Eat, sleep, kill the odd adventurer, repeat — that was my notion of what bear life was like before playing Bear Simulator. Now I know the truth: there's also bunny killing and wearing ball caps.
Two years ago developer John Farjay asked Kickstarter backers for $US29,500 ($41,396) to make a first-person bear simulation game. He wound out with over $US100,000 ($140,326). "It's like a mini Skyrim but you're a bear" he said. Now the game is available on Steam, and it's sort of like a mini Skyrim but you're a bear.
There's killing, loot collecting, and skills and stats to level up. I didn't discover any magic in my short time with the game in the video above, but I did discover the magic of humans leaving entire pizzas out in the open for just anyone to eat, plus the intelligence-enhancing properties of mushrooms. Also, bears look good in hats.
Bear Simulator is a game about exploring and experiencing, uncovering secrets and generally eating those secrets, because bears. It's about spending several minutes trying to sneak up on a duck for some reason, or chasing down those damn tan rabbits because they all deserve to die.
As pure bear simulation goes, Farjay's creation comes up short. Real bears cannot read. Real bears don't need to eat mushrooms to increase their intelligence. Real bears don't wear ball caps very often.
Real bears are boring. So far Bear Simulator isn't.