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Throwback Thursday: Bear With Me – Episode 1 Review

Throwback Thursday: Bear With Me – Episode 1 Review

Throwback Thursday: Bear With Me – Episode 1 Review

Very short. More like an interactive cartoon with click points than a point-and-click adventure.

Category: Review
Written by: Cindy Kyser
Developed by: Exordium Games
Published by: Exordium Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Release date: August 8, 2016
Platform: Mac, Windows
Note: This review was originally published September 11, 2016

As of April 5, 2018, Episodes 1, 2 and 3 are available from the JA Store


Exordium Games is a small, indie game studio located in Zagreb, Croatia. They’re a multi-genre development group with past releases that include a strategy title (Agenda) and an action title (Zero Reflex). They are currently working on a new action title (Nephil’s Fall) and Bear With Me is their first entry into the adventure gaming market. This title has been in development for over 2 years and an early prototype was awarded the Best Indie Game Winner at the Reboot Infogamer show held in Croatia in 2014.

Bear With Me is self-described as a stylish horror noir point-and-click adventure game.  To be fair, the word horror appears in quotes. Unless future episodes take a very dark turn, this is not an adjective that comes to my mind when describing this game.

The story revolves around Amber; a 10-year-old girl whose brother, Flint, has disappeared.  To find him, she enlists the help of Ted E. Bear; a private eye who lives in her closet. As they get ready to search, there are references to the nefarious Red Man who is starting fires and wreaking havoc in their city of Paper Town. The ensuing chaos results in the city being cordoned off. Episode One introduces the characters and focuses on their preparations to leave Amber’s house and getting through the blockade to enter Paper Town.

Ted E. Bear can best be described as Winnie-the-Pooh does Sam Spade. Ted has all of the trappings of a classic film noir detective, sans fedora. Amber is accurately portrayed as a precocious pre-teen. During the game, control is switched between Amber and Ted, who traverse rooms in Amber’s house and interact with a handful of other characters.

The game is presented in black-and-white animation with some red used for emphasis. It’s in the style of a traditional cartoon with cut scenes that are presented as comic-book-like frames. The soundtrack is a mix of background music and narration with professional voice actors. It’s a pure 2D point-and-click adventure with inventory, puzzles, and dialog. The game auto-saves, and also provides the player with the ability to save on demand to multiple save slots.

Bearly an Adventure

As in the tradition of episodic gaming, this release of Bear With Me is intended to give the player a feel of what is to come and to build enthusiasm for future episodes. My initial (albeit brief) foray into the world of Amber and Ted E. Bear accomplished neither objective.

The first episode is incredibly short. It can be played in well under an hour, especially if one is not a fan of extended dialog and is prone to shortcutting by reading and clicking through lengthy narratives. For even the novice adventurer, the puzzles are straightforward and very easily solved. As the game’s environment is limited to a few rooms in Amber’s house, there isn’t a lot to explore. While the price point for this game has been set low, these is very little play time for your investment. I admit that my response was Are You Kidding? when the game ended so abruptly.

While the graphics and voice-overs are very well-done and some of the dialog is quite witty, it didn’t feel like an adventure game. I’d describe Bear With Me as an interactive cartoon with click points. Most of your time playing this game will be spent listening to dialog, watching cut-scenes, and waiting for characters to mosey across a room.

In summary, I have to commend Exordium for the obvious time and effort they put into this game. It is a stable release and the artwork, dialog, and soundtrack have been crafted with care. At the end however, it’s just not a gaming experience that I enjoyed or a story that left me wanting more.

Grade: B

Quality animation and sound track
+ Clever dialog, especially if one is paying attention to the grumblings of Ted E. Bear
+ Black and white animation reinforces classic film noir feel
Very short episode
 Traditional gamers may tire of watching rather than doing


System Requirements
OS: Windows XP+
Processor: SSE2 instruction set support, generally everything made since 2004 should work
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities; generally everything made since 2004 should work
DirectX: Version 9.0
Storage: 1.2 GB available space 


OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
Processor: SSE2 instruction set support, generally everything made since 2004 should work
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: DX9 (shader model 2.0) capabilities; generally everything made since 2004 should work
DirectX: Version 9.0
Storage: 1.1 GB available space


Cindy Kyser

Cindy Kyser

Cindy’s love affair with gaming began when she opened a mailbox in front of a white house and took the first step in a long series of adventures. ‘Back in the day,’ Cindy was a regular contributor to JA and an active member of the online gaming community. She has attended several E3s and has had the pleasure of spending time in person with both Ray and Randy. Her all- time favorite adventures include the Tex Murphy series, the Gabriel Knight series, and The Longest Journey. She also enjoys RPGs and her list of ‘best ever’ includes Fallout, Asheron’s Call, and Planescape Torment. Â Frustrated with the cost of rising PC system requirements, Cindy decided to switch to console and tablet gaming. Although you can teach some old dogs new tricks, she discovered that console controller dexterity is a skill set that she is lacking. Her results with tablet gaming were not much better. With the exception of a few gems such as The Room and Forever Lost, there is a limit to how much one can play Candy Crush and Hidden Object Adventures. Having proved that pure escapism is worth the investment, she has a new gaming laptop and is back to her search for the perfect adventure. Â After spending most of her life in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Cindy escaped the stress of urban life and moved to rural Arkansas. To show that she has become a true Arkansan, she has taken up deer hunting, wears pink camo, and put a chicken coop in her backyard. On a stressful day, she can be heard yelling ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ when all else fails.

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