be intriguing.
The art style is stylish and carries the noir atmosphere well, and the music fits well. The voicing is a little mixed – the side characters are uniformly good, but the main female character isn’t helped by some slightly long-winded descriptions and responses that openly mock the player (grr...), while her side-kick Ted E Bear has the grumpy PI mood okay but his pausing and intonation often seems off. Again, he isn’t always helped by the writing. There are plenty of typical detective stereotypes with the characters, but they're well used and effective in the context of the game.
The puzzles are reasonably easy though once or twice it had me a little stumped. Overall Bear With Me is a promising opening chapter – it’s a bit of a mixed back in many ways, if the developers can tighten up the dialogue a little and the key voice cast settle into their roles, it could become something quite special. At any rate, I am looking forward to seeing how the plot develops in Episode Two. (I think the game took about an hour and a half to complete, difficult to time properly due to interruptions.)
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