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Bee Simulator

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 26 - 2019

Look Mum! I’m a bee.

 
When it comes to animal simulator games, very few of them take a realistic approach. Instead, the developers will gamify the plight of animals, sometimes to extremes. Take Goat Simulator for example, it features a very realistic goat, but the gameplay is absolutely daft. New to the animal simulation zoo is Varsav Game Studios’ Bee Simulator, a game that takes a slightly more serious approach to being a bee. While by no means realistic in its portrayal of bee life as the game plays more like an action game, Bee Simulator wants to educate as well.

 


 
Alright, calm down. Bee Simulator is not going to force knowledge on anyone. Outside of the opening information, anything that the player may risk actually learning is stored away in the library, either through the course of progressing and exploring, or as rewards. Gamers who are firmly opposed to learning need not worry, but as the game is aimed at the younger audience more than anything else, that little bit of educational value, in which youngsters can learn about bees and the role they have in our world, along with the threats they face, will make parents feel better about letting them play this game.

 
So the actual gameplay involves the player controlling a quite lifelike bee as it goes about its business for the hive, mostly collecting pollen. There are a few other activities and side quests to pick up and complete, but pollen is important and gathering it will reward the player with knowledge points that can be spent on things like new skins for the bee. The skins are all realistic in their nature, by the way, with no silliness like bees wearing sombreros.

 
The core gameplay takes place in a fairly large open world that seems to be modelled on Central Park in New York, surrounded by skyscrapers and giving access to a nice variety of different areas to explore, such as a boating lake and a small zoo. When it comes to collecting pollen, the bee will have to fly past little coloured circles that indicate the rarity of the pollen and then, once holding as much as they can, heading back to the hive to drop it off. It’s all quite charming as the player explores the world from a miniature point of view.

 
Side quests and story quests will pop up and mix the gameplay up a bit by offering different mini games. These may be a little disappointing to the more seasoned player, but would likely be more suited to youngsters. Firstly there is a fighting game that plays out as a simple rhythm game in which the player hits the button at the right time. Bees may find themselves picking fights with other flying insects, such as wasps or hornets, and even other bees. The game is quite simple. Also simple is the dancing game that may be needed to communicate with other bees. In this the player simply has to remember the sequence and then repeat it. Both of these games have a novelty factor the first couple of times, but then will likely be avoided if possible as they are not much fun.

 


 
The final type of game is all about racing. Here, the bee will have to fly around a course, zipping through rings. They are only able to miss a couple of rings before they will have to start again from the very beginning. This would be no big deal, if it were not so difficult to actually control the bee while flying with any precision. The flight controls are perfectly acceptable when it comes to exploring, but for racing it is far too frustrating to get caught on bits of the scenery, which happens to be something the camera will do often, leaving the player having to guess where they are going. After the simplicity of the other mini games, the racing is just frustrating.

 
Following the main campaign and doing the missions, which will consist mostly of going to a set place and then completing a mini game, will only take a few hours to complete for regular gamers. From there, the player will unlock a free flight mode. This mode will offer a certain amount of fun to anyone who just wants to explore as a bee, but there is no other purpose to the mode. There is also a four player split screen mode which takes place in separate small themed arenas rather than the main world. Again though, there is no purpose here and while youngsters may have some fun flying around with their friends, older gamers will again find the mode pointless.

 
Visually, Bee Simulator is not a bad looking game. While the visuals will not win any awards, it is all perfectly charming and enjoyable to watch. Again, something that the youngsters will find appealing. The soundtrack is also a highlight and very nicely done, although the patronising voice work is just irritating.

 


 
Bee Simulator has some really nice ideas, but also some big problems. Young players may learn something from the game while also having fun simply flying around Central Park. For actual gamers though, the game has fiddly flight controls, lacks variety and is too short for the price tag. There are moments of absolute joy while playing Bee Simulator, and it can be quite relaxing when just collecting pollen. Not for most gamers, Bee Simulator is an ideal choice for young gamers and their families.

 

 ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆ 



 

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