Nindie Spotlight: Bear and Breakfast - PreviewStephen LaGioia , posted on 17 October 2020 / 1,544 Views
When it comes to management sims, it seems like just about everything under the sun has been covered - from theme parks, to hospitals, and even entire civilizations. Yet, the concept of building and managing a B&B has largely remained uncharted territory; especially when said establishment is run by a bear. Yes, you read that right - Gummy Cat and Armor Games' upcoming simulation game has you playing as one of these carnivorous mammals looking to start a lucrative business.
Since its out-of-left-field announcement during Nintendo's August 2020 Indie World Showcase, little has been revealed regarding the specifics of this cute, colorful sim. But there does exist a decent chunk of information that was released during the initial reveal of what may prove to be a deceptively in-depth title.
While Armor Games may not be widely known amongst the hardcore gaming console and PC crowd, the company is fairly prominent in the mobile scene, specifically with its range of appealing Flash-based games. The studio dates all the way back to 2004, in fact, and has since become one of the internet's longest-running curated gaming portals for free Flash titles.
Through both publishing and development (the latter under the name Armor Games Studios), the company has covered various genres, including puzzlers, point-and-click adventures, and arcade-style romps. Some of its notable mobile and Flash games include the tower defense GemCraft and the strategy game Warfare 1917. Given this track record and the intriguing nature of this unique sim, Bear and Breakfast looks like it "bears" plenty of potential.
The cheeky announcement trailer showcases a laid-back management game that stresses construction, building decoration, and economic management. Yet, it ends with a brief teaser of what looks to be some fairly ominous wildlife that lurks beyond your woodland inn. Moreover, Bear and Breakfast is described as an adventure game too, implying that there could be more of a traditional, action-based gameplay element to balance the building simulation bouts. Could this perhaps be the off-kilter, animal-themed reincarnation of Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley?
One blurb on Bear and Breakfast's fact sheet page describes an element of progression that reminds one of Terraria - as various NPCs in the wild will seemingly trigger new unlockables and larger, more elaborate structures to toy with. But whatever the little-known adventure elements might entail, it seems all-but-certain that Bear and Breakfast will grant an amusing, complex experience when it comes to building and management.
You take the role of Hank, a well-meaning bear who seeks to turn an abandoned shack he and his friends discover into a thriving bed and breakfast for tourists. The game seems to play not unlike a colorful version of The Sims in some respects, as players will be tasked with building and personalizing each constructed room of their inn.
These include parlors, bathrooms, entertainment spots, and dozens of guest rooms to accommodate your increasing customer base. Each room can be customized and tinkered with by drawing from a slew of furniture and fixtures. Despite the flat, cartoony nature of the aesthetics, there looks to be quite a bit of depth and ample tasks to partake in when it comes to the gameplay.
Based on what little footage exists there looks to be no shortage of items, tools, and customizations to play around with, from which players can add their own unique character to their B&Bs. The game looks to draw from Field of Dream's "if you build it - they will come" concept, as customers will start filing in as your inn grows in terms of scale, detail, and reputation.
Yet, players will also be able to venture into the woods to complete quests, gather new items/inn perks, and lure other critters to their bustling B&Bs. This blend of adventure and simulation should make for a uniquely enjoyable experience that's likely to burn through countless hours faster than a forest fire.
Though it's mere speculation for the moment, it's likely that the game will utilize some degree of touchscreen support for the Switch, making for a simpler, more intuitive interface to tinker with. Coupled with what looks to be a handheld-friendly experience and timed console exclusivity, this charming sim is definitely one to watch for Nintendo fans. Those seeking what would appear to be an amusing Animal Crossing alternative are likely to be satiated here.
Look for Bear and Breakfast to be released on PC and Switch sometime in 2021.
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