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Bear With Me: The Lost Robots (PC) artwork

Bear With Me: The Lost Robots (PC) review

"A short and easy adventure Ė youíll never lose your Bearings."

Bear With Me is a lot of things on top of a lot of other things. Thereís a nice confusing start to this review. Let me try to explain: primarily, itís a short, approachable adventure game with a heavy noir influence. Like, really heavy; thereís a monochrome colour scheme going on, backdropped to 1950ís American chic. But for all the fedora-tipping gumshoes and droning monologues, itís less a period drama and more a childish reimagining. For example, one half of the hard-boiled protagonist pairing is a detective who also doubles as an adorable teddy bear. The other is literally a child.

So, itís safe to assume the entire premise is just a childís imagination gone wild. I mean, probably? Thereís a goofy innocence prevalent throughout, and I donít think the game can process more than a handful of sentences before reaching for a low hanging pun. On the other hand, the focused case involves robots being stolen, murdered, and harvested for parts. Which is grizzly as hell, but it only happens to robots, who can be rebuilt with no adverse effects. Thereís a lot of likeminded double-sided instances throughout, things that creep towards a dark edge but given an innocent explanation. Fluffy button-eyed private eye Ted E. Bearís big open secret is that a relationship turned sour has driven him into a drinking habit that threatens to devour him whole. But the drink in question is carrot juice. Sure seems to affect him as hard as a fifth of scotch might, though.

Heíll mainly stay just sober enough to stumble through The Last Robotsí 2-3 hour plot which should be traversed with little difficulty. Though the gameís loathe to skimp on characters and locations, the puzzles are of little obstacle and often self-contained enough that pixel hunting and random clicking shouldnít be especially common. It leaves you time to enjoy the bizarre duality of noir-laced whimsy. Talking toy robots or cute anamorphic animal people; itís just the majority of the ones youíre forced to hang with are often hardened criminals.

Itís worth noting that The Last Robert is a prequel for the larger Bear With Me parent game that Iíve yet to play, so Iím probably missing out on a slice of nuance somewhere. The main game pairs Ted up with Amber, while the prequel sticks him with her less enthusiastic brother, Flint. To set the tone, the game has bearly (youíll never out-pun me, game!) began before he complains about not really being into all that detective stuff, and that heís much more comfortable around superheroes. Yet here he is anyway, on the bequest of his sister. The pair's shared affection for Amber is more or less the only thing prompting even the most basic form of cooperation, but the poorly disguised disinterest and back and forth bickering makes for an interestingly dysfunctional partnership. If the case is ever going to get solved, Flintís probably going to need the professional detective onside. Ted, on the other paw, needs help with tasks as hazardous as reaching moderately high shelves.

If its purpose is to give returning fans a little more of the world to reveal, it does that, despite its short runtime, but maybe itís not the best starting point. Check me out, doing everything backwards. Who knew I had no organisation skills.

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (April 05, 2020)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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